Whether the names come from the First Nations peoples, the English and Spanish explorers who sailed along BC’s coast, or the fur traders, gold prospectors and settlers, the stories behind the place names reveal much about the places themselves and the history of the province:
– Babine Lake takes its name from the French word for large lip and refers to the former practice of the local First Nations people of inserting half-inch pieces of wood or bone between the teeth and lower lips of their women
– Barkerville was named for Billy Barker, a gold prospector from the Cariboo Gold Rush Days who struck it rich but later died in poverty
– In 1920, the residents of Harper’s Camp voted almost unanimously in favour of changing their community’s name to Horsefly in honour of that pesky insect that visits every summer
– Lulu Island, on which the city of Richmond sits, was named for 16-year old American actress Lulu Sweet who won the hearts of a detachment of Royal Engineers
– Squamish is an anglicization of the Squamish people’s name for themselves, the Skwxwú7mesh, the word means mother of the wind and many refer to the steady wind that blows off Howe Sound into the city
– Vancouver’s famous clothing-optional Wreck Beach was named after three ships that were sunk off its shores in 1928 to create a breakwater for a log-storage site
– Tête Jaune Cache is French for Yellow Head’s hiding place and refers to the yellow-haired Pierre Bostonais, an Iroquois Métis fur trapper and trader who worked as a guide for the North West and Hudson’s Bay companies.