The Peter and Gertrud Klopp Family Project

Reflections on Life, Family and Community

Kokanee’s Name Spread Far and Wide

4

The Origin Of Kokanee’s Name

Article Credit: Arrow Lakes News (December 3, 2015)

by Greg Nesteroff
One hundred and fourth in an alphabetical series on West Kootenay/Boundary place names

In addition to being a fish and a popular beer, kokanee is the name of 14 geographic features in BC: a settlement, bay, creek, two provincial parks, glacier, recreation area, lake, landing, narrows, pass, peak, point, and range. As a result, it’s probably this areas most widely used indigenous word. Kokanee is derived from kekenit the Sinixt term for the landlocked salmon once plentiful in this region. (There’s no need to capitalize kokanee when referring to the fish, al­though many people do anyway.)

Kokanee spawning at Taite Creek

Kokanee spawning at Taite Creek

However, when Europeans first adopted the word, they didn’t know its definition. The earliest reference in the Nelson Miner of June 15, 1895 said: “The jagged ridge visible from Nelson away up the lake to the North-East is Ko-ko-nee, of the meaning of which we are sorry to say, we are ignorant”. The present spelling was adopted the follow­ing year when the Columbia and Kootenay Steam Navigation Co. launched the SS Kokanee on Kootenay Lake. The Trail Creek News of March 21, 1896 explained the name was “after the range of mountains near Nelson.”

Kokanee Creek, also known as YuiU Creek, was so named by October 1896 and a town site called Kokanee was laid out at its head, adjoining the Molly Gibson mine. The Sandon Pay streak of Aug. 14, 1897 kidded that “its inhabitants, when they become numerous enough to need a name, will be called the Kokakanucks.” Kokanee Glacier was first called by that name in The Ledge of lune 17, 1897. After climbing the glacier in the fall of 1898, mining promoter Ernest Mansfield renamed it after Lord Kitchener, but following his departure from the area in 1901, it reverted to Kokanee. Near the spot that the creek emptied into the lake was Kokanee Landing, first mentioned in the Nelson Tribune of April 9, 1899. The earliest known reference to kokanee mean­ing the fish was in a promotional booklet produced in late 1899 or early 1900 called Health and Wealth: Kaslo, BC: “During summer months in many streams emptying into Kootenay Lake, spearing a peculiar red fish of the trout species, called by the Indians ‘Kokanee is quite an amusement. Long strings of these are frequently seen.”

Biene Klopp hiking with me in Kokanee Glacier Park

My wife hiking with me in Kokanee Glacier Park 2001

Somewhere along the West Arm of Kootenay Lake — probably at Lasca Creek, directly oppo­site Kokanee Creek — was what the Sinixt called Yaksakukeni: place of many kokanee. However, it was many more years before kokanee was com­monly used by European settlers to refer to the fish. Two Kokanee post offices existed, the first ap­parently at the townsite, from 1902-11, and an­other at the landing, from 1911-15.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Biene’s Nephews Norbert and Christian at Kaslo 2005

But what made kokanee a household word be­yond West Kootenay was a conversation between Nelson mayor Tom Shorthouse and H.F. Puder of Interior Breweries in 1959 about the company’s recent move from Nelson to Creston. Shorthouse pointed to the potential of Kokanee Glacier Park — created in 1922 — as a tourist attraction and sug­gested the company name a beer brand Kokanee. “This thought really stuck,” Puder told Shorthouse a year later, “and the more the name ‘Kokanee’ was considered, the better we liked it … To you goes full credit for originating the idea and you may be assured that you will be among the first to sample the product.”

Popular Kokanee Beer

Popular Kokanee Beer

Kokanee pilsner beer first appeared in the spring of 1960 with a label featuring a painting of the gla­cier by Vancouver designer George Me Lachlan. While the artwork has changed over the years, it continues to use a glacier motif and remains one of BC’s best-selling brands.

