Koksilah River

Feature Type:River - Watercourse of variable size, which has tributaries and flows into a body of water or a larger watercourse.
Name Authority: BC Geographical Names Office
Relative Location: Flows NE. into Cowichan Bay, Cowichan Land District
Latitude-Longitude: 48°45'03''N, 123°38'29''W at the approximate mouth of this feature.
Datum: NAD83
NTS Map: 92B/13
Related Maps: 92B/12

Origin Notes and History:

Adopted in the 14th Report of the Geographic Board of Canada, 30 June 1915, as labelled on BC map 2A, 1913.

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

Named after an Indian tribe. Also means "bad is our dwelling place". Headwaters at 48 44- 123 54 on 92B/12.

Source: Canadian Geographical Names Database, Ottawa

The name means "poling up the river" (14 May 1959 interview with Walter Elliott, Tzouhalem Band.)

Source: Provincial Archives of BC "Place Names File" compiled 1945-1950 by A.G. Harvey from various sources, with subsequent additions

After the Indian tribe that lives here. Koksilah means "a corral". (Report of the Cowichan Historical Society, proceedings published in the Cowichan Leader 22 February 1934). From xwilkw' sale, a Cowichan word meaning "place having snags" (David Rosen, Ethnogeography of the Cowichan Valley, 1977).

Source: included with note

"[the name] goes back to the arrival of Jonathan Elliott, late of Devonshire, in the early 1800s. He married the Cowichan chief's daughter, cleared some land and built a log corral. Others settled beside him, provoking the chief to order them [all] off. For years Elliott's crumbling fence remained and became a local landmark. Hence we have Koksilah - horse corral." (T.W. Paterson, "Mapmakers Have Been Unkind to the Original Name-Givers," Cowichan Valley Citizen, 16 November 2005.)

Source: included with note

"In 1885 the E & N Railway is being built from Victoria to Nanaimo. During its Cowichan Valley construction phase, alongside the Koksilah River, Bill Irvine, one of the railway's surveyors, is working late. He decides to take a short-cut back to camp via the River. While pushing his way through thick bush he misses his footing and plunges down into an old mine shaft. From the appearance of tools scattered about he estimates the mine to be some 200 years old. Twenty-two years later the piece of rock he has kept as a souvenir is analyzed and reported to be silver-bearing ore containing $350 of silver to the ton. Irvine returns to the area with his 20-year-old son only to find that the shaft and the area round it have been covered by a huge rock slide...." (condensed from "Lost Treasure in British Columbia" by L. Lazeo; Victoria, 1973; presented at BC Folklore Society's website http://collections.ic.gc.ca/folklore/ )

Source: included with note