Lillooet

Feature Type:District Municipality (1) - A populated place with legally defined boundaries, incorporated as a district municipality under the provincial Municipal Act.
Status:
Name Authority: BC Geographical Names Office
Relative Location: Adjacent to Fraser River, between Lytton and Clinton, Lillooet Land District
Latitude-Longitude: 50°41'37"N, 121°56'01"W at the approximate location of the Municipal Hall.
Datum: WGS84
NTS Map: 92I/12

Other Recorded Names:

Mile Zero
Cayoosh Flat

Origin Notes and History:

Lillooet (Town) adopted 26 June 1911. Incorporated as a Village Municipality 20 December 1946. Lillooet (Village) confirmed 1 August 1957 on 92I/NW. Re-incorporated as a District Municipality 13 February 1996, to be called District of Lillooet; boundary gazetted 25 April 1996 on 92I/12.

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

"Originally called Cayoosh Flat, which name [was] changed in 1859 to Lillooet because the trail by Lillooet lake and river here joined the Fraser River". (18th Report of the Geographic Board of Canada, 31 March 1924). Note that the Hudson's Bay Company's Fort Berens was established on the opposite bank in 1859, likely leading to confusion about when the name Lillooet was established.

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

"...the Governor desires that the town sometimes known as Kayoosh [sic] should be known by its original Indian name of Lillooet...." (19 June 1861 letter from Colonel Moody, RE, to Commissioner of Lands (PABC C/AB/30.7/2)). Note that Governor Douglas was wrong: "Lillooet" was the name applied to the Indian village at the south end of Lillooet Lake, in turn meaning "(place of) wild onions" (as labelled on "Sketch of a part of British Columbia, 1859, by Lieut. R.C. Mayne, RN). The traditional name of the the site of today's Lillooet was Pap-shil-KWA-KA-meen, translated as "place where the three rivers meet". See also History of Lillooet, published in Vancouver Province newspaper, 8 December 1956 (file A.1.36)

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

"(Originally) called Cayoosh Flat because the body of a dead cayuse (Indian Pony) was found in the river here. In 1862 Lillooet became "Mile Zero" for the numbering of the mile houses along the Cariboo Wagon Road."

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