Frontier Days in British Columbia


144 pages
Contains Photos, Illustrations, Maps, Index
ISBN 0-919531-35-0
DDC 971.23'02




Edited by Garnet Basque
Reviewed by Barry M. Gough

Barry M. Gough is a history professor at Wilfrid Laurier University and
author of The Northwest Coast: British Navigation, Trade, and
Discoveries to 1812.


In this book of 20 vignettes, journalists and writers explore the
popular margins of British Columbia frontier history. Included as
subjects are historical accounts of Fort Langley; William Duncan’s
mission; camels in the Cariboo; the Sointula Utopia; Rose Harbour’s
whale-processing plant; an account of the destruction of the ship
Boston; a report on the five immigrant ships of Vancouver Island
(1849–54); and the loss of ex-gunboat Grappler. Readers will find
little new in the way of substance or interpretation. The publication of
this work indicates a continuing preference of the market for the unique
and the curious. No major calamity ever beset the residents of British
Columbia in its colonial or early national history. Rather, the
province’s progress was episodic and fragmentary, a pattern confirmed
by these profiles. They attempt not a grand assessment about British
Columbia’s uniqueness, but rather a depiction of its immense and rich
varieties, which will be the subject of studies by future researchers.


“Frontier Days in British Columbia,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed June 13, 2024,