Pend-d'Oreille River

Feature Type:River - Watercourse of variable size, which has tributaries and flows into a body of water or a larger watercourse.
Status:
Name Authority: BC Geographical Names Office
Relative Location: Flows NW from Washington, thence W into Columbia River at Waneta, just S of Trail, Kootenay Land District
Latitude-Longitude: 49°00'14''N, 117°37'06''W at the approximate mouth of this feature.
Datum: NAD83
NTS Map: 82F/4

Origin Notes and History:

Pend d'Oreille River adopted 6 March 1913 on Ottawa file OBF 0064; not "Clark Fork" as named on earlier maps & docs. Form of name changed to Pend-d'Oreille River (with hyphen) 3 November 1932 on 82F/3. Confirmed 1 December 1949 on Columbia River Basin manuscript #23.

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

Labelled Pend D'Oreille River on Trutch's 1871 map of BC. Labelled Clark Fork & Clark River on International Boundary sheet #13, 1913. "Pend-d'Oreille River (not Bitter Root, Clark, Deer Lodge, Hellgate, Missoula, Pend Oreille nor Silver Bow)" identified in the 15th Report of the Geographic Board of Canada, 31 March 1917. [specific maps/documents containing these variations are not cited]

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

Flows NW across the BC-Washington boundary at 49 00 - 117 21. The name is spelled "Pend Oreille" in the United States. In 1980 the US Board on Geographic Names proposed that the Canadian spelling be changed to match the American spelling (USBGN Docket 253). Rejected by the Geographical Names Board of Canada - the Canadian spelling will be retained.

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

Refers to the Kalispel, a Salish tribe who originally inhabited the Washington-Idaho area of this watershed. Pend-d'Oreille is a corruption of the French "pendent d'oreille" meaning literally hanging from the ear - the nickname given by French-Canadian fur trappers because of the Indians' habit of wearing shell ear ornaments. The area was sometimes labelled "ear bobs" on early maps.

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

The Waneta Dam near the mouth, and the Seven Mile Dam further upstream have created reservoirs in the valley bottom, but area residents still refer to the entire length (in Canada) as Pend-d'Oreille "River".

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