Lytton (Village) / Botanie Mountain / Jackass Mountain / Kwoiek Creek

Phone : (250) 455-2355
Your Host(s) : Municipal Administration

Lytton, BC (Nearby: Kanaka Bar, Boothroyd, Spences Bridge, Chaumox, Canyon Alpine)

  • Botanie Mountain
  • Jackass Mountain
  • Kwoiek Creek
  • Lytton

380 Main Street
Lytton, British Columbia
V0K 1Z0

British Columbia Tourism Region : Thompson Okanagan

Description From Owner:
  • The meaning of the name of this important food-gathering area of the Thompson Indians has frequently been given as 'perpetual root place.'
  • However, the true meaning, according to Annie York, who spoke the Thompson language, is 'covered' (by plants with edible roots).
  • An alternative translation given by an elderly Thompson woman is that it means 'walled, enclosed all around.'
  • Certainly this is a good description of the deep valleys that surround most of Botanie Mountain.
  • James Teit, in his fine work 'The Thompson Indians of B.C., wrote that 'Botani Valley ... has been from time immemorial a gathering-place for the upper divisions of the IThompson] tribe, chiefly for root-digging during the months of May and June.
  • Sometimes over a thousand Indians, representing all the divisions of the tribe, would gather there.' G.M. Dawson remarked in 1891 that the root chiefly sought was that of the tiger lily (L columbianum).
  • Note the spelling of Bootahnie Indian Reserve, which gives a clue to the Indian pronunciation of the name.
  • Jackass Mountain - The old Cariboo Road, narrow and without any protective parapet, came around a corner here with a drop of 500 feet to the Fraser below.
  • According to an old story, a frightened woman passenger screamed at Steve Tingley, the famous driver of the Cariboo coach, 'What happens if we go over the edge, Mr. Tingley?'
  • To which he replied imperturbably, 'Lady, that all depends on what sort of life you've been leading.'
  • Among those things that did go over the edge in the days before the trail was widened into a road was a jackass laden with miners' goods, presumably en route to the Cariboo goldfields.
  • Kwoiek Creek - From the Thompson Indian word meaning 'gouged out,' referring to a large chunk missing from the canyon wall.
  • Lytton - Site of the Indian village of Camchin. Camchin, a Thompson Indian word, means either 'cross mouth' (referring to crossing the mouth of the Thompson River) or 'shelf that crosses over,' there being flat areas on both sides of the Fraser River.
  • The short-lived HBC'S Fort Dallas was also located here. On 11 November 1858, Governor Douglas wrote that, 'as a merited compliment and mark of respect,' he had named the settlement after Sir Edward Bulwer-Lytton, Secretary of State for the Colonies.
  • Colonel Moody observed somewhat pessimistically, 'It will require much perseverance and determination on our parts to prevent 'Lytton' becoming fixed as 'Lyttonville' or 'Lytton City'. The latter is not bad, if it was not so intensely American.'
  • Sir Edward Bulwer-Lytton (1803-73) is remembered today chiefly as a novelist and dramatist. Among his many works are The Last Days of Pompeii and Richelieu. As Colonial Secretary he took a real interest in the infant colony of British Columbia.
  • When the first detachment of Royal Engineers sailed from Southampton in 1858, he travelled down to Cowes and boarded the ship for a visit, during which he spoke to the men, emphasizing his concern for their welfare and his feeling they had to exert.
  • With permission from G.P.V and Helen B. Akrigg 1997 British Columbia Place Names. UBC Press.

Kwoiek Creek

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  • Nicoamen River

  • Some say that Nicoamen is from the Thompson Indian word meaning 'wolf and that the river was so named because the water comes from a lake named 'wolf lake or water' or 'wolfs den.' On the other hand, an Indian informant told Dr. L.C. Thompson, a linguist from the University of Hawaii, that Nicoamen is derived from a word meaning 'means of carving out a valley' (probably referring to the stream). It was just downstream from the confluence of the Nicoamen and Thompson Rivers that gold was discovered in 1856, an event that resulted in the Fraser River gold rush of 1858.

