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Macfie, John.

Erin (Ont.), Boston Mills Press, 1987. 207pp, cloth. $29.95, ISBN 0-919783-76-7. CIP

Grades 6 and up
Reviewed by Jack Brown

Volume 16 Number 4
1988 July

White-pine logging reached Ontario's Parry Sound district in 1857, and sawmills grew along rivers emptying into Georgian Bay. Logging was labour-intensive and the work force came from backwoods farms and local villages. Macfle tells the stories of some of these people, recalled in their own words from interviews made between 1962 and 1986. A great many loggers were active in the region but the charisma of Dougald Campbell, Albert McCallum and Samuel Ritter made them especially memorable.

The author grew up in the Parry Sound area, served in the RCAF, and after the war, he came home to work at logging and sawmullng. Then he joined the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and worked on trap-line management. His interest in photography and writing led to the publication of articles in Sylva and a weekly newspaper column. He has written Now and Then: Footnotes to Pony Sound History (J. Macfie, 1983) and is at present working on another book based on letters written home from the western front in World War II.

In Pony Sound: Logging Days, Macfie portrays life in the camp, on the drive, and in the mill through quotes from seventy-four elderly contributors, all identified by name and age. This method of developing the topic is most effective. There are 132 excellent photographs, some detailed drawings, a map, and a useful glossary. The large type will be appreciated by many readers. This book has wide appeal, and the natural language of the transcripts brings realism and warmth.

Jack Brown, Kingston C.V.I., Kingston, Ont.
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