Craigellachie

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
Pronounced: craig el AH-kee
Relative Location: Between Revelstoke and Sicamous, Kamloops Division Yale Land District
Latitude-Longitude: 50°58'00''N, 118°43'00''W at the approximate population centre of this feature.
Datum: NAD27
NTS Map: 82L/15

Origin Notes and History:

Craigellachie (Post Office and Station) adopted 30 September 1932 on 82L/NE, as labelled on BC map 1EM, 1915.

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

Craigellachie Post Office was opened 1 February 1895; closed and relocated as Malakwa Post Office 1 June 1903; Craigellachie Post Office re-opened 1 September 1912.

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

Craigellachie is the name of a high rock in the valley of the Spey, in Morayshire, Scotland. In the days of the clansmen, a sentinel kept watch here against all enemies; the lighting of a beaconfire summoned the Clan Grant to battle.The battle cry of the Grants' was "Stand fast, Craigellachie". Elsewhere, Craigellachie, from the Gaelic creag-eagalach, can be translated as "rock of dread/terror/alarm". (Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland, 1901) In 1884 when the finances of the Canadian Pacific Railway were desperate, George Stephen (later Lord Mount Stephen) journeyed to London to secure funds for completion of the main line; he succeeded in raising £ 50,000 by guaranteeing that he, his cousin Donald Smith (later Lord Strathcona), and R.B. Angus would personally be responsible if the railway defaulted. Stephen wired his associates, who both knew of the rock in Scotland, "Stand fast, Craigellachie." It was here the following year that the last spike in the Canadian Pacific Railway transcontinental line was driven by CPR President Donald Smith, 7 November 1885. Also present: CPR General Manager William Van Horne; chief engineer Sandford Fleming; Major A.B. Rogers, 'discoverer' of Rogers Pass; and a few other company officials. No public officials were present (the Governor General of Canada, Lord Lansdowne, had planned to be present, but was called back to Ottawa). CPR's photo of the ceremony is published in Canadian Alpine Journal, vol XXVI, 1938, opp.p.84; additional photos of ceremony reprinted in Equinox magazine, January 1998, p.26.

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

"When George Stephen was in England in 1884, and Donald Smith was in Montreal, Stephen sent his cousin Smith a telegram of encouragement as he was in the process of obtaining more funds for the railroad. The rock was known to the two cousins when they were children in the neighbourhood and the words of the telegram were merely "Stand fast, Craigellachie." (Gibbon, J.M., Steel of Empire, New Yrod, 1935, p.278) The place chosen to drive the last spike of the CRP was on the Eagle Pass, discovered twenty years before by Walter Moberly, and named "Craigellachie" in memory of the historic telegram from Stephen to Smith (ibid, p.294)

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

Named by Lord Strathcona after a village in Banffshire, Scotland. This word is also the Scottish war cry, or slogan of the Grant Clan, meaning "stand fast", or "stand sure". (from: Tenth Report of the Okanagan Historical Society, p.36)

Source: included with note