Mount Benson

Feature Type:Mount - Variation of Mountain: Mass of land prominently elevated above the surrounding terrain, bounded by steep slopes and rising to a summit and/or peaks. ["Mount" preceding the name usually indicates that the feature is named after a person.]
Status:
Name Authority: BC Geographical Names Office
Relative Location: W. of Nanaimo, Mountain Land District
Latitude-Longitude: 49°08'59''N, 124°03'04''W at the approximate centre of this feature.
Datum: NAD83
NTS Map: 92F/1

Origin Notes and History:

Adopted in the 9th Report of the Geographic Board of Canada, 30 June 1910, as identified in the 1909 BC Gazetteer.

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

Had been labelled "Mount Benson or Wake Siah" on British Admiralty Chart 579, 1860.

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

Named in 1859 by Captain Richards, RN, after his friend Alfred Robson Benson, MD, who was in the Hudson's Bay Company service 1857-62. See Walbran's British Columbia Coast Names for additional information.

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

The Nanaimo Indian name was "Taitookton" (from Country Around Nanaimo, W. Pearse, 1859 (FB 4/59 ph 1)); meaning not given. The Chinook Jargon name was Wake Siah, meaning "not very far (away)".

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

The old Indian name of this mountain was Wak-siah, meaning a short distance away (from Nanaimo). The Indians use the word siah as indicating a long distance, and by prolonging and emphasizing the last syllable, imply a very long distance. The word wak implies comparatively small. (Ottawa file 0177)

Source: Canadian Geographical Names Database, Ottawa

The Nanaimo Indian name for Mount Benson, Wakesiah, means mysterious, sinister or forbidding.

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