Back in Time: Finding the origins of northern place names

When you look at the communities that sit around Flin Flon, it is easy to see that many of them have unique names. Where do these names come from? What are the interesting stories behind them? Today, we are going to dive into the history of the names of the communities that surround Flin Flon.

Flin Flon: Let’s start with the main community itself, which most residents will know. The lead character in the book The Sunless City was called Josiah Flintabbatey Flonatin. He piloted a submarine through a bottomless lake that took him to an underworld lined with gold. When Tom Creighton, who found a copy of the book, discovered a high-grade exposure of copper, he thought about the book and the name.

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Bakers Narrows: This community is named for Bill Baker, the first homesteader in the area. Baker was a trapper from Ontario who settled there with his wife Lydia Paul. At first it was called Bakers Landing, but that name was changed later on.

Denare Beach: Originally called Beaver Lake, Saskatchewan Parks took over the area and changed the name from Beaver/Amisk Lake to Denare Beach. They did this by taking the first two letters of the Department of Natural Resources and came up with Denare Beach.

Creighton: This community gets its name from Thomas Creighton, the same prospector who came up with the name for Flin Flon.

Sherridon: This small community earned its name thanks to the Sherritt Gordon nickel mine, which operated in the area until 1952. The name comes from the first six letters of the first name of the mine, and the last three letters of the second name.

Kinoosao: Located far to the north of Flin Flon, this community gets its name from the Cree word for “fish.” Kinistino, Sask. and Kinuso, Alta. both also take their name from this word.

Sturgeon Landing: The name for this community comes from the abundant sturgeon that were found in the area by settlers.

Cumberland House: The name origin of Cumberland House, one of the most important fur trading forts of the 18th and 19th Centuries, probably comes from Prince Rupert, the Duke of Cumberland from 1617 to 1687, who was the first governor of the Hudson’s Bay Company.

The Pas: When the area was controlled by France, it was named Fort Paskoya, after the people of the Pasquia River. For many years afterwards, the settlement was known as Pascoyac, before eventually becoming Le Pas. This would eventually change to The Pas as the area was settled by English-speaking pioneers during the late 1800s and early 1900s.

Suggestions for columns or questions? E-mail Craig at crwbaird@gmail.com. Listen to his podcast by searching for “Canadian History Ehx” on your podcast platform. Find his show on YouTube by searching for “Canadian History Ehx”.

Information for this column comes from Flin Flon and Wikipedia.

© Copyright Flin Flon Reminder

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