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Return to Northern British Columbia: A PHOTOJOURNAL OF FRANK SWANNELL [Paperback]

Jay Sherwood
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Sept. 1 2010 0772662835 978-0772662835

In his third book on the adventures of Frank Swannell, historian Jay Sherwood continues his account of one of BC's most famous surveyors. The 1930s was the era of bush planes, packers and riverboats in northern BC. Swannell photographed them and recorded his experiences with some of BC's colourful characters, including Skook Davidson, who worked with Swannell for four seasons. Swannell provides much valuable information about the life of Davidson before he started his famous Diamond J Ranch. Return to Northern British Columbia includes a photo gallery of unpublished Skook Davidson photographs found in Swannell's photo albums.


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About the Author

Jay Sherwood is the author of two other books about Frank Swannell: Surveying Northern British Columbia (a 2005 BC Book Prize finalist) and Surveying Central British Columbia (second-prize winner in the 2007 BC Historical Federation Writing Competition). He now lives in Vancouver, where he works as a teacher-librarian.


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5.0 out of 5 stars gotta have it June 17 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
unique history of Pioneer Surveyor in the Peace River area. a wealth of pictures depict this bygone era a short 70 years ago..
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Must Have June 6 2011
By Ali
Format:Paperback
This book had me enthralled for hours-when I least expected it. I found myself reading page after page as both Jay Sherwoods writing and the included photographs made for a highly entertaining, educational, and very fun read on an extraordinary man's life. Having spent time living in some of the areas covered in the book (Graham and Halfway river areas) and currently living in another area also covered in the book, it brought to the surface the desire to see these regions again for the history of the areas discussed in the book, not just for the beauty and wilderness that abounds there. Swannell's relationships with his crews during and long after his surveys says much about the man he was and the respect that he seems to have had from his peers, workmen, and those people from the communities that he spent time in. Truly amazing, and, as the other reviewer pointed out, seemingly a man with little ego. Sherwood's research into Swannell and this compilation of journal entries and photographs is unique and a must have. He also posesses a writing style that flows smoothly; likely due in part to his own fascination and passion for his subject. The choice of photographs included in the book also speak volumes for the hardships that were endured. In particular are the many photographs of beloved dogs, planes, boatmen, and homesteads that now sit beneath the waters of our northern dams.
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5.0 out of 5 stars History as high adventure Dec 14 2010
Format:Paperback
Of the three books in this series - all of which are gems - this is probably the most interesting to readers who have done any degree of traveling in the northern half of this extraordinary province, or have roots in the area. I first heard of Frank Swannell almost 40 years ago while living and working in the southern Yukon, and that was from a B.C. Forest Service official, to whom the name had the aura of legend. Intrigued, I looked for some hard information about the man but had to wait until author Sherwood dedicated what's clearly been enormous work and trouble in producing this wonderful series of books. They have everything, large numbers of fascinating photographs, verbatim transcripts of Swannell's field notes and diaries, interesting maps, and archival documents that set the framework for decades of the most astonishing, dogged, rugged hard labor and, at the same time, classic adventure. For a province so radically altered geographically by a century of dam building, these books provide the opportunity to see and understand something of what was lost by it all, just within the working lives of two generations. The text well matches the superb selection of photographs and is clear, simple, unadorned exposition, avoiding the blarney of hyperbole that has already begun to blight writings about northern BC and its better known, more publicized characters. It reflects Swannell's own writing, newsy, always interesting, with an eye for color, a love of people, a complete absence of ego and what is to be expected in a surveyor, an obsession with accuracy. To understand the feats of hardship and endurance and the body of work these men accomplished with the scanty resources made available to them, and that in the lifetimes of our own parents and grandparents, can give a sobering shift in perspective and much to reflect on in assessing where we are today and where we are going. Thank you Mr. Sherwood. This series of books has been pure pleasure.
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