Feature Type:Town - A populated place with legally defined boundaries, incorporated as a town municipality under the provincial Municipal Act.
Name Authority: BC Geographical Names Office
Relative Location: At confluence of Similkameen and Tulameen Rivers, between Hope and Penticton, Yale Division Yale Land District
Latitude-Longitude: 49°27'36"N, 120°30'28"W at the approximate location of the Municipal Hall.
Datum: WGS84
NTS Map: 92H/7
Related Maps: 92H/7

Origin Notes and History:

Princeton (Post Office & Railway Station) adopted 6 October 1936 on Geological Survey sheet 421A. Incorporated as a Village Municipality 11 September 1951. Re-incorporated as a Town Municipality 21 September 1978. Boundary amendment effective 19 May 1993, gazette date 22 July 1993.

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

"The name Princeton was given to this place by Governor Douglas during his visit to the Similkameen Valley in 1863 [sic], and was doubtless suggested by the visit of the Prince of Wales to Canada in that year." (11 October 1905 letter from Princeton postmaster Ernest Waterman)

Source: Chief Geographer's Place Name Survey, 1905 (letters from BC Postmasters to James White, Canada's Chief Geographer)

Labelled "Princetown" on Epner's "Map of the Gold Regions in British Columbia" (1862); labelled "Princeton" on Palliser's "A general map of the route in British North America" (1865), and on Alexander Caulfield Anderson's manuscript (1876); mentioned in G.M. Dawson's Progress Report 1877-78 as "Princeton or Vermilion Forks". Anderson also recorded the following names for this site, so-labelled on Lecount's map of the Gold Regions on the Fraser River compiled from Anderson's notes (original held in Surveyor General vault, Tray 2, Original maps): Zoch-a-meen, Klot-a-meen, Red Earth Fork. See also the municipality's own website.

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

Close to here, on the banks of the Tulameen River, is an outcropping of red ochre, prized by the Indians for face paint. This deposit accounts for the early names of "Vermilion Forks" and "Red Earth Forks" given to the settlement which grew up near the junction of the Tulameen and Similkameen Rivers. It was also known as "Similkameen" and "Allison's". The name of Princeton dates from 1860 when Governor Douglas gave this name to the new townsite which had been laid out below the forks. Douglas chose this name in honour of the Prince of Wales (later Edward II) who had visited eastern Canada that year. "Princetown" is a not infrequent early spelling of the name.

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