We acknowledge that we live and work on unceded Indigenous territories and we thank the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh Nations for their hospitality.

Single Issue

BC Studies no. 185 Spring 2015

“Barkerville and British Columbia,” guest edited by Jacqueline Holler of the University of Northern British Columbia grew out of a collaboration between scholars at UNBC, the research staff at the Barkerville Historic Site, the Royal BC Museum, the Heritage Branch of the BC Government, and the editorial staff at BC Studies. This special issue is an important step toward redressing a remarkable lack of engaged scholarship on the gold rushes that were so important to early British Columbia and features seven articles on overlooked topics: First Nations involvement in Barkerville’s economy, by Mica Jorgenson; the archaeology of the Chinese at Barkerville and in early British Columbia, by Douglas Ross; the Barkerville stores of the Hudson’s Bay Company and Kwong Lee & Co., by Ramona Boyle and Tzu-i Chung; the “Eldorado Vernacular” architecture of early Barkerville, by Jennifer Iredale; the Cariboo photography of Frederick Dally and the chequered career of the gold miner Tom Pattullo, by Don Bourdon; and new directions in Barkerville and Cariboo history, by Chris Herbert.

To read the full issue online, visit our OJS site.

Add to Cart - $20.00 View in OJS


Book Reviews

Book Review

Okanagan Geology South: Geologic Highlights of the South Okanagan, British Columbia

Guidebooks present risks. Some authors inadvertently lead readers into the minutia that is their passion. Others find themselves indulging in editorial or polemic. Yet others lose their readers in what might be described as a...

By Wayne Wilson

Book Review

Women Caring for Kamloops, 1890-1975

In many ways, Ruth Derksen Siemens’s Daughters in the City: Mennonite Maids in Vancouver, 1931-61 and Andrew Yarmie’s Women Caring for Kamloops, 1890-1975 are very different books. The former is an affectionate history, one that...

By Lisa Pasolli

Book Review

A Tsilhqút’ín Grammar

Eung-Do Cook’s (2013) A Tsilhqút’ín Grammar is the culmination of his research on the language, spanning forty years. It provides a very thorough, albeit quite technical, overview of Tsilhqút’ín linguistic structure. Overall, the grammar is...

By Sonya Bird

Book Review

Home to the Nechako: The River and the Land

The risks involved in writing local history are many. Readers are frequently presented with celebratory accounts of the virtues of a community or region – accounts that offer little save for the claim that they...

By Jonathan Swainger

Book Review

Mac-Pap: Memoir of a Canadian in the Spanish Civil War

I first read Mac-Pap: Memoir of a Canadian in the Spanish Civil War in manuscript form thanks to the invaluable labour-related holdings of the Special Collections Division at UBC Library. While I don’t think it...

By Todd McCallum

Book Review

Conversations with a Dead Man: The Legacy of Duncan Campbell Scott

Mark Abley was understandably alarmed when an impeccably dressed apparition appeared in his living room claiming to be Duncan Campbell Scott. An accomplished and respected poet, Scott spent over fifty years working in Canada’s Department of...

By Keith D. Smith

Book Review

Chinuk Wawa: Kakwa nsayka ulman-tilixam ɬaska munk-kəmtəks nsayka/As Our Elders Teach Us To Speak It

In an obscure 1978 dissertation, a linguist named Samuel Johnson demonstrated that most of the countless Chinook Jargon lexica compiled over two hundred years form a few distinct lineages.[1] Joining the ranks of definitive dictionaries...

By Dave Robertson

Book Review

Father Pandosy: Pioneer of Faith in the Northwest

Over the course of a ministry that spanned nearly half a century, Catholic missionary Jean-Charles Pandosy witnessed and participated in one of the most dramatic regional transformations in human history. Whereas Pandosy described his mission...

By Timothy P. Foran

Book Review

Encounters in Avalanche Country: A History of Survival in the Mountain West, 1820-1920

Winter in the western mountains of Canada and the United States is a challenging time of year. Encounters in Avalanche Country provides insight into the experiences of trappers, miners, railway employees, and their communities in...

By Heather Longworth

Book Review

Railway Rock Gang

Gary Sim worked for BC Rail rock gangs from 1978 until 1987. He gained first-hand experience in many facets of railway operations and maintenance that were the gangs’ day to day work: blasting, tree falling,...

By Robert D. Turner

Book Review

Flight was in his Spirit: The Life of Harry Burfield

Students of British Columbia’s past who wish to explore histories of outdoor recreation in the province are faced with a rather thin scholarly literature. A 2011 special issue of BC Studies on park history, edited...

By David A. Rossiter

Book Review

The Wired Northwest: The History of Electric Power, 1870s-1970s

These three books are bound together by their examination of water as a managed trans-boundary resource. The first is a narrative history in monograph form. The other two are meaty collections of essays that address...

By Meg Stanley

Book Review

Svend Robinson: A Life in Politics

I vividly remember when I first heard the name “Svend Robinson.” I was attending the wedding of a distant cousin I had never met before and have not seen since. At the reception, in Burnaby,...

By Joseph Tilley

Book Review

We Are Born with the Songs Inside Us: Lives and Stories of First Nations People in British Columbia

We Are Born with the Songs Inside Us is an important and long overdue book about contemporary First Nations’ experiences in British Columbia. Using narrative interviews with almost two dozen First Nations peoples, Katherine Palmer...

