||December 28, 2007
Books worth a look
I have been recommending books on local history and
lumbering lately and have a few more I want to get off my chest before I move on
to other things.
The Ontario Historical Society (OHS) recommends history
books in its 5 OHS Bulletins each year. The December issue had a review of
Wayne Lebelle's book Dokis: Since Time Immemorial which I mentioned recently.
Also recommended was a new book on William Logan a remarkable early scientist
who surveyed many areas of Canada including an 1845 survey of the Upper Ottawa
River with some side trips including the Mattawa River through to Lake Nipissing.
In his journals and field books he recorded comments on economic development,
geology, the Fur Trade, lumbering and the people he met.
The book William E. Logan's 1845 Survey of the Upper Ottawa
Valley (2007) presents his 1845 journal with information on the areas mentioned
in a detailed and fascinating way. His drawings (there were no photographs) of
what he saw and his maps are included. We travel with him on the Mattawa and La
Vase and the Ottawa with his four native helpers and two birch bark canoes in a
revealing trip 163 years ago.
Logan became Sir William Logan and Canada's highest
mountain is named after him. The book is published by the Canadian Museum of
Civilization. Call 1-800-555-5621 to order.
Also recommended by the OHS just in time for Black History
Month in February is I've Got a Home in Glory Land: a Lost Tale of the
Underground Railway. It is by Karolyn Smardz Frost who happens to be the
Executive Director of the OHS. It won the 2007 Governor General's Award for Non
Fiction. Check on www.homeingloryland.com for more information.
Almaguin Chronicles - Memories from the Past by Astrid Taim (2008)
As mentioned in a previous column Astrid Taim from Burks
Falls has a new book hot off the press. It provides more insightful stories of
the Almaguin area - people, places, events, with revealing photographs.
Holy Old Whistlin': Yarns About Algonquin Park (2006)
Brent Connelly, who was a forester for 40 years with the
McRae Lumber Co. Weyerhaeuser and The Algonquin Forest Authority wrote the book
above. It tells of many of his experiences and some of the characters he met
over these years. There is a long chapter on the McCrae Lumber Company in
Whitney that especially interested me because I had read outstanding Globe &
Mail reporter Roy Mac Gregor's book A Life in the Bush about his father who was
one of the key players at McCrae.
Connelly's new Finer Than Hair on a Frog: More Yarns about
Loggers and the Hike (2007) came out just before Christmas.
Algonquin Harvest the History of the McCrae Lumber Co. (2007)
Speaking of the McCrae Lumber Co. Donald L. Lloyd who wrote
the fascinating Canoeing Algonquin Park (2000) has the book above out profiling
McCrae. It is a classic study of the McCrae family business through several
generations and the evolution of the lumber business. It is loaded with
photographs, charts, drawings, maps and details on the business in its various
locations and adjustments.
All of the above books should be available at Gullivers,
One Stop Books, Coles or online at Chapters Indigo. You can also ask at your
local library where if they don't have it they may get it.
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