  • Nicoamen River

  • Skihist Mountain

  • From a Thompson Indian name that can be translated as 'great crack between rocks' or 'split rock.' This fine mountain was an important one to the Indians, being in an area where the young people went to train for guardian spirit power. SKIHIST PROVINCIAL PARK on the Trans-Canada Highway east of Lytton is so named because of the fine view it affords of this distant mountain.

  • Stein River

  • This was the name of an old Thompson Indian village at the mouth of the river.

  • Thompson River

  • Named after David Thompson, the famous explorer, who in fact never saw it. The river was given its name by Simon Fraser, who, when he reached the junction ofthe Fraser with the Thompson on 20 June 1808, wrote in his journal: 'These forks the natives call Camchin, and [they] are formed by a large river which is the same spoken of so often by our friend the old chief. From an idea that our friends of the Fort des Prairies department are established upon the source of it, among the mountains, we gave it the name of Thompson's River.' Actually Thompson had built Kootenae House the previous year on the upper reaches of the Columbia River. By a pleasing symmetry, it was Thompson who later gave the Fraser River its name.

    David Thompson (1770-1857) came to Canada in 1784 as an apprentice in the service of the H BC. Partly self-trained, he became an amazingly proficient surveyor and switched to the service of the NWC as an 'astronomer' in 1797. In 1807, en route to the upper Columbia, he became the first white man to cross the Rockies by Howse Pass. In 1811 he became the first white man to use Athabasca Pass. On this second journey, he took a somewhat roundabout route to get to the mouth of the Columbia, where he arrived at Fort Astoria only a few months after it had been founded by the American-owned Pacific Fur Company. Had Thompson followed his instructions more promptly, he would have arrived there first and deprived the Americans of a major part of that weak case by which they secured, from a not particularly concerned Great Britain, the country lying between the lower Columbia and the present international boundary.

    A person who met Thompson in 1817 described him thus: A singular looking person of about fifty. He was plainly dressed, quiet and observant. His figure was short and compact, and his black hair was worn long all round, and cut square, as if by one stroke of the shears, just above the eyebrows. His complexion was of the gardener's ruddy brown, while the expression of deeply furrowed features was friendly and intelligent, but his cut-short nose gave him an odd look. His speech betrayed the Welshman. The South Thompson was at one time known as the Shuswap River and the North Thompson simply as the North River.

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Nearby Lakes and Mountains:
  • Klowa Mountain, 11km
  • Botanie Mountain, 16km
  • Mount Roach, 10km
  • Nikaia Mountain, 12km
  • Kanaka Mountain, 14km
  • Botanie Lake, 17km
  • Mount Lytton, 13km
  • Jackass Mountain, 18km
  • Akasik Mountain, 13km
  • Pyramid Mountain, 17km
  • Kwoiek Lake, 17km
  • Pasulko Lake, 22km
  • Skwaha Lake, 21km
  • Stein Mountain, 18km
  • Turnip Lake, 25km
  • Arthur Seat, 22km
  • Frances Lake, 25km
  • Hannah Lake, 25km
  • Fishblue Lake, 27km
  • Kwoiek Needle, 23km
  • Evenglow Mountain, 21km
  • Kokwaskey Lake, 22km
  • Murray Peak, 32km
  • John George Lake, 22km
  • Petlushkwohap Mountain, 20km
  • The Nipple, 32km
  • Siwhe Mountain, 23km
  • Zakwaski Mountain, 22km
  • Mount Laughlan, 33km
  • Chochiwa Lake, 24km
  • Klept Lake, 23km
  • Soap Lake, 25km
  • Antimony Lake, 22km
  • Kha Lake, 23km
  • Nsatiscou Lake, 23km
  • Claimpost Peak, 23km
  • Longslog Mountain, 27km
  • Antimony Mountain, 23km
  • Nahatlatch Lake, 31km
  • Kukismous Lake, 23km
  • Skihist Mountain, 23km
  • Anischeldt Lake, 24km
  • Tzequa Lakes, 27km
  • Lookout Point, 37km
  • Tachewana Peak, 29km
  • Meadow Lake, 26km
  • Devils Lake, 29km
  • Curd Mountain, 27km
  • Kent Lake, 25km
  • Askom Mountain, 33km