History (B.C.)

#218 One dammed river before another

People, Power, and Progress: The Story of John Hart Dam and the Campbell River Power Projects by Daniel Stoffman Vancouver: Figure 1 Publishing, 2017 $24.95  /  9781927958384 Reviewed by James Hull Co-published with the BC Hydro Power Pioneers. First published Dec. 11, 2017 * The John Hart Dam and generating station opened in December of…
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#215 Island of Blue Foxes

First published Dec. 7, 2017. Island of the Blue Foxes: Disaster and Triumph on Bering’s Great Voyage to Alaska by Stephen R. Bown (D&M $34.95) tells the story of The Great Northern Expedition which resulted in the mapping of the Arctic Coast of Siberia and large parts of the North American coastline, and the discovery…
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#214 At home on the road

Dirty Windshields: The Best and the Worst of the Smugglers Tour Diaries by Grant Lawrence Madeira Park: Douglas & McIntyre, 2017 $26.95  /  9781771621489 Reviewed by Dustin Cole First published Dec. 6, 2017 * Grant Lawrence’s memoir Dirty Windshields recalls his days and nights as lead singer in the garage rock band Smugglers, Canada’s self-proclaimed…
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#213 The forest smokeaters

First published Dec. 4, 2017. Chasing Smoke. A Wildfire Memoir by Aaron Williams Madeira Park: Harbour Publishing, 2017. $22.95  /  9781550178050 Reviewed by Dan Gallacher     The threat of terrorism is over-rated. ‘First responders’ were everywhere in 2017 dealing with hurricanes, earthquakes and forest fires. Aaron Williams’ Chasing Smoke: A Wildfire Memoir (Harbour $22.95)…
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#211 From Prussia to Victoria

Essay: The Mysterious and Difficult Hermann Otto Tiedemann by Robert Ratcliffe Taylor First published November 26, 2017 * In this essay written specially for The Ormsby Review, Robert (Rob) Ratcliffe Taylor provides biography of Hermann Otto Tiedemann (1821-1891), the German-born surveyor, engineer, architect, and artist. He was one of thousands attracted to Victoria by the…
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#210 Of strawberries & cemeteries

Hallowed Ground: Stories of the Yale Pioneer Cemetery by Ian Brown Victoria: FriesenPress, 2017 $23.95  /  9781525508646 [Available at the Hope Visitor Centre and at Barry’s Trading Post in Yale.] Reviewed by Yvonne Van Ruskenveld First published Nov. 24, 2017 * If time machines ever become a reality, I’ll be first in line to travel…
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#208 Autobiography of a WASP

Edges of Empire: A Documentary by Rhodri Jones (Rhodri Windsor-Liscombe) Vancouver: Rarebit Press, 2017 $20.00  /  9780994941237 Reviewed by Julian Wake First published Nov. 23, 2017 * Born in 1946, Rhodri Windsor-Liscombe studied at the Courtauld Institute of Art at the University of London and came to Canada to teach art history at McGill in…
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#207 From the HBC to UBC

Royal Blood: A Memoir by Laurenda Daniells Vancouver: Paper Trail Publishing, 2016 $22.95  /   9780994930309 Reviewed by Nancy Marguerite Anderson First published Nov. 22, 2017 * Royal Blood, by Laurenda Daniells, is a memoir in the form of a collection of short stories written by a woman who has clearly led a long, interesting, and…
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#206 Robbie Burns remembered

First published No. 22, 2017. Ask someone to name B.C.’s most popular poet and you might hear names such as Earle Birney, bill bissett, Patrick Lane, Susan Musgrave, Dorothy Livesay… None match the fervour of adoration this province felt for Robbie Burns–as Fred Braches recalls upon rediscovering a little-known book about the Burns statue in…
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#205 125,000 reluctant patriots

First published Nov. 24 REVIEW: Reluctant Warriors: Canadian Conscripts and the Great War by Patrick M. Dennis Vancouver: UBC Press, 2017. $39.95 9780774835978 Reviewed by Jim Kempling The ongoing centennial review of Canada’s involvement in the First World War continues with Reluctant Warriors: Canadian Conscripts and the Great War, by Patrick Dennis. After three years…
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#201 Peter Trower (1930-2017)

