Chilliwack

Feature Type:City - A populated place with legally defined boundaries, incorporated as a city municipality under the provincial Municipal Act.
Status:
Name Authority: BC Geographical Names Office
Relative Location: S side of Fraser River, SW of Hope, New Westminster Land District
Latitude-Longitude: 49°09'28''N, 121°57'03''W at the approximate location of the Municipal Hall.
Datum: NAD83
NTS Map: 92H/4

Origin Notes and History:

The Corporation of the Township of Chilliwhack was incorporated 26 April 1873. The City of Chilliwack was incorporated 21 February 1908. [note the different spellings] "Chilliwack (Town) not Chilliwak, Chilliwhack, Chilukweyuk nor Chiloweyuck" adopted in the 15th Report of the Geographic Board of Canada, 31 March 1917. Re-incorporated as a District Municipality 1 January 1980, being an amalgamation of the City of Chilliwack and the Corporation of the Township of Chilliwhack - the new entity to be called District of Chilliwack. Chilliwack (District Municipality) confirmed 25 September 1980 on 92H/SW. Boundary amendment effective 8 September 1993; confirmed 13 July 1994 on 92 H/4 and 92 G/1. Re-incorporated as a City Municipality per Letters Patent, Order in Council 879, 17 July 1999, published in the British Columbia Gazette 19 August 1999.

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

From Tcil'Qe'uk, a Halkomelem word meaning "valley of many streams"; the name of the Indian tribe that inhabits this area.

Source: Nelson, Denys; Place Names of the Delta of the Fraser River; 1927, unpublished manuscript held in the Provincial Archives

British Admiralty chart 1922 (published in 1868 from surveys by Captain Richards in 1859-60, resurveyed by Captain Pender in 1868) positions an "Old Hudson Bay Co. fishing station" on the left bank of Chiakweyuk River (now Chilliwack Creek); "First establishment on the river" is positioned about 1 mile north, facing the Fraser River.

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

"An Indian name. The first white settlers in the valley arrived in 1862 and adopted the Indian name of the district. The name Chilliwack or Chilliwhack would appear to have actually entered official records when the Yale road was surveyed through the valley in 1864. Information from P.J. Brown, city clerk. Post Office probably opened 1872 as first record appears in Postal Guide, 1873." (17th Report of the Geographic Board of Canada, 1922.) 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

Old name of city: Centreville. Chilliwack is usually said to mean "valley of many streams" and was adopted by the first white settlers who came in 1862. However Rev. Dr. J.H. White of Sardis quotes Chief Billy Sepass as saying that his grandmother told him that in the dialect formerly used, the name meant "the head" ie. "the head of the valley", or "the place of the Head Chief". The original settlement was at the landing place on the Fraser River, Codville's Landing, and the Post Office was established there 8 July 1865; Robert Macdonald first postmaster. Post Office records indicate that the post office was renamed Chilliwack Post Office 1 July 1872. About 1890 the post office was moved to Centreville (where the City was later established) and that name was dropped.

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

"From the Halkomeylem " Tcil'Qe'uk". Hill-Tout says that they are not true members of the Halkomeylen division, though they now speak its tongue. They have a tradition among them that up to a century ago they spoke a different language. At present, the Chilliwack tribe is subdivided into eight separate groups of village communities: SQai, population 30 in 1911; SQaia'lo, population 13 in 1911; A'tsElits, population 4 in 1911; Skauke'l, population 31 in 1911; Yukukeeu's, population 28 in 1911; Tcia'ktEl, population 43 in 1904, and; C'la'lki, an insignificant Chilliwack village."

Source: Nelson, Denys; Place Names of the Delta of the Fraser River; 1927, unpublished manuscript held in the Provincial Archives