By Greg Nesteroff
Sixth in a series on West Kootenay-Boundary place names
It never amounted to much, but for decades Applegrove remained on the map.
In 1909, an Edmonton real estate company laid out the townsite, also spelled Apple Grove, south of Fauquier. A 16-page promotional booklet published that year sold on eBay in 2006 for $73.50 US. Entitled Apple Grove on Lower Arrow Lake — The Fruit Belt of British Columbia — The Killarney of Canada, it extolled the area’s fruit growing potential.
According to the book Just Where is Edgewood, the main street was called Edmonton Avenue. Lots on the lakeshore side were an acre each while those on the east side were larger.
One of the earliest newspaper references is in the Nelson Daily News of July 29, 1910: “The owners of Apple Grove, on the lower Arrow lake, report the selling of about 15 lots of 11 acres each …” The same paper said on January 3, 1911: “Apple Grove is a new subdivision, consisting of several thousand acres, on the east side of Lower Arrow Lake.”
Just Where is Edgewood says: “Despite the fact it never became a town it remained registered as a townsite at least until the flooding [of the Arrow Lakes in the late 1960s] and is still shown on Super Natural BC maps.”
Today it’s remembered by Applegrove Road.
Another place with an apple-themed name was established around the same time in the same area. The Nelson Daily News of October 16, 1911 reported the Wenatchee Orchard Co.’s purchase of 480 acres on the Arrow Lakes from T.A. Robley of the BC United Agencies. They planned to subdivide and sell to Washington fruit growers. Company manager James Maclachlin said the land, between Renata and Edgewood on the lake’s west side, was already being carved into 10 and 20 acre tracts. The newspaper added: “The company proposes to establish on the property a townsite which will be known as Appleby.”
Nothing more was heard of it.
Longtime Nelson resident George Coletti, who spent a lot of time in Appledale in his youth, believes the picture accompanying this column last week wasn’t of Ed and Adeline Kopecki, but Marion (Pop) and Julia Woyna.
Mrs. Woyna and Mr. Kopecki were siblings and all four were Polish emigres. Ed Kopecki was Appledale’s postmaster from 1919-29 and then he and Adeline moved to Nelson to run a grocery store. Pop Woyna ran the Appledale post office from 1930-49. He and Julia also eventually moved to Nelson.
Mrs. Kopecki’s sister Irene (nee Rowinksi) married Kirby Grenfell of Nelson’s Grenfell’s Cafe, now the New China Restaurant.
Next week: Latin for silver