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Friday, July 31, 2015

10 Fascinating Facts About British Columbia's History

With B.C. day coming soon ( the August long weekend) I have sought to put together some rather interesting facts ( 10 to be precise) on our early history and how we came to be what we are today (as well as some extra trivia) . So sit down for 5 minutes and read about where we came from and why we are so fortunate to live in one of the most beautiful places on the planet!

#1 The Pacific Northwest Native Peoples
Due largely to the mild temperature and abundant food supply, the Pacific North West was home to one of “the most rich and complex Native Societies”.  Unlike many other Native groups (including other B.C. Native groups like the Salish and Kutenai), the Pacific North West Indians practiced private ownership of property and even social classes. They also produced professional and brilliant artists who were taught by the masters down through the years.

#2 Captain George Vancouver

In 1778 Captain Cook , after recently discovering Hawaii, was sent by Britain ( in the midst of  the American Revolution no less) to explore the west coast of Canada. Captain Cook and his crew were warmly greeted by the Mowachaht people on the west coast of Vancouver Island and,  asking them what they called the place, they misunderstood each other and he named it “Nootka” .  They traded for otter pelts that eventually made their way to China. Captain George Vancouver would later come along as well thus the name “Vancouver Island”.

Captain George Vancouver

#3 Spain & Russia Too

Have you ever wondered where B.C. got such Spanish sounding place names as “Juan de Fuca” , “Cortes” and “Quadra” ? What many people don’t realize is that the Spanish were the first Europeans to  explore the Pacific North West (The Russians had already laid claim to Alaska)  – in fact they had claimed the entire Pacific Ocean for themselves!  Upon hearing of Cook’s ventures they sent their own entourage to Vancouver Island and captured many British ships who had brought Chinese workers over. In fact, at one point there were “ British prisoners, Spanish swashbucklers, Chinese workers…Natives (and) American traders …all jostling for position on a remote cove on the far side of Vancouver Island.” And to add to all that, Juan de Fuca was actually a Greek sailing under Spain whose real name was Ioánnis Phokás. 

Juan de Fuca (Actually a Greek named Ioánnis Phokás who sailed under Spain)

#4 The Columbia River and District

We all know where the “British” part of B.C.’s name came from but it was the Columbia River and its massive basin that lends its name to the other half of “B.C.”.   At the time the entire territory from present day California to Alaska was referred to as "The Columbia District" by the Hudson's Bay Company and “The Oregon Territory” by the Americans. It was coveted by both the Americans and the British - largely because of the Columbia River trade route that began in the interior of the territory and flowed all the way into the Pacific.

Two Scotsmen and a Welshmen , all intrepid explorers opened up the Interior of B.C.  – Alexander Mackenzie, Simon Fraser and David Thompson. You will recognize their names by the mighty rivers they discovered or had named after them.  The most famous “graffiti” in Canadian history was etched into a boulder by Mackenzie just before  he took off from the Bella Bella territory  “Alex Mackenzie, from Canada, by land, 22nd July 1793”. Another interesting note on the Columbia River – it has a total of 14 dams built on it and produces more hydroelectricity than any other river in North America.

#5 James Douglas Saves Victoria

James Douglas, a senior manager in the Hudson Bay Company and the governor of Vancouver Island  has become known as  “the Father of British Columbia” . He was born in British Guyana to a Scottish father and a Creole mother from Barbados. The border between America and Canada was about to be drawn as a straight line along the 49th parallel  - the only problem was that Vancouver Island dipped below the 49th!  James Douglas founded Ft. Victoria on the south of the island and, in doing so, ensured its inclusion (and some say all of the northern Pacific Coast)  in Canada.

James Douglas

#6 54.40 or Fight

In 1844, James Polk was elected as the U.S. president. One of the slogans that became popular during the election was  “54.40 or Fight”. 54.40 was the latitude of the  border of the Russian territory – in other words, the Americans were bent on owning most of  B.C.  If this had happened, Canada would have no Pacific Coast and we would be a very different country.  You may recognize the term “54.40” – it’s the name of a B.C. rock band (named intentionally for that slogan and its failure to happen).

