Purcell Mountains

Feature Type:Mountains - Mass of land prominently elevated above the surrounding terrain, bounded by steep slopes and rising to a summit and/or peaks. Plural of Mountain.
Status:
Name Authority: BC Geographical Names Office
Relative Location: From Montana to S end Kinbasket Lake, between Rocky Mountain Trench and Kootenay Lake, Kootenay Land District
Latitude-Longitude: 50°00'00''N, 116°30'00''W at the approximate centre of this feature.
Datum: NAD27
NTS Map: 82K/2
Related Maps:
82F/1 82F/10 82F/15 82F/16
82F/2 82F/7 82F/8 82F/9
82G/12 82G/13 82G/3 82G/4
82G/5 82G/6 82J/4 82J/5
82K/1 82K/10 82K/11 82K/14
82K/15 82K/16 82K/2 82K/7
82K/8 82K/9 82N/2 82N/3
82N/6 MCR003

Origin Notes and History:

Purcell Range adopted 2 April 1918 in "Nomenclature of the Mountains of Western Canada" published with the 16th Report of the Geographic Board of Canada. Form of name changed to Purcell Mountains 7 October 1954, as recommended by geologist Hugh Bostock, GSC, and published in GSC Memoir #247: Physiography of the Canadian Cordillera, 1948.

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

"Columbia Mountains form a great wedge between the Interior Plateau on the west and the Rocky Mountain Trench on the east. They are separable into four major subdivisions, namely Purcell, Selkirk, Monashee and Cariboo Mountains, by great diagonal valleys...." (GSC Memoir #247: Physiography of the Canadian Cordillera, by H.S. Bostock; King's Printer, Ottawa; 1948, p.41)

Source: included with note

Named in 1859 by Dr. James Hector, one of the chief explorers of the Palliser Expedition, after Goodwin Purcell, MD (1817-1876). Dr. Purcell, the last of the O'Leary line, was a noted teacher and professor of Therapeutics and Medical Jurisprudence at Queens University, Cork, and served with Sir Roderick Murchison, James Hector and others on the committee for the selection of personnel for the Palliser expedition. (Thorington, The Purcell Range of British Columbia, AAC, 1946, p.19)

Source: included with note

"Purcell's Range" appears on one of the early Palliser Expedition maps dated 1859 and was evidently named by Captain Palliser himself in 1858. So-labelled on Map of the Palliser Expedition, 1863, and on Trutch's 1871 map of British Columbia, and on numerous subsequent maps including BC Lands' map 1EM, 1915.... (file R.2.27) The Purcell "Range" is distinguished from neighbouring Selkirk Mountains by differing erosion patterns.

Source: BC place name cards, files, correspondence and/or research by BC Chief Geographer/Geographical Names Office.

RE: obituary notice 23 June 1925, Nelson Daily News; incorrectly postulates that these mountains were named for Michael E. Purcell (1857-1925), long-time mining engineer at various Rossland properties.

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