Wednesday, July 21, 2004

The Mystery of Wicca Lake

No, that's not the title of another of Llewellyn Publications' ventures into "occult" fiction. It's a question that has been bothering me since my return from British Columbia.

That area of SE British Columbia was settled in the 1890s, first by miners. Ninety years later--1983--the provincial government set 49,893 hectares aside as Valhalla Provincial Park, which includes the Devil's Range, Lucifer Peak, the Devil's Couch (another mountain), and other unfortunate names. (Why the Christian Devil gets so many interesting geological features named after him is a paper that I have always wanted to write.)

Other features have names more in keeping with the "Valhalla" theme, which also undoubtedly explains the naming of Thor's Pizza in nearby Nelson.

Hiking into the Devil's Range, M. and I came across Wicca Lake, which our otherwise authoritative hiking guide referred to merely as "a tiny lake on Drinnon Pass." Wicca Lake? Devil's Range? OK, that's unfortunate, but the scenery is great: here is one professional photographer's version.

It's funny how the memory of how places got their names often vanishes rapidly, within a generation or two, unless they were named after famous people or obvious physical characteristics. I have asked one Canadian Wiccan with a wide geographical knowledge of B.C.'s mining districts if she knows, but so far, no response. I will post one if I get one; otherwise, if you have a solid answer, post a comment.


My archive link stopped working, so I have changed the template code to display links to each month's post below the blog roll. That change should provide enough space for now.


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