What's the story behind Stump Lake?

YOU ASKED: What gives with Stump Lake? I understand the name comes from the fact that stumps of trees were visible after the flooding. Who flooded it?

- John Lion

OUR ANSWER: After a failed cursory search via the Internet, it was apparent this question wasn't going to be found easily, John.

So we called in the experts -this time, Susan Cross, archivist with Kamloops Museum and Archives.

Cross pulled out the tome of all B.C. history tomes, 1001 British Columbia Place Names (Discovery Press, 1969), written by George and Helen Akrigg, which cites the 1877 findings of an early mapper named G.M. Dawson.

"Dawson was one of the first people to come here and map the Interior of B.C.," said Cross.

From Dawson's "Preliminary Report of the Physical and Geological Features of the Southern Portion of the Interior of British Columbia 1877 Montreal, 1879 page 29b," the Akriggs extracted this information:

"Stump Lake or Lac Des Chicots (Lake of Snags) derives its name from the fact that the stumps and the prostrate trunks of trees are found submerged along its edge, and even far out from the shore, showing that it cannot long have occupied this part of the valley."

Dawson's citation goes on to mention the recollections of aboriginal people who inhabited the area. They told Dawson they remembered a time when there was no lake at all.

"It doesn't talk about flooding," says Cross, who suggests the creation of Stump Lake may have been the result of early ranching practices.

It was common in those early years of ranching for landowners to divert water sources through dams and trenches so they could create bodies of water for their cattle.

Without there being ranchers, and waters being displaced, it's unlikely the lake would have been created, said Cross.

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