McDonalds Landing on the North Shore of Kootenay Lake was named after Duncan A. McDonald from Tobacco Plains, Mont., who filed a pre-emption for Lot 4396 on July 7, 1894. He had mining claims around Nelson beginning in 1890-91, but other than that we can’t say much with certainty.
The 1898 BC voters list has 11 men named Duncan McDonald, including carpenters in Nelson, Kaslo, and Lillooet, a miner in Kaslo, and a Nelson rancher, who is presumably our man.
He might have been the Duncan McDonald who in the 1870s was in charge of a Hudson’s Bay trading post and for whom Lake McDonald in Glacier National Park was named.
McDonalds Landing appeared on the CPR timetable by May 1914. The floating wharf was about 6.5 miles east of the Nelson ferry landing, or 7.5 miles east of the Nelson city wharf. Until recently a sign designated McDonalds Landing as a federal government wharf. However, it was transferred to the Regional District of Central Kootenay in 2012.
The area is now much more commonly known as Six Mile.
This stop on the Kaslo and Slocan Railway, also known as McGuigan Station and McGuigan Siding, was named for John George (Jack) McGuigan (1858-1901), one of the group who staked the Noble Five and other claims on Payne Mountain at the start of the Silvery Slocan rush.
According to Don Blake in Valley of the Ghosts, “When the K&S put their line through to Sandon in 1895, they put a siding in at McGuigan Creek and called it McGuigan’s Siding, later dropping the S.”
McGuigan appeared on the first K&S timetable, dated Nov. 25, 1895, and was also mentioned in the Victoria Daily Colonist of March 19, 1896: “On Wednesday a gang of snow shovelers on the K&S railway got up on the snow bank at McGuigan siding to allow the Sandon express to pass.”
An application for a post office at McGuigan was filed on Oct. 6, 1896. It opened May 1, 1897, closed in 1904, reopened in 1906, and closed again in 1910.
The name is no longer widely used, although McGuigan Creek — which appears on Perry’s Mining Map of 1893, remains on the books. The map also shows McGuigan Lake, first mentioned in the Ainsworth Hot Springs News of July 27, 1892: “A.S. Farwell is now surveying a townsite at McGuigan lake, close to the Washington.” (This obscure townsite was named for another member of the Noble Five. We’ll get to it later in this series.) McGuigan Lake isn’t an official name, however.
Jack McGuigan hailed from Edwardsburgh, Grenville County, Ont. Several of his siblings came west, including elder brother Thomas, who was also involved in early mining in the Slocan.
Jack met a bitter end: in 1901 he fell from the fourth storey of the Imperial Hotel in Portland and fractured his skull. Although initially expected to recover, he died in hospital a week later. He’d gone to Oregon about a year and a half earlier to develop a gold property. His mother dedicated a window in his honor at St. Joseph’s church in Spokane.
The stream that this community near the north end of Kootenay Lake was named after appears on Perry’s Mining Map of 1893 and was mentioned in the Kaslo Slocan Examiner of May 13, 1893 and Nelson Tribune of May 25, 1893. The latter said: “The route of the proposed trail from the mouth of Meadow creek to Duncan river is now overflowed …”
The Mining Record of October 1903 stated “the lower part [of Meadow Creek] flows through extensive low-lying flats or ‘meadows’ upon which a number of cattle are pastured.”
The Meadow Creek post office opened in 1967 — but only after the names Marblehead and Duncan Dam were rejected, as explained in this column last week.
Nearby Meadow Mountain, named long after the creek, is aptly christened in its own right, for its summit boasts impressive alpine meadows.