Adams Lake

Feature Type:Lake - Inland body of standing water.
Name Authority: BC Geographical Names Office
Relative Location: NW of Shuswap Lake, Kamloops Division Yale Land District
Latitude-Longitude: 51°10'10''N, 119°34'25''W at the approximate centre of this feature.
Datum: NAD83
NTS Map: 82M/4
Related Maps: 82L/13

Origin Notes and History:

Adopted 30 June 1912 on BC map 1EM, as identified in Moberley's 1885 journal, and as labelled on Geological Survey map "A portion of the southern interior of British Columbia", 1887, etc.

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

" so named after the Chief of a tribe called Sl-hes-tal-ten who inhabited the country surrounding this lake. The native name of the Chief was Sel-howt-ken but he was baptised "Adam" by the Rev. Father Nobili in January 1849, and the lake was named Adams Lake from that time. Father Nobili, it is said, was the first missionary to visit that part of the country. This information is furnished by L. O'Brien and J.F. Smith of Kamloops. Pere Nobili, a Jesuit missionary, was well-known to the writer during his sojourn at Fort Alexandria about 1845 to '48 where he was always a welcome guest".

Source: Anderson, James Robert; Notes and comments on early days and events in British Columbia, Washington and Oregon; manuscript, 1925 (Provincial Archives E/B/An 2)

...Not be be outdone, his wife got the name of Eve, though probably not from the priest. Adams Lake is mentioned in Walter Moberley's journal, 23 July 1865, where he "....made the acquaintance of Adam and Eve, an Indian and his wife." (Walter Moberley, The rocks and rivers of British Columbia, London, 1885)

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

The Indian name applied to the head of Adams Lake was "Shtle-al-lun" meaning "many bark canoes". (George Dawson's report, Canadian Geological Survey 1877-8, p.27B); spelled "sl-hes-tal-en" in other early documents.

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

Chief Sel howt kan of the Upper Lake was re-named Adam by the fur-traders, and praised as a fine man and assiduous hunter. He is last mentioned in the HBC Journal in April 1862, so probably died in the dreadful small-pox epidemic.

Source: Place Names of the Kamloops District; Kamloops Museum, 1978