Brunette 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 from Burnaby Lake SE and S through New Westminster into Fraser River, New Westminster Land District
Latitude-Longitude: 49°13'10''N, 122°53'30''W at the approximate mouth of this feature.
Datum: NAD83
NTS Map: 92G/2

Origin Notes and History:

Adopted 11 February 1936 on 92G/2, as labelled on BC Lands' map 2B, 1914. Diversion of mouth shown on Water Rights file #0228829.

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

Mrs. Williams Holmes, a settler on its banks in 1860, named it thus, "...on account of the colour of its water which, having its source in Burnaby Lake and surrounding peat bogs, is brownish." (28 November 1933 letter from J.S. Matthews, Vancouver City Archivist, relaying advice from Mr. Gillander, grandson of Mr & Mrs. William Holmes, file 988793/34275S).

Source: included with note

Named in 1860 by William Holmes, because the water, drawn from the peat lands above the lake, was dark in colour. Holmes received the first certificate of title in the lower mainland (Lot 1, Block 1 near North Road), and was the first settler in Burnaby.

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

I refer you to p.73 of "Land of Promise: Robert Burnaby's Letters From Colonial British Columbia 1858 - 1863", in which a letter he wrote to his sisters back in England on 20th March, 1859 clearly describes his voyage along this particular tributary between the Fraser River and the man's namesake, Burnaby Lake (the naming of which is also mentioned in the same letter), and how his own description of the river's "deep, brown coloured water" prompted his suggestion that it be called the "Brunette". The book also mentions the fact that Burnaby helped prepare the first list of lots to be sold in the district, including his own purchase of two lots in the vicinity of North Road and the Brunette River, although he never settled there himself.” (information provided January 2014 by Burnaby resident Brent Stratichuk.)

Source: included with note

Notation on BC name card indicates that the Indian name is/was Che'tsh lus (no language group, citation or meaning provided)

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