A GATHERING TO REMEMBER AND HONOUR PETER TROWER WILL BE HELD FROM 3 – 6 PM AT THE FORMER LOCATION OF THE RAILWAY CLUB IN VANCOUVER ON SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 25. THE VENUE IS NOW CALLED THE RAILWAY STAGE AND BEER CAFE. IT’S AT 579 DUNSMUIR. Peter Trower, one B.C.’s most beloved poets, has died at…
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#200 Emily’s compartmentalized friend

First published November 10, 2017 Emily Carr As I Knew Her by Carol Pearson, with a foreword by Robert Amos. Victoria: Touchwood Editions, 2016. $19.95  /  9781771511742 Reviewed by Kerry Mason *   Our understanding of the internationally significant artist and author, Emily Carr, is enriched by this overdue reprint of Carol Pearson’s Emily Carr…
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#199 What the Heckman

Heckman’s Canadian Pacific: A Photographic Journey by Ralph Beaumont, foreword by John Geiger Mississauga, ON: The Credit Valley Railway Company, 2015 $60.00  /  9780978440619 Reviewed by Walter Volovsek First published November 9, 2017 * The Canadian Pacific Railway’s in-house photographer Joseph William Heckman (1854-1937) worked between Nova Scotia and Vancouver Island for three decades, photographing…
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#198 Inspector Vance, I presume?

Blood, Sweat, and Fear: The Story of Inspector Vance, Vancouver’s First Forensic Investigator by Eve Lazarus Vancouver: Arsenal Pulp Press, 2017 $21.95  /  9781551526850 Reviewed by Bonnie Reilly Schmidt First published Nov. 8, 2017 *   In Blood, Sweat, and Fear: The Story of Inspector Vance, Vancouver’s First Forensic Investigator Eve Lazarus rescues one of…
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#197 Power to the people

Powering Up Canada A History of Power, Fuel, and Energy from 1600 by Ruth Sandwell (editor) Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2016. $37.95  /  9780773547865 Reviewed by Dan Gallacher First published Nov. 7, 2017 Years ago I likened history to a diamond. Each time it is turned in the light, another facet is revealed….
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#196 Batten down the anthology

Spindrift: A Canadian Book of the Sea by Michael L. Hadley and Anita Hadley (editors), with illustrations by Matthew Wolferstan Madeira Park: Douglas & McIntyre, 2017 $36.95  /  9781771621731 Reviewed by Theo Dombrowski First published Nov. 6, 2017 * This is an anthology with something like a mission. In “Waypoints,” his foreword to this anthology, historian…
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#195 Remembrance Day, 2017

First published Nov. 5, 2017 A century since Vimy and Passchendaele: Two wars, two families, one message By Howard Macdonald Stewart * For Remembrance Day 2017 we offer a moving reflection by Howard Stewart on war’s impact on his family in the twentieth century. Howard touches on the personal and emotional repercussions on the families…
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#194 Lill Emerson: Raincoast educator

MEMOIR: Lill’s Story: Reminiscences of a Country Schoolteacher by Lillian Emerson Edited by Mary Novik and Ned Young First published Nov. 4, 2017 * We are delighted to present these memoirs of Lillian Emerson (1913-2003), a Vancouver Island teacher in the 1930s who became the mother of award-winning novelist Mary Novik. Born in Victoria to…
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#193 Nanaimo mayor rivals Dunsmuir

First published November 3, 2017 Mark Bate: Nanaimo’s First Mayor by Jan Peterson Victoria: Heritage House, 2017. $19.95.  /  9781772031829 Reviewed by John R. Hinde While industrialist Robert Dunsmuir has long been recognized as the most important figure in nineteenth century Nanaimo, thanks in part to Terry Reksten’s The Dunsmuir Saga (Douglas & McIntyre, 1991),…
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#192 New Westminster at work

First published Nov. 1, 2017 REVIEW: Longshoring on the Fraser: Stories and History of ILWU Local 502 by Chris M.V. Madsen, Liam O’Flaherty, and Michelle La Vancouver: Granville Island Publishing, 2016. $29.95  /  9781926991832 Reviewed by Sean Cadigan * Longshoring on the Fraser tells “the story of ILWU [International Longshore and Warehouse Union] Local 502”…
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