Ghost Towns and Mining Camps of Vancouver Island


104 pages
Contains Photos, Maps, Index
ISBN 1-895811-80-5
DDC 971.1'12




Reviewed by Louis A. Knafla

Louis A. Knafla is a professor of history at the University of Calgary,
the co-editor of Law, Society, and the State: Essays in Modern Legal
History, and the author of Lords of the Western Bench.


British Columbia’s “boundary country” encompasses the area around
the original Dewdney Trail of the late 1850s that stretched across the
southern boundary of the province from Christina to Osoyoos Lake—a
trail that now goes by the name of Highway 3. Ghost Towns and Mining
Camps of the Boundary Country provides brief historical sketches of Rock
Creek, Camp McKinney, Boundary Falls, Anaconda, Greenwood,
Deadwood/Mother Lode, Phoenix, Eholt, Brooklyn, Gladstone, Cascade, and
Niagara. The sketches are full of interesting details related to
economic development, social and cultural traditions, and the local
press. The author has provided extensive maps and illustrations, some of
which are in color. Local newspapers constitute the bulk of Basque’s
sources; missing are the published diaries and studies that could have
enriched his accounts with a more fully rounded human element.

Ghost Towns and Mining Camps of Vancouver Island, which profiles 24
places, is more a “picture” book, with larger illustrations (and
more of them in color) and less commentary. The illustrations are
excellent in choice and quality.

Both volumes are newer editions of older works: Boundary Country was
first published in 1992 and Vancouver Island in 1989. Both books contain
a good index but lack a foreword, preface, or conclusion that might have
shed light on their provenance.


Basque, Garnet, and T.W. Paterson., “Ghost Towns and Mining Camps of Vancouver Island,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed June 12, 2024,