St. Mary River

Feature Type:River - Watercourse of variable size, which has tributaries and flows into a body of water or a larger watercourse.
Status:
Name Authority: BC Geographical Names Office
Relative Location: Flows E into Kootenay River, NE of Cranbrook, Kootenay Land District
Latitude-Longitude: 49°37'35''N, 115°38'51''W at the approximate mouth of this feature.
Datum: NAD83
NTS Map: 82G/12
Related Maps: 82F/15
82F/16
82F/9
82G/12

Origin Notes and History:

"St. Mary River (not Torrent River)" adopted in the 2nd Report of the Geographic Board of Canada, 30 June 1900, as identified in 1874 BC Mines Report. St. Mary River confirmed 4 October 1932 on 82G/12.

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

Labelled "St. Marys River" on Trutch's 1871 map of British Columbia; labelled "St. Mary's River" on BC Lands map "West Division Kootenay District", 1897 et seq.

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

St. Mary/St. Mary's River was named (in 1845 ?) by Father DeSmet after the feast day of the Holy Heart of Mary, on which day in 1845 he had celebrated mass at Tobacco Plains, south of here. (See "Life, Letters and Travels of Father Pierre-Jean DeSmet, SJ, 1801-1873", excerpt received December 1973, on file C.2.26)

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

The name goes back at least to 1865 when it was mentioned in "The British Columbian", the early newspaper published in New Westminster. The naming is often erroneously attributed to Father Fouquet, OMI, who did not visit Kootenay until 1874...

Source: Akrigg, Helen B. and Akrigg, G.P.V; British Columbia Place Names; Sono Nis Press, Victoria 1986 /or University of British Columbia Press 1997

Headwaters at 49 55 - 116 35 on 82F/15.

Source: Canadian Geographical Names Database, Ottawa