Doctors Point

Feature Type:Point - Land area jutting into a water feature; also used for a convex change in direction of a shoreline.
Name Authority: BC Geographical Names Office
Relative Location: NW side of Harrison Lake, N of Chilliwack, New Westminster Land District
Latitude-Longitude: 49°39'27"N, 121°58'57"W at the approximate centre of this feature.
Datum: WGS84
NTS Map: 92H/12

Origin Notes and History:

Doctors Point adopted 7 April 1955 on 92H, as labelled on BC map 3K, 1938; not "Doctor Point" as labelled on BC map 2B, 1914, and identified in the 1930 BC Gazetteer.

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

Does this name perhaps refer to a June 1858 incident, reported July 1859 in the San Fransisco Bulletin, where one Dr. Lichtenberger performed an autopsy on his travelling companion, fellow-German Ernst Flüchterspiegel, who had died under mysterious circumstances while their party was enroute via Harrison Lake to the goldfields in the interior of British Columbia? An 1858 burial cairn identifying "Ernst's Island" (and presumably referring to Ernst Flüchterspiegel) was once located on the small island [since named Doctors Island] off this point. (information provided October 2000 by Dr. Asche, historian, Hope)

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

"Named from the red-ochre painting of an Indian medicine man on the cliff here. Passing natives used to pay tribute by casting food on the water." (Alex. Robertson)

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

"Doctor's Point, a well-known landmark on the lake... was so named on account of having the figure of a man crudely painted in red and white on the rock bluff. The old-time Indians are supposed to have been responsible for this and to have believed that the doctor controlled the winds on the lake according to his moods. Nothing was evident to support this superstition, with the possible exception that at times it might be blowing heavily above the point and be comparatively quiet on the lower side." (H. Idsardi, BCLS, Annual Report of the Minister of Lands, 1924, p.89).

Source: included with note

"Here is the effigy of 'The Doctor,' formerly known as 'Shay,' the local Indian god of the weather. When passing the image, one ensures good weather by tossing into the lake a coin for 'The Doctor.' The original doctor whose name is given to the point may have been Charles Forbes, the medical officer of HMS Topaz, who, in the report on his geological survey of the area in 1860, mentions seeing Shay's effigy. Another explanation is that Shay was not a deity but an Indian shaman or witch doctor who was here turned to stone by the 'Transformer,' who figures in so many Indian legends."

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

stálhlec is the Ucwalmícwts name - the language of the Lower Lillooet people - for the village and Transformer site at Doctors Point. (June 2007 advice from Maurice DePaoli, Cultural Researcher and Heritage Resources Advisor for In-SHUCK-ch Nation.) [Pronunciation and origin information to follow.]

Source: included with note