BC Geographical Names

Name Details:

Name: Mount Pope
Feature TypeClick here for a list of
Feature Types.
:
Mount - Variation of Mountain: Mass of land prominently elevated above the surrounding terrain, bounded by steep slopes and rising to a summit and/or peaks. [if "Mount" precedes the name, usually indicates that the feature is named after a person.
StatusClick here for an explanation of Status.: Official
Relative Location: SE side of Stuart Lake, just NW of Fort St. James, Range 5 Coast Land District
Latitude-LongitudeClick here for an explanation of Position Type.: 54°30'17''N, 124°20'26''W at the approximate centre of this feature.
DatumClick here for an explanation of Datum.: NAD83
NTS MapClick here for an explanation of NTS Map.: 93K/9
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Origin Notes and History:

Mount Pope was adopted in the 1930 BC Gazetteer, as labelled on Fr. Morice's map "Northern Interior of British Columbia", 1907, and on BC Lands map 1G, 1916, etc; confirmed 2 November 1937 on Geological Survey sheet 630A, Fort Fraser.
Source: BC place name cards, or correspondence to/from BC's Chief Geographer or BC Geographical Names Office
Labelled "Mount Nakosla" on Pope's 1866 "sketch map shewing the proposed route of the Western Union Telegraph..."; labelled "Pope's Cradle" on Poudrier's 1891 "map shewing exploratory surveys in the Northern portion of the province..."; "Mount Pope (not Necoslie)" identified in the 1930 BC Gazetteer. Identified as Na-Kath in other documents (titles/dates not cited)
Source: BC place name cards, or correspondence to/from BC's Chief Geographer or BC Geographical Names Office
"The Indian name for Mt. Pope is Nahcauzley, which is also the Indian name for the village here. This mountain was named by the white's after an American explorer, a Major Pope; along in the 1860's when a bunch of Americans thought the Atlantic cable (which broke twice) was going to be a failure they started to build a telegraph line to and through Alaska, lay a comparatively short cable across Bering Straits then continue a telegraph line through Siberia and right into Europe. In the meantime the British succeeded laying the Atlantic cable and the Americans abandoned their telegraph line, which they had completed to Telegraph Creek on the Stikine River. Major Pope wintered with the HBC at Takla Lake and when passing here, wished to climb this mountain. A young clerk was told to accompany the old man and show him the easiest way up; the clerk returned but old Major Pope was so tired that he remained out all night, reaching the peak only the next morning, and it has been called Mt. Pope ever since. There is sufficient lime stone in Mt. Pope to supply the world, but the HBC did not have a quarry there. In 1888 when Fort St. James was re-built, the HBC had a kiln of lime cooked - some 10 or 12 tons - and all the new buildings whitewashed. Later on when I was placed in charge and the buildings were getting shabby, twice I had the old kiln filled up with lime stone and burnt into lime, then had the houses re-whitewashed." (22 July 1928 letter from A.C. Murray, file F.1.36)
Source: BC place name cards, or correspondence to/from BC's Chief Geographer or BC Geographical Names Office
"... both Mount Popes [near Hazelton, and near Stuart Lake] were named after Franklin L. Pope, of New York, one of the best-known telegraphic engineers of the day (and who later became the partner of Thomas A. Edison), who was given the rank of Major and appointed chief of explorations for the Collins Overland Telegraph in British North America - ie, British Columbia." (November 1970 memo from Northwest History Section, Vancouver Public Library, file F.1.36)
Source: BC place name cards, files, correspondence and/or research by BC Chief Geographer/Geographical Names Office.
"The Carrier name for this mountain is Nak'al. When combined with the name for 'water running out (of the lake)' it made Nad'azdli, the name of the large settlement of Carrier Indians beside what is now Fort St. James. These people established the earliest trails up the mountain [and kept] sentries on the mountain to watch the north end of Stuart Lake....[thereby providing advance notice of ] war parties coming down from Babine Lake. The distinctive profile of the mountain could be spotted for many miles and was an important landmark for travellers. In 1865, Major Franklin L. Pope got separated from his Indian guides and had to spend a night out alone on the mountain. After this, many locals started calling this Mount Pope." (excerpt from undated Mount Pope Forest Trail Guide, provided April 2000 by R.MacDonald, BC Parks)
Source: included with note
"....after Major Franklin Pope, an engineer with the Collins Overland Telegraph. Pope led a 15-party survey through the area in 1865, surveying the route for the ill-fated Overland Telegraph line. The line reached as far as Telegraph Creek before it was made redundant by the first trans-Atlantic undersea telegraph cable being laid. Mount Pope is part of a limestone formation extending 145 miles from the area of Fran├žois Lake north toward McLeod Lake area. A number of caves have been seen in the bluff which faces Stuart Lake although no cave system has yet been explored inside the mountain. Bats live in some of the caves. A Carrier Indian legend tells that at one time there was a tribe of 'Little People' living inside the mountain. When the Carriers came to Stuart Lake they made war on the 'Little People' and finally killed them off. Now the Carrier have to offer a gift of salmon to the ghosts of the 'Little People' so the salmon will continue to come every year." (excerpt from undated Fort St. James Chamber of Commerce brochure, provided April 2000 by R.MacDonald, BC Parks)
Source: included with note
"The Carrier name is Nak'al. It means "dwarf vulva" - there is a depression in the summit which is considered to resemble the female genitalia." (advice contributed August 2011 by linguist William J. Poser, Prince George.)
Source: included with note