Two hundred ninety-ninth in a series on West Kootenay/Boundary place names
The original Nakusp townsite was laid out in 1892 by Frank Fletcher, possibly in concert with Arthur E. Hodgins, and is today considered downtown.
It had north-south avenues Beach (today 8th), Columbia (7th), Lake (6th), Pine (5th), Slocan (4th), Grace (3rd), Edith (2nd), Denver (1st), and Nelson (still Nelson), and west-east streets Grahame (now 4th), James (3rd), Arthur (2nd), Francis (1st), Broadway (still Broadway), and Bay (now gone).
Francis Street was presumably named for Frank Fletcher himself, but the namesakes of the other streets remain unknown. They weren’t Fletcher’s immediate family members.
The original street names were largely dispensed with in 1970 and replaced with numbers.
• Glenbank: Although today mostly regarded as a Nakusp suburb, Glenbank was once a separate community. It was founded in 1903, but the earliest mention of the name is in the Revelstoke Mail Herald of Sept. 21, 1910 when tenders were called to build a school there. The southern third joined village limits in 1993.
Glenbank elementary school closed in 2004 but the name is perpetuated in Glenbank Road and the Glenbank cemetery. Glenbank is also still recognized by the BC Geographic Names office as a community.
• Brouse: We’ve previously covered this Nakusp suburb in this series, which is outside village limits. The dividing line between Glenbank and Brouse follows the Nakusp and Slocan Railway right-of-way to where it meets Highway 6 at the Nakusp golf course. The golf course and everything east is Brouse.
The earliest mention of Brouse is on the marriage registration of Engelbert Pieters and Sophia Hoogerwerf, who married at the Brouse church on Nov. 18, 1909.
• Columbia Machinery: Neighbourhood developed north of the original townsite beginning in 1956, in concert with the construction of the current elementary and high schools. It saw 4th Avenue NW extended north, and 3rd Avenue NW and 5th Street NW built at the bottom of Stevie’s Hill. The Columbia Machinery building was eventually surrounded by homes.
• Valhalla: Residential neighbourhood added on the northeast part of town beginning in 1961, north of 4th Street NW on the hill between 3rd and Nelson avenues. It used to be the western access to Glenbank until construction of the Highway 6 bypass in 2000 necessitated removing the northern portion of 3rd Avenue NW.
• Celgar/Hydro: Neighbourhood west of the high school and north of 4th Street NW, subdivided from Celgar-owned land in the early 1960s. It had larger lots that were marketed at those displaced from their homes on the Arrow Lakes by the Keenleyside dam.
• Government Hill: Originally known as the Blyth subdivision, after Dick and Marie Blyth, from whom BC Hydro bought the land. These cul-de-sacs on the east side of Government Hill Road between Nelson Avenue and Highway 6 were developed beginning in 1966.
• New Waterfront: These lots along 10th Avenue NW and Broadway Street, across from Recreation Park, were developed in the 1970s. They were former mill properties owned by Celgar and Uldis Bokis.
• North Nakusp: The village annexed this land in 1973 north of Kuskanax Creek for industrial and public works use. A residential development was added in the 1990s at the far north end (23rd Street NW and 15th Avenue NW).
• Hospital: This neighbourhood, where Arrow Lakes Hospital was built in 1974, was subdivided by pioneer Chinese farmer Sam Henry in 1904 directly east of the original townsite. This added what’s now 1st Avenue NE, 1st Street NE, and 2nd Street NE.
• Columbia Heights: Premier Dave Barrett officially opened this subdivision in 1974 north of the school fields. It was originally intended as a mobile home area to ease a housing shortage in the village, but now has many different types of housing. It’s one of three Columbia Heights neighbourhoods in West Kootenay, along with others in Trail and Robson.
• Crescent Bay: This area, about 1.3 km south of village limits, was surveyed in 1910 by A.L. McCulloch as Crescent Bay Orchards and marketed by the Canadian Dominion Development Co. Ltd. as a fruit growing settlement. But it never fulfilled that promise.
Many buyers bought lots sight unseen, expecting easy access to the lake, when in fact the waterfront lots were few and shallow and the land rose steeply up the mountainside.
The original waterfront was lost following the construction of the Keenleyside dam.
The neighbourhood’s roads include Crescent Bay, Lower Crescent Bay, Bird, Bartley, Beech, Billings, Foxglove, and Waterfield, plus the curiously named Kangaroo Trail.
• Bayview: About 11 kilometers south of Nakusp, this residential subdivision also known as Bayview Estates, was established in 1979. Its roads are Bayview, Donnelly’s, and Bayles.
— With thanks to Kyle Kusch, Arrow Lakes Historical Society