Williams Lake
Williams Lake is a city located halfway between Kamloops and Prince George. Europeans settled the area in 1859, and the name “Williams Lake” could be attributed to one of the early settlers, William Pinchbeck, who ranched and farmed there from 1860 onward.1 However, BCGNIS notes Jack Williams, a Cornish settler, as another source for the name.2 Finally, the name could have originated from the nearby lake, Williams Lake, named after Chief William, a local Secwepemc (Shuswap) leader who is credited with keeping peace between First Nations and miners during the gold rush.3
The settlement expanded in 1919, with the arrival of the Pacific Great Eastern Railway, and became known as the “Hub of the Cariboo”; today, Williams Lake is an important cattle ranching centre and is home to the Williams Lake Stampede, a major professional rodeo.3
Mentions of this place in the documents
Places in this document

Cariboo Region

Kamloops

Prince George

The Colonial Despatches Team. Williams Lake. 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. https://bcgenesis.uvic.ca/williams_lake.html.

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