Tobacco Plains

Feature Type:Plain (2) - Area of flat or gently rolling terrain.
Status:
Name Authority: BC Geographical Names Office
Relative Location: Extends across BC-Montana boundary, E side of Kootenay River, Kootenay Land District
Latitude-Longitude: 49°02'00''N, 115°06'00''W at the approximate centre of this feature.
Datum: NAD27
NTS Map: 82G/3

Origin Notes and History:

Adopted 15 August 1962 on 82G/3, as labelled on BC map 1EM, 1915.

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

"...after a few days' journey we arrived at the Prairie du Tabac, the usual abode of the Kootenais... On the feast of the Holy Heart of Mary I sang high mass, thus taking spiritual possession of this land..." (journal entries August 1845, translated and published as "Life, Letters and Travels of Father Pierre-Jean deSmet, SJ, 1801-1873", New York, 1905, pp 493, 494. (excerpt received December 1973, file C.2.26))

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

"Kootenay Indians used to grow wild tobacco here; meeting place of various tribes for sport and trade. Here was the first HBC post in the Kootenay; John Linklater in charge in 1850's and 60's. HBC Post abandoned in 1866 when a new post was established at Wild Horse Creek, near Galbraith's Ferry, under Michael Phillips." "Tobacco Plains: a gravelly waste; grass in July dried into hay by the sun." (1860; J.K. Lord II, 177) "The Kootenay's formerly obtained tobacco from HBC at Kootenay Post." (White, James, Place Names in the Rocky Mountains.... Transactions, Royal Society of Canada, Sec II, 1916, pp 501-535)

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