Sumas River
The Sumas River is a tributary of the Fraser River, and flows north from Washington State into the Fraser, east of Abbostford.1 The Sumas takes its name from the Halkomelem word for big flat opening.2
Originally, the Sumas flowed into Sumas Lake, a mosquito-infested body which provided an extremely unpleasant environment for the Royal Engineers working in the Fraser Valley: night and day the hum of these blood-thirsty tyrants was incessant…it was utterly impossible to work or write, one's entire time being occupied in slapping, stamping, grumbling, and savagely slaughtering mosquitos.3 The large, shallow lake was drained in the 1920s to expand agricultural land and to reduce mosquito infestations.4
  • 1. Sumas River, BC Geographical Names Information System.
  • 2. G. P. V. Akrigg and H. B. Akrigg, British Columbia Place Names (Vancouver: UBC Press, 1997), 259.
  • 3. G. P. V. Akrigg and H. B. Akrigg, British Columbia Chronicle, 1847-1871 (Victoria: Discovery Press, 1977), 114.
  • 4. Akrigg and Akrigg, British Columbia Place Names, 259.
Mentions of this place in the documents
Places in this document

Fraser River

The Colonial Despatches Team. Sumas River. The Colonial Despatches of Vancouver Island and British Columbia 1846-1871, Edition 2.2, ed. The Colonial Despatches Team. Victoria, B.C.: University of Victoria.

Last modified: 2020-12-02 13:40:34 -0800 (Wed, 02 Dec 2020) (SVN revision: 5008)