Klondike Paradise: Culture in the Wilderness


173 pages
Contains Photos, Maps
ISBN 0-88839-402-0
DDC 971.9'102'0922





Reviewed by David W. Leonard

David W. Leonard is the project historian (Northern Alberta) in the
Historic Sites and Archives Service, Alberta Community Development. He
is also the author of Delayed Frontier: The Peace River Country to 1909
and the co-author of The Lure of the Peace R


Ever since the initial Klondike gold rush, young adventurers have
journeyed to the farthest reaches of the Canadian Northwest in search of
new horizons. Among those drawn to this vast, rugged environment, long
touted for its scenic beauty, was Cy Porter, who was 18 when he first
traveled there in 1938, accompanied by his school friend, Pierre Berton.
Porter worked on several northern steamers in the years that followed
before returning to Victoria, British Columbia, to begin a career as a
journalist and magazine publisher.

In 1966, with his business in decline, a restless Porter made the bold
decision to return to the North with his wife and five children and
settle on a parcel of land that had intrigued him on his first visit: a
scenic spot located at the head of Tagish Lake, known as Ben-My-Chree
(translated from the Manx-gaelic as “Girl of My Heart”). Formerly
run as a tourist retreat by Otto Partridge, the site had attracted such
visitors as the Prince of Wales, Lord Byng of Vimy, and Theodore

This well-written account of Ben-My-Chree’s early development and
subsequent expansion by Porter is interspersed with tales of Porter
family adventures and includes a foreword by Pierre Berton as well as 32
pages of archival and contemporary color photos.


Porter, C.R., “Klondike Paradise: Culture in the Wilderness,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed June 24, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/3294.