#7 James Douglas Saves the Mainland

As an emergency response to the influx of American gold miners , James Douglas tightly controlled who could enter the mainland. He actually bluffed his authority over the mainland but was later granted that authority by the British ( easier to attain forgiveness than permission?) . As a result, Mainland B.C. was founded ( by coincidence)  on August 2nd , 1858. Vancouver Island later joined officially with the mainland B.C. as “British Columbia”  in 1866.

"Splendour without Diminishment"

#8 The Cariboo Road

The Cariboo Road (connecting Yale to Barkerville near Prince George) was the result of B.C’s second gold rush. It was a marvel of engineering and a danger to ride – at one point Camels – yes Camels – were imported for the trek. Also worth noting during this time period is judge Matthew Begbie – “the hanging judge”. It was his relentless and fearless pursuit of law and order that prevented the B.C. interior from becoming the “free-for-all” that California had become to the south.

#9 Cosmos, Robson, Seymour
& Democracy

Although James Douglas was the “Father of British Columbia” he was not much for democracy and Responsible Government. Enter two newspaper men ,  Amor de Cosmos (real name: Bill Smith)  and James Robson who led the charge for these two rights. With these two rallying the crowd, the next governor, Frederick Seymour ushered in Responsible Government ( British Columbians governing British Columbians) and democracy.

James Robson

#10 The Last Spike

Canada was forming as a Country in the East. It now included Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Manitoba. Although there was a very small contingent in B.C. who were rallying to join the Americans, the majority decided to join Canada as the 6th province July 20th,  1871 thus creating a country from “sea to sea”.  Later, on November 7th, 1885, Lord Strathcona drove in the last spike of the transcontinental railroad (The Canadian Pacific Railroad which was part of the promise that attracted B.C. to join Confederation) at Craigellachie –between Sicamous and Revelstoke.  

"Give the king thy judgments, O God, and thy righteousness unto the king's son... 
He shall have dominion also from sea to sea, and from the river 
unto the ends of the earth." A Psalm for Solomon 

(Psalm 72 - This passage inspired the official motto of Canada "From Sea to Sea". ) 

 ***Sources: Canadian History for Dummies , Wikipedia,

You May Also Like:

12 Fascinating Facts About the History of Canada

8 Fascinating Facts About Mount Robson: Monarch of the Canadian Rockies (B.C.)

5 Fascinating Facts About Kalamalka Lake: Treasure of the Okanagan


Other Interesting British Columbia Facts:

Expo 86 was B.C's first major global event and spurred on the construction of the Coquihalla Highway and the Vancouver Skytrain system

The 2010 Winter Olympics held in Vancouver / Whistler became the first Olympic games where Canada won gold on its home soil. These games are also credited with giving a massive boost to Canadian patriotism and Canada's place on the international stage.

British Columbia geographical and climate ranges vary from temperate rainforests to Boreal forests, from desert to sub-arctic prairie and from massive mountain ranges to the ocean shore!

Official Flower: Pacific Dogwood

Official Tree: Western Red Cedar

Official Bird: Stellar's Jay

The white Kermode Bear ( also known as the spirit bear) is only found in B.C.

With its film industry known as Hollywood North, the Vancouver region is the third-largest feature film production location in North America, after Los Angeles and New York City.

