101 - 310 Ward Street
British Columbia Tourism Region : Kootenay Rockies
- Nelson - Started as a mining camp after the staking in 1886 of the Silver King claim on Toad Mountain.
- Known briefly as Salisbury after the Marquess of Salisbury, Prime Minister of Britain, and as Stanley, after Lord Stanley, the Governor-General of Canada.
- Finally, in 1888, the town was named Nelson after Hugh Nelson (1830-93), then Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia.
- Nelson was a leading businessman back in the Crown Colony period. He was associated with Wells Fargo during the Cariboo gold rush, and from 1866 to 1882 he was vice-president and general manager of the Moodyville sawmill in present-day North Vancouver.
- Nelson was an ardent champion of confederation with Canada, and when British Columbia entered the dominion, he became the first MP for New Westminster, being elected by acclamation.
- He entered the Senate in 1879 and was appointed Lieutenant-Governor of British Columbia in 1887. He retired because of ill health in 1892 and died in England in 1893, having gone there in search of a cure.
- Sproule Creek - Named after Robert E. Sproule (or Sprowle), who in 1882 staked the very rich galena ledge, which he named the Bluebell claim.
- Unfortunately there was no mining recorder close enough to be reached during the seventy-two hours that the law then permitted a man to be absent from a claim for filing purposes.
- Later that year a young Cornish prospector, Thomas Hammil, working for the American capitalist Ainsworth, staked the same area and induced the gold commissioner at Wild Horse to come to Kootenay Lake and record his claim.
- In the ensuing litigation, a decision was given at Nelson in favour of Sproule. Ainsworth's lawyers took the case to the Supreme Court in Victoria, where the verdict was reversed.
- Driven out of his mind with anger, Sproule went to the Bluebell claim, where Hammil had started work, and, shooting from ambush, fatally injured him.
- Sproule was captured while trying to escape to the United States, tried, and hanged.
- Toad Mountain - On 27 July 1887, a prospector, Charlie Townsend, sat down on a log here to fill out his location notice for a promising claim.
- When he reached the phrase 'situated on,' a great toad jumped into sight. He then wrote down 'Toad Mountain' since, up to then, this mountain had been nameless.
- 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/NelsonBritishColumbia