RAINCOAST CHRONICLES: FORGOTTEN VILLAGES OF THE BC COAST.
Edited by Howard White. Madeira Park (B.C.), Harbour Publishing. 1987. 76pp. paper, $16.95, ISBN 0-920080-40-5. CIP
Volume 16 Number 4
"The Raincoast Chronicles" series, edited by Howard White, has proven to be a best-seller in B.C. The stories in the book The Forgotten Villages of the BC Coast come up to that same standard. They are drawn from the writings of some of British Columbia's best known local historians such as AI Bloom, William Hagelund, Jim Spillsbury, and White himself.
The book consists of twelve stories about places that were once boom towns and people who were legendary figures and are now reduced to almost forgotten names. Three or four of the stories--memories of growing up in places such as Stlllwater, Clo'oose, Beaver Cove, and Spry Camp—are well written by Lillian Bateman, Angela Newitt, Jean Wallbank, and Alan Oman, respectively. Many excellent photographs add credibility to these stories.
Al Bloom chose to write about the Princess Maquinna, a combination passenger and freight boat that plied the waters of the west coast from 1913 to 1939. We are indebted to William Hagelund for two excerpts on early whaling taken from his book Whalers No More.* "Hospital Life on Bella Bella" told by Flora C. Moffat is an excellent account of the work of Dr. George Darby who, for forty-five years, was the only doctor in Bella Bella and the 240 miles north and south along the coast.
The rest of the book is in a similar vein, all of it interesting and well told, and all reinforced with photographs. The paper is excellent in quality, the print, easy to read. If there is a fault, the cover and pages are glued rather than sewn so that they may not stand up to heavy use.
Mollie Hooper, Qualicum Beach, B.C.
*Reviewed vol. XVI/4 July 1988 p.138.
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