Largest B.C. cities (metropolitan area 2006):

1) Vancouver    2,313,328
2) Victoria          344,615
3) Kelowna        179,839
4) Abbotsford    170,191
5) Kamloops         98,754
6) Nanaimo           98,021
7) Chilliwack         92,308
8) Prince George 84,232
9) Vernon             58,504
10) Courtenay     55,213

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

5 Facts About the Resurrection of Jesus Christ: Outlining the Evidence

"Jesus Christ was publicly executed in Judea in the 1st Century A.D., under Pontius Pilate, by means of crucifixion, at the behest of the Jewish Sanhedrin. The non-Christian historical accounts of Flavius Josephus, Cornelius Tacitus, Lucian of Samosata, Maimonides and even the Jewish Sanhedrin corroborate the early Christian eyewitness accounts of these important historical aspects of His death."


As a younger Christian I knew that belief in the resurrection of Jesus Christ was an essential part of my Christian faith; however,  I used to think that this belief was largely one of blind faith. As I grew spiritually and intellectually I came to understand that, although this is indeed a miraculous event, the surrounding evidence for it is immense and demands that even the skeptic pay attention. 

One simply has to have the belief that miracles are can happen. Now many claim the miraculous and make a mockery of it in the process. But we have to keep in mind what the evidence indicates and what comes of said miracle - does it simply fade away? or does it stick around but without any credibility for anyone even slightly intellectual? As this very brief 5 point summary hopes to point out, the miracle of the resurrection of Jesus comes with much evidence, has certainly endured the test of time and, somewhat to my youthful surprise, has even stood up to the intellectual. For more in-depth accounts please refer to the "Sources and Further Reading" section at the bottom". 

1) Execution

Jesus was surely dead. He would have been in hypovolemic shock from massive blood loss just from the flagellum beating. The Roman soldiers did not break His legs indicating they knew He was already dead (they usually did this to speed up death). Also they were experts at killing and their own lives would have been in jeopardy if they let a crucifixion victim down alive. Furthermore the spear thrust into His heart “would have settled the matter once and for all” (Dr. Alexander Metherell).


2) Empty Tomb

Everybody agreed in the ancient world that the tomb of Jesus was empty. But how did it become empty? Disciples lacked motive or opportunity - they did not expect Him to be resurrected (also see #5)  and the Jews or Romans would have flaunted the body at the Christians claim of resurrection. 

3) Eye Witnesses

Women in first-century Jewish culture were not given credibility in a court of law; their testimony was not considered reliable. So why [do the gospel writers] say that women discovered the tomb empty, even though it hurts their case in the view of their audience? I believe it's because they were trying to accurately record what actually took place.

He encountered 515 individuals--including people whose lives were changed 180 degrees, from being opposed to Jesus to being supporters of Jesus, because of their encounter with the resurrected Christ.

4) Early Records

1 Corinthians 15:1-6
This creed has been dated back by scholars from a wide range of theological beliefs to as early as 2-3 years after the life of Jesus. Nowhere near enough time for myth or legend to develop (Not to mention the Gospels or Book of Acts). People would still be alive to refute this statement if it did not exist.

Add caption

5) Emergence of the Church

Unlike many martyrs, the disciples would know for a fact if the resurrection was true or just a hoax. They would not willingly suffer and die for what they personally knew to be a lie. 2,000 years later the Church, founded on this truth, is still going strong.

Anthony van Dyck

“I have spent more than 42 years as a defense trial lawyer appearing in many parts of the world and am still in active practice. I have been fortunate to secure a number of successes in jury trials and I say unequivocally the evidence for the Resurrection of Jesus Christ is so overwhelming that it compels acceptance by proof which leaves absolutely no room for doubt.”       Sir Lionel Luckhoo, Famous British Defense Lawyer

Sources & Further Reading: 

Lee Strobel , The Case for Christ ( inc. interviews with Dr Craig Blomberg, Dr. Bruce Metzger, Dr. William Lane Craig, and Dr. Gary Habermas)

The Case For the Resurrection of Jesus by Dr Gary Habermas

Question: "Why should I believe in Christ’s resurrection?" (

Monday, July 27, 2015

Justin Bieber's First Television Appearance: I'm Still Rooting For the Kid

This is more a social post than a historic one. 

