Atlin Lake

Feature Type:Lake - Inland body of standing water.
Status:
Name Authority: BC Geographical Names Office
Relative Location: Drains N across BC-Yukon boundary, between Teslin and Tagish Lakes, Cassiar Land District
Latitude-Longitude: 59°31'55''N, 133°43'20''W at the approximate centre of this feature.
Datum: NAD83
NTS Map: 104N/12
Related Maps: 104M/1
104M/8
104N/12
104N/13
104N/4
104N/5

Origin Notes and History:

Adopted in the 1st Report of the Geographic Board of Canada, 1898.

Source: BC place name cards, or correspondence to/from BC's Chief Geographer or BC Geographical Names Office

"Atlin" is the spelling adopted in 1887 by Dr. G.M. Dawson, Geological Survey (1887-88 Geological Survey Report, Vol III, p.169B); derived from the Tagish word "A-tlin" (Dawson, ibid), or from the Taku River Tlinkit name "Ahklen" or "Aht'lah" meaning "big water" (Atlin Claim, 1903). Same explanation given by Chief Henry Taku Jack (Vancouver Province, 25 March 1948). See also BC Historical Quarterly July-Oct 1952, p.129.

Source: BC place name cards, or correspondence to/from BC's Chief Geographer or BC Geographical Names Office

"Probably the first white man to see the lake was Michael Byrne, an explorer working for the Western Union Telegraph Company, who is now believed to have reached the south end of the lake from the Taku River in 1867. In August 1898, Fritz Miller and Kenneth MacLaren of Juneau found rich placer goldfields on the east side of the lake, second in importance only to the Klondike itself. Of the many people bound to the Klondike via the White and Chilkook Passes, 10,000 to 15,000 were diverted to this discovery. The White Pass and Yukon Railway, under construction at the time, lost 80% of its workmen almost overnight as they deserted with their tools. Gold has been mined here ever since". (Coutts, R.C, "Yukon Places and Names", Gray's Publishing, Sidney, 1980)

Source: included with note

The preferred modern Tlingit spelling of the name is  Tlèn, meaning "big water" (1999 advice from Yukon Native Language Centre). The name means "big water/lake of storms" (2007 translation from Yukon Geographical Names Program).

Source: included with note