501 - 3rd Avenue
British Columbia Tourism Region : Kootenay Rockies
- Elk River - This is David Thompson's 'Stag River.'
- Fernie - Originally Coal Creek. Named after William Fernie (1837-1921). An Englishman by birth, Fernie travelled in Australia, New Zealand, and South America before arriving in British Columbia.
- In 1861 he prospected for gold near Revelstoke, later moved on to the Cariboo, and in 1864 arrived at the Wild Horse Creek gold camp.
- The next year he was foreman on the extension of the Dewdney Trail to Wild Horse Creek. Fernie was government agent and mining recorder for the Kootenay district from 1876 to 1882.
- Prospecting in 1887, Fernie discovered coal on one of the tributaries of Michel Creek.
- Further explorations over the next two years by Fernie and his brother Peter resulted in the discovery of the vast coalfields in the Elk River valley and the adjacent areas.
- William Fernie became wealthy through his subsequent association with the Crows Nest Pass Coal Company. According to his own recollections, 'In 1898 the townsite of Fernie was cleared and the site surveyed into streets and lots.
- The town was named after me as being the discoverer of the coal, a director of the company and having had control of all the field work until the work got too big for one man to handle.' Such was the beginning of the Crowsnest coal industry.
- With permission from G.P.V and Helen B. Akrigg 1997 British Columbia Place Names. UBC Press
Address of this page: http://bc.ruralroutes.com/Fernie