Its trendy to hate Justin Bieber these days and, admittedly, he has been acting horribly for the last several years. But keep in mind he was once just a kid.

Personally I hope Justin sees the error of his ways and comes back "home" in the very near future. He is an immense talent and was for many years a generous and kind young man  - and I'm sure he still is underneath the facade. 

“And he arose and came to his father. But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him... ‘for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’
 And they began to be merry.

The Parable of the Prodigal Son, Luke 15:20

Friday, July 24, 2015

4 Fascinating Facts About the Vernon, BC Train Station: Gateway To the City

“The heritage value of the Vernon CPR Station lies in its association with the Canadian Pacific Railway and its role in the settlement and economic growth of Vernon and the Okanagan Valley.”  Vernon Heritage Registry

#1 Shuswap & Okanagan Railway

If you were to stand in front of the old Vernon train station and look to your right you would immediately be struck by a large and impressive mural depicting the building of the Shuswap & Okanagan Railway. This railway was a spur line of the great Transcontinental Railway that united British Columbia with the rest of Canada. The Transcontinental Railway was completed in 1885 and the S & O spur line was finished in 1892 starting in Sicamous and terminating in Okanagan Landing.

In 1886, A group of businessmen including Forbes G. Vernon ( for whom the town is named), Francis Barnard ( of the BX Express fame), J.H. Turner (later a Premier of B.C.), Moses Lumby and J.A. Mara had a vision for this railway and began an enterprise to build it. The S & O railway opened up the entire Okanagan Valley to the world and redefined Vernon as a city. Its historic value to Vernon and the whole of the Okanagan Valley cannot be overstated. 

#2 T.E. Crowell the Builder

Mr. Crowell was a prominent  builder in the early days of Vernon. He is responsible for such historic buildings as the Park School ( now the Okanagan Science Centre), Central School ( now Beairsto School), the Vernon Armouries and many of the landmark houses of the town. 

In 1911, he was given the contract to replace the original 1891 CPR station with the beautiful building we have today. It is a brick building with a fieldstone foundation, pink granite quarried locally and a multi-sided turret. It is known for its “Alpine” or “Swiss” design which was “intended to give visitors a sense of the picturesque and promote tourism as well as settlement”. The street in front of the station became known as "Railway Avenue" (now 29th Street). Today the station houses several different business including the ever popular Ratio Coffee & Pastry . 

#3 The C.N.R  and 
the Kelowna Pacific Railway

In January of 1925 the newly formed Canadian National Railway ( the C.P.R.’s biggest competitor) formed a railway line from Kamloops to Kelowna and in 1926 began passenger service. Despite the competition, the C.N.R. actually shared the Vernon train station with the C.P.R. 

This railway eventually became the Kelowna Pacific Railway in 2000. The track from Vernon to Kelowna is currently planned for a major local and tourist attraction - “The Okanagan Rail Trail”. 

#4 Settlers, Soldiers and Goods

The train station was the gateway into the city for scores of settlers from all around the world - including Lord and Lady Aberdeen who purchased the Coldstream Ranch and began fruit orchards. The station was also the main form of transportation for many people and goods (not the least of which was fruit) out of the city and into the world. 

Lord and Lady Aberdeen

Excerpts from the reports of The Okanagan Historical Society testify to this fact:

“Our love of the land, and its scarcity in England, plus the attractive Canadian Pacific Railway propaganda, lured my husband and I to Canada… We took our tickets for Vernon, B.C., from an agent in Plymouth... A one-way ticket from Plymouth to Vernon 
cost us 87 dollars.” Grace Worth OHSR Volume 33:113

“A large, red dot in the guidebook being designated "Sicamous," they bought tickets for that destination, only to find that the railway station then constituted the "town". They boarded the next train which was the Shuswap and Okanagan Railway branch line, for Vernon. There they were befriended by the mayor, all hotels being full. The owner of Shorts' Point, now Fintry, gave the Newton Brothers work planting 100 acres to fruit trees.”  
OHSR Volume 21:42