The name has since spread far and wide. Lots of businesses adopted the name — including Kokanee Springs golf resort. There’s a Kokanee Bay in the Cariboo; a Kokanee elementary school near Seattle; and streets named Kokanee in Nelson, Cranbrook, Vancouver, Whitehorse, Ontario, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Colorado, California, and New Mexico. Most of these were presumably taken out of atlases and don’t have anything to do with our area, but there’s a Kokanee Bend fishing area in Montana.

4 thoughts on “Kokanee’s Name Spread Far and Wide

    1. Peter Klopp Post author

      Ich muß dir ausnahmsweise mal recht geben. Das deutsche Bier ist wirklich besser. Aber selbst da gibt es Ausnahmen. Lies bitte meinen Post zum Wochenende über das koblenzer Bier, das Soldatenbier aus meiner Jugendzeit.

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Applegate Genealogy

Helping others discover their roots

Poetry and Prose

From soul to soul

Little Fears

Tales of humour, whimsy and courgettes

daleducatte

"Pay attention to the world" -- Susan Sontag

DeepAsThoughts

My Mind Space

Susan Rushton

Celebrating gardens, nature, photography and a creative life

Backyard Photographer

Spark creativity by capturing the world around you one photo at a time

PETER GRAARUP WESTERGAARD

Independent blog about literature, philosophy and society in words and images

The Hejhej blog

Another blog that you dont need

The Flowers of Art

In the kingdom of life, with the strokes of the brush, the bow and the pen, artists have sowed their hearts to contrive, fields rivalling in beauty the Garden of Eden.

The Timeless Treasure

A Sneak Peek of My Life !!!

Theresa J. Barker

science fiction writer

Jupp Kappius

Zur Erinnerung an Josef "Jupp" Kappius

Calmgrove

Exploring the world of ideas through books

Sophie und ihre Welt

Bücher - Zitate - Musik - Literatur - Philosophie - Worte - Ohrensessel-Gedanken - Momentaufnahmen - Bilder - Fotos - Werken

A Walk to Stressfree Life

be thankful for this blessed life!!!

Karolina Górska & Piotr Jurkiewicz

fotografia z naszej perspektywy

Melissa Blue Fine Art

Celebrating the Healing Beauty of Nature

The Peter and Gertrud Klopp Family Project

Reflections on Life, Family and Community

a little bit of Ingrid

the little things, the little moments...they aren't little!

MaritimeMac

Go Explore

Inspire me

Love, Relationship, Lifestyle, Purpose, Marriage & Family

Travelling around the world

Traveller, photography

Intrepid Venture

Exploring the realms of the arts, sciences and politics

sandsoftime10

A peek into Megha's mind

Candid Chicana

Chicano Culture, Self-Development & More

Frank Solanki

If you want to be a hero well just follow me

Plants and Beyond

Green Plants Based Living and Gardening

Zimmerbitch

age is just a (biggish) number

Think Ahead

Des' Online Journal

witlessdatingafterfifty

Relationships reveal our hearts.

Wondering and Wandering

"How vain it is to sit down to write when you have not stood up to live! Methinks that the moment my legs begin to move my thoughts begin to flow..." --Henry David Thoreau, August 19, 1851

Frau Stich-Schlinge

handGemachtes & allerlei Tüddellütt

Stella, oh, Stella

Garten - Reisen - Lesen - Musik - Handarbeiten - Motorbike no more! - Wandern ...

My Fragmented Narrative

rants and ramblings freshly served

rabbitpatchdiarycom

comfort and joy from my home to yours

mommermom

......one moms journey

Find Your Middle Ground

"Life is a series of highs and lows. Be grateful for the highs. Be graceful in the lows. Enjoy life fully and find contentment in your Middle Ground" Val Boyko

This Much I Know

exploring life now that our small people have all grown up

the creative life in between

cherishing the moments and exploring my passion for creativity... through art, photography, food, and writing

%d bloggers like this: