How popular is the baby name Salida in the United States right now? How popular was it historically? Find out using the graph below! Plus, see baby names similar to Salida and check out all the blog posts that mention the name Salida.
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So far we’ve talked about two babies named for newly formed towns — Salida and Nira — and today we have one more: Kelowna.
The Canadian town of Kelowna in British Columbia, Canada, was settled in the mid-1800s and incorporated in 1905. The name of the town means “grizzly bear” in the Okanagan language.
For several decades during the early 1900s, the residents of Kelowna’s Chinatown made up as much as 15% of the total population. But the birth rate in Chinatown was quite low, as most of the residents were men whose families remained in China due to Canada’s discriminatory Chinese head tax.
Chinatown’s first baby didn’t arrive until early 1906. Her name? Kelowna, after her Canadian birthplace.
My favorite baby name stories tend to be those that I find most memorable. Several of them (e.g., Aku, Karina, Maitland) even taught me something new. In a few cases, it’s not the original story I like so much as something that happened later on in the tale (as with Georgia, Salida, Speaker).
I’ve blogged about babies named after locations (e.g., Salida) before, so here’s something different: a location named after a baby.
The town of Wainwright in Alberta, Canada, was named for Wainwright Marguerite Forster, “the first baby born in the community of 30 settlers in 1908.”
Ms. Forster, in turn, had been named after William Wainwright, who was then the vice president of the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway. (The town was on the Grand Trunk line.)
During the town’s 50th anniversary celebrations in 1958, Wainwright said: “I am very proud of the town and of the fact that it bears my name. It’s a strange first name for a woman and one that has caused quite a bit of confusion, believe me.”
While doing research for the NIRA post, I discovered that there used to be a town in Washington County, Iowa, called Nira.
The town wasn’t named after the legislation, though. It had been named decades earlier by Col. William B. Bell, an early Washington County postmaster. He named the town after his wife, Nira.
And here’s an interesting fact: the town of Nira — just like the town of Salida, Colorado — held a baby name contest in its early days:
Col. Bell watched the growth of the village named for his wife, Nira, and offered a gold dollar to the first baby girl born in the town who was named Nira.
The gold dollar eventually was awarded Nira Moffitt, a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. George Moffitt. Her present location is unknown.
(According to the U.S. Census of 1900, Nira Moffitt was born in June of 1880.)
There was a surge of interest in the town in August of 1933, when Nira became one of the first places in the nation to sell NIRA-emblem postage stamps. By that point, though, the town had dwindled to just 20 residents.
After those last residents left, the down of Nira became (and remains) a ghost town.
“Nira Enjoys New Boom.” Telegraph-Herald 17 Aug. 1933: 1+.
“Nira, Iowa, Enjoys Boom Because of New Stamp.” Reading Eagle 17 Aug. 1933: 11.