“At the age of 70, Joe (Harwood) went back to England. It was a big day for him. His many friends rejoiced with him, for the railway station was packed with well wishers when he set off on his long journey to a land he had left 58 years previously.” OHSR Volume 24:39

Photo Credit: Don Pierce for Ratio Coffee

And the Vernon Heritage Registry notes that… “the Vernon CPR Station was also the point of departure for troops in World War I and II. During both world wars, the Vernon Army Camp was an active training centre for thousands of troops who travelled on the CPR.”

Truly, the "Old Station House" is a civic treasure. 

"Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness..." Isaiah 43:19

You May Also Like:

7 Fascinating Facts About Okanagan Landing, B.C.: Gateway To the Okanagan

Historic Timeline of Greater Vernon, BC

Sources & Further Reading:

Vernon Heritage Registry:

Okanagan Historical Society Reports

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Black Police Chief Leroy Smith Helps a White Supremacist: Loving Your Enemies

'I saw a man who needed some help, and I was going to help him.' Leroy Smith 

In my mind, Leroy Smith performed a simple but historic act. This potent photo captures what it truly means to "Love your enemies". 

Read more at this Mashable Article

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy. But I (Jesus) say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you..." Matthew's Gospel 5:43-44

Monday, July 13, 2015

A Bio-Sketch of Hilda of Whitby: Literacy & Love In Pre-England ( And an Ode To My Grandmother)

When I first stumbled upon the story of Hilda of Whitby the thing I noted was that she had the same name as my grandmother, my father’s mother. As I read more of her life though what really struck me were the similarities she shared with my own Hilda – my grandma. Hilda of Whitby is the patron saint of learning and culture and especially poetry. My grandma is one of the most gifted poets I know. Hilda of Whitby was known for her wisdom and peacemaking. Those qualities resound in my grandma as well. Oh and, of course, Hilda of Whitby was English, something my grandma is also quite proud of. So as I write up this little historical devotional (as I like to call them) it seems clear to me that it must be dedicated to my own grandmother and the influence she has had on me and our extended family. 

St. Hilda was born in the year 614 A.D. into the Deiran Royal family in what is now England. Despite her royal birth her life was quite difficult. Born to Hereric and Breguswith, her father was exiled and poisoned while she was still in infancy. Hilda was then raised in the court of her great uncle Edwin, King of Northumbria (a land that is now covered by northern England and south-east Scotland). 

When Edwin married princess Aethelburh of Kent, Christianity entered the household. Paulinus of York was a Roman monk who was sent to assist the famous missionary Augustine of Canterbury and it was he who was the chaplain for the new Queen. He eventually baptized King Edwin and his household – including the thirteen year old Hilda. 

It is important to understand that in the 7th century there were two main churches in the British Isles – The Celtic Church and the Catholic Church.  The Celtic Church had been around since well before 300 A.D. but had been pushed north and west by the invading Germanic tribes of Angles and Saxons. So while the Celtic Church evangelized the Angles and Saxons from the north and west, the Catholic Church and other churches sent missionaries to the south and east. They eventually begin to intermingle in the middle. At this point in time these churches did not differ in doctrine but rather in practice. One of the main differences was the dates on which they celebrated Easter. 

Now King Edwin eventually fell in battle and Hilda was moved to the Queen’s home in Kent. After this event the historian, Bede, does not mention Hilda again until she is 33 and about to join a nunnery on the European continent. Except she doesn’t.  A Bishop of the Celtic church named Aidan persuaded Hilda to return to Northumbria and help establish convents and monasteries there. Her first convent was located on the River Wear and she was later made Abbess of Hartlepool Abbey.  But it was her appointment as founding Abbess of Whitby Abbey (in what is now North Yorkshire) in 657 that cemented her legacy amongst the heroes of the Faith. 

