Thompson 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 W from Kamloops, then S and W into Fraser River at Lytton, Kamloops Division Yale Land District
Latitude-Longitude: 50°14'08''N, 121°34'57''W at the approximate mouth of this feature.
Datum: NAD83
NTS Map: 92I/4
Related Maps: 92I/10
92I/11
92I/14
92I/3
92I/4
92I/6
92I/9

Origin Notes and History:

Adopted 3 March 1925, as labelled on Trutch's 1871 map of BC, etc.

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

"Named in 1808 by Simon Fraser, NWC, during his descent of the Fraser River to its mouth; after David Thompson, Canada's great geographer. A charity pupil at Grey Coat School, London, he was apprenticed to the Hudson's Bay Company in 1784; joined the Northwest Company in 1797; explored the length of Columbia River, 1811; British-American Boundary survey, 1815-24. Died of poverty at Longuineil, Quebec, in 1857, age 87. Thompson himself was never on any of the three Thompson Rivers." [ie. Thompson, North Thompson, South Thompson Rivers]

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

After David Thompson (1770-1857), who in 1807 built Kootenay House, near Wilmer - the first trading post on the Columbia River. Thompson identified this particular watercourse as "Sheewap River" on his own Map of the North West Territory of the Province of Canada, drawn for McGillivray, 1813-14.

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

"David Thompson was called Koo-Koo-Sint, the star-gazer.... He was Canada's greatest geographer, an excellent astronomical surveyor and a complete map-maker. Thompson was born of Welsh parents in London in 1770, and was educated at the Grey Coat School for Pauper Boys in mathematics and navigation, for preparation as an articled apprentice with the Hudson's Bay Company. He sailed to Churchill Factory in 1784 and was trained during the winter of 1789-90 by Philip Turnor, astronomical survey for HBC. Hence, Thompson began his daily astronomical observations of the sun, moon and stars, together with temperature, wind force and direction, climate and geography, which would fill 39 journals, 11 books of survey notes, numerous maps and finally his Narrative book. In 1807, Thompson crossed the Great Divide of the Rocky Mountains at Howse Pass... From 1816 to 1826 he was the British Astronomical Surveyor on the US-Canada Boundary Commission." (© WilCum Leith, historian, Montrose, BC)

Source: included with note

Source of the Thompson River is the junction of the North Thompson and South Thompson Rivers, at Kamloops.

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