Cranbrook

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: W side Kootenay River, SW of Fort Steele, Kootenay Land District
Latitude-Longitude: 49°30'29''N, 115°44'49''W at the approximate location of the Municipal Hall.
Datum: NAD83
NTS Map: 82G/12
Related Maps: 82G/12
82G/5

Origin Notes and History:

Incorporated as a City municipality 1 November 1905; Cranbrook (city) confirmed 4 November 1926 on Geological Survey sheet 297A. See also the municipality's own internet site. Substantial expansion per Order in Council 651, 4 October 2007 - the boundary now extending north to St. Mary River.

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

Cranbrook Post Office was opened 1 July 1886; closed 1 July 1892. When a townsite was laid out in 1897 the name of Cranbrook was chosen for the settlement; Cranbrook Post Office re-opened 1 September 1898. 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

This area was formerly known as Joseph's Prairie after an Indian chief, and here the Kootenay Indian village of A'qkis ga'ktleet once stood. "St. Marys River" and "Josephs Prairie" are labelled on Trutch's 1871 map of British Columbia. Note that St. Mary/St. Mary's River had been named in 1845 by Father DeSmet after the feast day of the Holy Heart of Mary, on which day he had celebrated mass at Tobacco Plains, south of here. [Was the Kootenay Indian chief baptised "Joseph" because of the village's relative proximity to St. Mary River ?]

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

An early colonist, Colonel James Baker, sometime provincial Minister of Education, settled here in 1885 and named his estate Cranbrook Farm, after the little Kentish town of Cranbrook from which he came (advice from W.F. Robertson, Provincial Minerologist, 1908). Colonel Baker's ancestor, Sir John Baker, Speaker of the House of Commons in the reign of Henry VIII, had built the house known as Sissinghurst Place, at Cranbrook, Kent, in 1558.

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

"Site pre-empted by John Thomas Galbraith, 25 March 1872. Named in 1885 after the ranch of Colonel James Baker, later BC minister of education 1892-98 and minister of mines 1895-98, who named it after his old home, Cranbrook, in Kent. Baker died 31 July 1906 at Dorsetshire, England, about 86 years of age."

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

".....there was no settlement to speak of before Colonel Baker arrived, but earlier the place was known as Joseph's Prairie after an Indian chief. The Indians call it yet "Joseph Achnadate". Cranbrook became important in consequence of the opening of the Crowsnest branch of the CPR." (17th Report of the Geographic Board of Canada, 31 March 1921, as provided by R.L. Galbraith, Fort Steele.)

Source: included with note

The traditional name for this site is ?akisqukti?it, pronounced a-kis-kaq-thi it. [meaning/significance not provided] (April 2006 advice from Janice Alpine, Ktunaxa Language Program)

Source: included with note