Remains of Whitby Abbey

The Whitby Monastery was a “double monastery” where the men and women lived in separate quarters but worshiped together. Hilda was the governor of the entire community. The Whitby monastery was known far and wide as a center for English learning and literacy.  All things were held in common ownership and peace and charity were among the most practiced virtues.  Hilda was an adept leader and administrator of the community and always prioritized the study of the Scriptures there.  Her reputation for wisdom spread among the Isles so that many kings and princes, as well as the common folks, would come to her for wisdom. 

Although born into royalty and already a highly respected Abbess, Hilda was never above giving her time and attention to any person of any rank. This was displayed especially when a young herder named Caedmon claimed to have a vision from God that he was to write hymns and poetry. He was brought before Hilda and she asked him to prove the vision by writing a poem of sacred history or doctrine. He succeeded and went on to become the first known vernacular poet in English History. Bede writes “ By his verse the minds of many were often excited to despise the world, and to aspire to heaven.”  If not for Hilda’s attention and encouragement this may never have come to pass. 

As a sign of the respect that the Church had for Hilda and Whitby, King Oswiu chose the monastery for the English Church’s very first synod. Many came there to discuss and decide whether the Celtic or Catholic customs should take precedent in the English Church. In the end, the Catholic customs would prevail. Hilda was obviously in favour of the Celtic customs which she practiced but once it had been decided she used her considerable influence to make peace throughout the Church. 

For the last 7 years of her life Hilda suffered much with a fever but pressed on in her labours for the Lord. She died at Whitby in November of 680 A.D. at the age of sixty-six. Among her last words she exhorted the Whitby community

“to preserve the Gospel peace amongst themselves and toward all others…”

Hilda of Whitby was later canonized as a Saint in the Roman Catholic Church.  But how comforting to know that, in light of the Bible, all of us who have believed on the name of the Lord Jesus are made saints by Him. Not according to our good works but by His mighty work on the cross. My Grandmother, Hilda, is a saint by this latter definition and has always encouraged her family to follow in the steps of her Saviour, the Lord Jesus. Like Hilda of Whitby she is a peacemaker, a lover of poetry, a wise woman and as Bede described St. Hilda, “ All who knew her, called her mother, because of her outstanding devotion and grace.” 

So I’m thankful for the testimony of St. Hilda of Whitby but even more so for that of my grandmother. 

"To me, who am less than the least of all the saints, this grace was given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ..." Ephesians 3:8 

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

6 Fascinating Facts About Kinbasket Lake: Big Bend Country & The Mica Dam Reservoir

Growing up in Valemount, BC, I spent many hours at Kinbasket Lake fishing, having campfires or just exploring the shore and many creeks that entered the lake. My parents would tell me how this lake never used to exist and about a massive hydroelectric dam that was at its end ( we would also look for the hotsprings when the lake levels were low enough). I also heard about how Valemount was part of the Columbia River Basin but I had never heard of, let alone seen, the Columbia River so it was all a little mysterious to me. Thus my inspiration to do a little research and understand more about this creation of nature and man. I hope you enjoy these 6 simple but fascinating facts about Kinbasket Lake. 

#1 The Lake

Long before the Mica Dam was built, Kinbasket Lake was a small natural lake in the Columbia River Valley. After the building of the dam this lake was engulfed and eventually lent its name to the huge reservoir of water we know today as Kinbasket Lake. 

The Kinbasket Lake of today is a 260 kilometre body of water made up of two reaches. The northern reach is known as Canoe Reach, after the Canoe River, and is located just southeast of the village of Valemount, BC.  The Columbia Reach on the southern part of the lake sits north of Revelstoke, BC and descends near to the town of Golden where the Columbia River enters into it.  

The district of land that Kinbasket Lake now fills was once known as The Big Bend Country.

