Bella Coola

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: Head of North Bentinck Arm, W of S end Tweedsmuir Provincial Park, Range 3 Coast Land District
Latitude-Longitude: 52°23'00''N, 126°45'00''W at the approximate population centre of this feature.
Datum: NAD27
NTS Map: 93D/7

Origin Notes and History:

Bella Coola (settlement) adopted in the 18th Report of the Geographic Board of Canada, 31 March 1924; form of name changed to Bella Coola (community) 15 December 1982.

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

Bella Coola Post Office opened 1 March 1895.

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

"Apparently Sir Alexander Mackenzie travelled down the route traversed by the present summer trail, on his way to the Pacific in 1793. The chart attached to his narrative makes it clear that he struck the Pacific at Bella Coola, which he called Pascall's Village..." (R.P. Bishop, BCLS, 1913 BC Land Report p.333).

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

Spanish for "Beautiful valley, but how did it get the name? Probably came from Indian expression "bella coola wind" referring to the cold wind from that direction in winter. (23 March 1932 letter from Rev. R.B. Beavis, Wisetown, Saskatchewan to Rev. J. Goodfellow; Beavis was in charge at Bella Bella for about 10 years after its founding by Rev.W.H. Pierce.)

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

Parks Canada has installed a National Historic Site monument here: "Alexander Mackenzie of the North West Company, with nine companions, reached this place on July 21, 1793."

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