Naramata

Feature Type:Community - An unincorporated populated place, generally with a population of 50 or more, and having a recognized central area that might contain a post office, store and/or community hall, etc, intended for the use of the general public in the region.
Status:
Name Authority: BC Geographical Names Office
Relative Location: E side of Okanagan Lake opposite Summerland, Similkameen Division Yale Land District
Latitude-Longitude: 49°36'00''N, 119°35'00''W at the approximate population centre of this feature.
Datum: NAD27
NTS Map: 82E/12

Origin Notes and History:

Naramata (Post Office) adopted 6 October 1936 on Ottawa file OBF 1525. Form of name changed to Naramata (Post Office and Steamer Landing) in the 1953 Gazetteer. Form of name changed to Naramata (Community) 28 February 1983 on 82E/12.

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

Naramata Post Office was opened 1 December 1907, J. S. Gillespie postmaster.

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

Named by John Moore Robinson, townsite owner and founder of the place, 1907. He said he got the name "from the denizens of the spirit world through the mediumship of Mrs. J. M. Gillespie, one of the most prominent spiritualistic lecturers and mediums of the American Spiritualistic Church. Big Moose was a Sioux Indian chief, and he dearly loved his wife of whom he spoke in the most endearing terms, and he gave us her name as Narramattah, and he said she was the "Smile of Manitou." It struck me that this would be a good name for our village which I had first thought of calling Brighton Beach. We therefore cut out the unnecessary letters and called the town Naramata." (Ok. 6:143), Later research, however, suggests that perhaps Mrs. Gillespie unconsciously drew the name from an Australian source, since "naramatta" in aboriginal Australian dialect means "place of water." Her first husband had lived in Australia. Previously the place was called East Summerland. A ferry ran [across Okanagan Lake] from Summerland in 1907. (12th Report of the Okanagan Historical Society, 1948, citing Ok 6:143; Mrs. Georgina Maisonville; Andrew, 16)

Source: included with note