Deserters Canyon

Feature Type:Canyon (2) - Deep, narrow valley with precipitous walls.
Status:
Name Authority: BC Geographical Names Office
Relative Location: Surrounding Finlay River, just above (north of) head of Finlay Reach Williston Lake, Cassiar Land District
Latitude-Longitude: 56°56'00''N, 124°57'00''W at the approximate centre of this feature.
Datum: NAD27
NTS Map: 94C/15

Origin Notes and History:

Deserters Canyon adopted 24 November 1944 on 94/SW, not "Deserters CaƱon" as labelled on BC map 5A, 1917. Deserters Canyon re-approved 4 June 1953 on 94C. Description altered 14 June 1974 on 94/SW, following the flooding of Williston Lake.

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

Named by Samuel Black & party in 1824. Black was Hudson's Bay Company factor at Fort St. John, and in charge of a voyage of discovery to the headwaters of the [ Finlay ] branch of the Peace River in 1824. From information in the typescript of the Journal of John Finlay, the party left Rocky Mountain Portage May 13; on May 28 two canoemen deserted the group shortly before the party crossed a portage 1100 paces further on, called by them "Deserters Portage"; the party reached Thutade Lake on June 23. Samuel Black was appointed Chief Factor [trader] at Walla Walla the following year, then at Thompson Fort, Kamloops, in 1838.

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

"On 27 May 1824 Samuel Black, chief trader, HBC, with the first white party to ascend the river, reached the foot of the canyon. Here two of the canoemen decamped, hence the name."

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