PLACE NAMES: Playmor Junction

Playmor Junction, at the intersection of Highway 6 and 3A, is one of the more recent additions to local toponymy, dating to 1968.

ABOVE: Many businesses have adopted the name Playmor over the years. BELOW: An ad for Playmor Hall from the Nelson Daily News of Aug. 31

One hundred fifty-second in an alphabetical series on West Kootenay/Boundary place names

Playmor Junction, at the intersection of Highway 6 and 3A, is one of the more recent additions to local toponymy, dating to 1968.

It takes its name from Playmor Hall, a dance venue first mentioned in the Nelson Daily News of May 10, 1941: “Attention dance fans: Reserve May 23 and 24 for the gala opening dances at Alex Powell’s new large ‘Playmor’ now under construction near South Slocan.”

Further ads touted “British Columbia’s newest large dance palace. Located one mile south of South Slocan, where Nelson, Trail, and Slocan highways meet … Large smooth mirror-like maple dance floor — comfortable seating accommodations — acres of parking grounds.”

Alex Powell was a professional dancer and taught ballroom and exhibition dancing classes before he and wife Laura built Playmor Hall.

Between May and October, dances were held nearly every Saturday, and sometimes Fridays, from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. On holiday Mondays, Playmor would host “mid-nite frolics” from 12 to 3:30 a.m.

The entertainment was a combination of local acts and — thanks to Powell’s contacts in the US — touring bands. The list of notable names who performed there is long, but included Bobby Curtola, Bobby Vinton, Buddy Knox, Dal Richards, and Gene Pitney.

On April 6, 1946 the hall burned down, but the following year the Powells re-built on the same site.

Alex Powell’s death in 1967 of a rare form of bone cancer ended Playmor Hall’s golden era. It was later used as a furniture warehouse and bingo hall and today it’s Covenant Church at the Junction.

The name’s origin is no more complicated than a compound of play and more, minus the last letter.

Frequently misspelled Playmore, or even Playmour, the name has since been given to the road that goes by the hall and adopted by several businesses, including Playmor Storage, Playmor Woodworks, and Playmor Power Products.

It has also been used elsewhere in many other ways, sometime spelled Play-Mor or Pla-Mor, from a 1920s music store in Florida to a 1940s Kansas City hockey team, to present-day product names for RVs and swing sets. There’s even another Playmor Hall in San Antonio, Tex. Lastly, and very appropriately, a local big band calls itself Playmor Junction.

The first use of Playmor Junction was in a Nelson Daily News ad of Nov. 29, 1968 for Parkwood Trailer Sales (later known as Playmor Mobile Homes). Proprietors Walt and Val Hill probably coined it.

In 1986, the BC geographic names office officially recognized Playmor Junction as a community. It’s now used interchangeably with South Slocan, which we’ll look at separately in this series.

Previous installments in this series

Introduction

Ainsworth

Alamo

Anaconda

Annable, Apex, and Arrow Park

Annable, revisited

Appledale

Applegrove, Appleby, and Appledale revisited

Argenta and Arrowhead

Aylwin

Bakers, Birds, and Bosun Landing

Balfour

Bannock City, Basin City, and Bear Lake City

Beasley

Beaton

Bealby Point

Bealby Point (aka Florence Park) revisited

Belford and Blewett

Beaverdell and Billings

Birchbank and Birchdale

Blueberry and Bonnington

Boswell, Bosworth, Boulder Mill, and Broadwater

Brandon

Brilliant

Brooklyn, Brouse, and Burnt Flat

Burton

Camborne, Cariboo City, and Carrolls Landing

Carmi, Cedar Point, Circle City, and Clark’s Camp

Carson, Carstens, and Cascade City

Casino and Champion Creek

Castlegar, Part 1

Castlegar, Part 2

Castlegar, Part 3

Christina Lake

Christina City and Christian Valley

Clubb Landing and Coltern

Cody and Champion Creek revisited

Champion Creek revisited, again

Columbia

Columbia City, Columbia Gardens, and Columbia Park

Comaplix

Cooper Creek and Corra Linn

Crawford Bay and Comaplix revisited

Crescent Valley and Craigtown

Davenport

Dawson, Deadwood, and Deanshaven

Deer Park

East Arrow Park and Edgewood

Eholt

English Cove and English Point

Enterprise

Erie

Evans Creek and Evansport

Falls City

Farron

Fauquier

Ferguson

Ferguson, revisited

Fife

Forslund, Fosthall, and Fairview

Fort Shepherd vs. Fort Sheppard, Part 1

Fort Shepherd vs. Fort Sheppard, Part 2

Fort Sheppard, revisited

Fraser’s Landing and Franklin

Fredericton

Fruitvale and Fraine

Galena Bay

Genelle

Gerrard

Gilpin and Glade

Gladstone and Gerrard, revisited

Glendevon and Graham Landing

Gloster City

Goldfields and Gold Hill

Grand Forks, Part 1

Grand Forks, Part 2

Granite Siding and Granite City

Gray Creek, Part 1

Gray Creek, Part 2

Gray Creek, revisited

Green City

Greenwood

Halcyon Hot Springs

Hall Siding and Healy’s Landing

Harrop

Hartford Junction

Hills

Howser, Part 1

Howser, Part 2

Howser, Part 3

Howser, Part 4

Hudu Valley, Huntingtdon, and Healy’s Landing revisited

Inonoaklin Valley (aka Fire Valley)

Jersey, Johnsons Landing, and Jubilee Point

Kaslo, Part 1

Kaslo, Part 2

Kaslo, Part 3

Kaslo, Part 4

Kettle River, Part 1

Kettle River, Part 2

Kinnaird, Part 1

Kinnaird, Part 2

Kitto Landing

Koch Siding and Keen

Kokanee

Kootenay Bay, Kraft, and Krestova

Kuskonook, Part 1

Kuskonook, Part 2

Kuskonook (and Kuskanax), Part 3

Labarthe, Lafferty, and Longbeach

Lardeau, Part 1

Lardeau, Part 2

Lardeau, Part 3

Lardeau, Part 4

Lebahdo

Lemon Creek, Part 1

Lemon Creek, Part 2

Lemon Creek, Part 3

Makinsons Landing and Marblehead

McDonalds Landing, McGuigan, and Meadow Creek

Meadows, Melville, and Miles’ Ferry

Midway

Mineral City and Minton

Mirror Lake and Molly Gibson Landing

Montgomery and Monte Carlo, Part 1

Montgomery and Monte Carlo, Part 2

Montrose and Myncaster

Nakusp, Part 1

Nakusp, Part 2

Nashville

Needles

Nelson, Part 1

Nelson, Part 2

Nelson, Part 3

Nelson, Part 4

Nelson, Wash.

Nelway and New Galway

New Denver, Part 1

New Denver, Part 2

Niagara

Oasis and Oatescott

Ootischenia

Oro

Park Siding and Pass Creek

Passmore

Paterson

Paulson

Perry Siding

Phoenix

Pilot Bay

Pingston