Gold Rushes


272 pages
Contains Photos, Illustrations, Maps, Bibliography
ISBN 1-894864-01-8
DDC 971.1'02




Reviewed by William A. Waiser

William A. Waiser is a professor of history at the University of
Saskatchewan. He is the author of Saskatchewan’s Playground: A History
of Prince Albert National Park and Park Prisoners: The Untold Story of
Western Canada’s National Parks, 1915–1946


Gold Rushes and Kootenai Brown are the latest two books in the Legends
series, which is intended to introduce readers to prominent events and
individuals from Western Canadian and American history—and it

Gold Rushes examines the five major western North American gold rushes:
three in Canada—Fraser River (1858), Cariboo (1862), Klondike
(1897)—and two in the United States—California (1849), the Black
Hills (1876). Kootenai Brown recounts the fascinating story of John
George Brown, a rough-and-tumble hunter and trader who served in the
British army, rode the Pony Express for the U.S. army, and worked to
preserve the Waterton Lakes region in his later life. The region, which
is known for its unusual geology, rare wild flowers, and abundant
wildlife, ranges from southwestern Alberta to northern Montana.

In both books, Hollihan has consulted the most recent and most
recognized literature in the field and skilfully presents the material
in a engaging style. And even though some of the dialogue is imagined or
contrived, it is all part of pulling the reader into the narrative. The
books are also well illustrated with maps, sketches, and photos. Of
particular note are the lengthy, detailed captions, which serve almost
as a kind of sidebar to the larger story. Finally, the books are
reasonably priced and should be readily accessible to those wanting to
learn more about the region’s exciting “Old West” past.


Hollihan, Tony., “Gold Rushes,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed April 12, 2024,