#2 David Thompson & 
The Big Bend Country

After a historic crossing of the Rocky Mountains, the great Canadian explorer and surveyor, David Thompson, eventually found himself at the mouth of the Canoe River where it flowed into the Columbia. He founded a post here in 1811 for the North West fur trade company and begin to experiment with building canoes out of cedar rather than the traditional birch. The reason for this was that there was a low supply of birch in the area and cedar was much stronger – just right for navigating the raging Columbia south of there. 

He named the settlement “Boat Encampment” after his boat building endeavors and it later became a Hudson Bay trading post and an important stop on the famous “York Express” which connected London, England to Ft. Vancouver via the Hudson Bay and various western Canadian rivers. Boat Encampment was named a National Historic Site in 1943.   The cedar plank canoes that Thompson built were later used by the HBC as well. 

#3 The Canoe River – From the North

The Canoe River is a tributary of the larger Columbia River and it originally flowed all the way to the Boat Encampment post where it met the Columbia. In fact, it was David Thompson who named the river – apparently for his canoe building at its mouth. The Canoe’s headwaters are found in the Caribou Mountains just west of Valemount, BC where it picks up steam and flows into Kinbasket Lake just south of Valemount. 

Along the way it lends its name to both a famous local mountain ( with an elevation of 8085 feet) which is the first peak in the Monashee Mountain Range and to the northern reach of Kinbasket Lake. Some of its tributaries include Camp Creek, Yellowjacket Creek, Bulldog Creek, Ptarmigan Creek and Hugh Allen Creek. 

Canoe Mountain - Tourism Valemount

#4 The Columbia River – From the South

The Columbia River begins in Columbia Lake near Invermere and heads north to where it meets the Canoe River. At this point it “bends” all the way around to head south west where it eventually enters the Pacific Ocean at Astoria, Oregon – thus the name The Big Bend Country. 

The Columbia River is the 4th largest river by volume in North America and the largest that drains into the Pacific. It is known as “the Great River of the West” and was originally named after a ship that sailed into its mouth at the Pacific named The Columbia Rediviva. The River lent its name to the HBC District which in turn lent its name to the modern province of British Columbia. 

After the Mica Dam
Before the Mica Dam

#5 The Mica Dam

The Mica Dam was completed in 1973 and thus Kinbasket Lake, as we know it today, was born. The dam is one of the largest earthfill dams in the world and generates 7,202 GWh per year. The dam was named after the nearby village of Mica Creek and was built as part of the Columbia Treaty between Canada and the United States which oversaw the hydroelectric power of the Columbia River.

The Mica Dam is located 135 kilometres north of Revelstoke on the Big Bend Highway ( Highway 23). The waters that are let through the dam form a portion of the Columbia River known as Lake Revelstoke which in turn is held back by the Revelstoke Dam just outside the city. Some of the towns and settlements that are now submerged due to the Mica Dam include: Boat Encampment, Mica, Big Bend, Downie and La Porte. 

#6 Chief Kinbasket

The original small lake known as Kinbasket was named for the Shuswap (Secwepemc) Indian Chief. Walter Moberly in need of a guide down the Columbia sought out the Chief as he recounts in 1866:  

“We crossed the Columbia river, and at a short distance came to a little camp of Shuswap Indians, where I met their headman, Kinbaskit…  I found him always reliable. We ran many rapids and portaged others, then came to a Lake which I named Kinbaskit Lake, much to the old chief’s delight.”

When Mica Dam was first completed it was named McNaughton Lake after Minister of Defense and leading hydroelectricity advocate, General Andrew McNaughton. However, a number of locals objected and the name was eventually changed to Kinbasket in 1980. 

"He cutteth out rivers among the rocks; 
and his eye seeth every precious thing." Job 46:10

Sources & Further Reading: 

UVic Interactive Map:

Spiral Road:

Historic Places:

Jack Nisbett:

History of British Columbia by Hubert Howe pp. 530-539

Epic Wanderer by D'arcy Jenish