By Sarah Nickel

Book Review

Fishing the Coast: A Life on the Water

“There are no books on how to catch fish for a living,” writes Don Pepper in his preface to Fishing the Coast. “None” (10). What might seem a bold statement is, upon examination, accurate. In...

By Kenneth Campbell

Book Review

Rural Women’s Health

This volume is a rare and important collection of groundbreaking work on a topic too often ignored in Canadian academia. I was delighted when I was asked to review this collection, simply to ensure that...

By Megan J. Davies

Book Review

This Day in Vancouver

       There are some stories about Vancouver that bear retelling. Take the tale of Theodore Ludgate, an American capitalist in the lumber trade who arrived in the city around 1899 with a lease for the...

By John Belshaw

Book Review

Native Art of the Northwest Coast: A History of Changing Ideas

The essays and the many previously published texts gathered together in this weighty tome demonstrate the extent to which, over the course of the past 250 years, “the idea of Northwest Coast Native art has...

By Maria Tippett

Book Review

Milk Spills and One-Log Loads: Memories of a Pioneer Truck Driver

Milk Spills and One-Log Loads is the first of two autobiographical volumes relating the life of Frank White, one of the early fixtures of British Columbia’s independent trucking industry. Profanity and profundity are laid out...

By Patrick Craib

Book Review

The Grande Dames of the Cariboo

Far too little is known about artistic activity in the interior of British Columbia — past and present alike. Julie Fowler seeks to fill this lacuna by examining the lives of two mother-and-daughter artists: Vivien...

By Maria Tippett

Book Review

Put that Damned Old Mattock Away

In Put that Damned Old Mattock Away, long-time Gulf Island resident David Spalding draws on oral histories, a variety of archival documents, and his grandfather’s delightfully written and illustrated diary (1914-32) to explore life on...

By R.W. Sandwell

Book Review

Stalled: The Representation of Women in Canadian Governments

This book is a must-read for people interested in Canadian history, gender, and electoral politics in Canada. I cannot say enough about Stalled: The Representation of Women in Canadian Governments, which includes chapters written by...

By Janni Aragon

Book Review

Tales from the Back Bumper: A Century of BC Licence Plates

My parents still have a set of white-on-blue licence plates in their garage, kept from the mid-1980s, when British Columbia switched to the blue-on-white plates with waving flag that have now been standard issue for...

By Ben Bradley

Book Review

We are Our Language: An Ethnography of Language Revitalization in a Northern Athabaskan Community

As laid out in the First Peoples’ Cultural Council Report on the Status of BC First Nations Languages (2010), since the 1800s, there has been “dramatic decline in the number of fluent speakers” of First...

By Ewa Czaykowska-Higgins

Book Review

The Labyrinth of North American Identities

Much writing on early Canada has sought to explain why Canada is not the United States. The roots of the two countries are alleged to have been very different, and to explain different contemporary societies....

By Cole Harris



Don Bourdon, Curator of Images and Paintings at the Royal British Columbia Museum, has had a long career in museums and archives in Alberta and British Columbia. He first visited Barkerville fifty years ago where he developed a taste for root beer and a soft spot for the Theatre Royal.

Ramona Boyle teaches World History and Literature at Webber Academy in Calgary. She has a BA in Sociology and Political Science from Trent University, and a BEd (with Distinction) from the University of Victoria, as well as a master’s degree in International Relations and Diplomacy from the UK. Her peculiar fascination with Barkerville probably comes from the fact that the people who built the town, and particularly the Hudson’s Bay Company, were adventurers like herself!

Tzu-I Chung is Curator of History at the Royal British Columbia Museum. She was the recipient of the Exemplary Diversity Scholar Award from the University of Michigan, 2009-2010, and the John and Joan Walton Innovation Fund, 2013-2014. Her museum project, the Centre of Arrivals, is part of the RBCM’s long-term commitment towards exploring and representing the stories of multicultural immigrants in British Columbia through research, collection, and exhibits. Her recent publications can be found in Museum and Society (forthcoming in 2015), Aspects of Transnational and Indigenous Cultures, and other public venues. Her current research focuses on the intercultural food history of British Columbia within the context of historical, cultural, and economic exchange between North America and Asia, and on transnational migration theories.

Christopher Herbert is an assistant professor of History at Columbia Basin College in Pasco, Washington. He has previously published in BC Studies and the Pacific Historical Review. He is currently working on a transnational comparison of identity and empire during the British Columbia and California gold rushes.

Jacqueline Holler is an associate professor in the Departments of History and Women’s Studies and Gender Studies at UNBC. She is an historian of early colonial Mexico who also teaches contemporary Latin American history and teaches and conducts research in the area of Gender Studies. She is author and co-author of books and articles on colonial Latin American history; her primary research interests lie at the juncture of gender, sexuality, emotion, health, and religion.

Jennifer Iredale is the Director of the Heritage Branch for the Province of British Columbia. She has written articles for the British Columbia Historical News, including “Beauty, Spirituality, and Practicality: Women and Art in Colonial British Columbia,” in 35 no. 4 (2002) and “Cecilia Douglas Helmcken,” in 28 no. 4 (Fall 1995). She was also a contributor to “A Woman’s Place”: Art and the Role of Women in the Cultural Formation of Victoria, BC, 1850s-1920s, edited by K. Anne Finlay and published by the Maltwood Art Museum and Gallery in 2004.

Mica Jorgenson is a doctorate student at McMaster University. Based on research conducted at Barkerville, British Columbia, and Timmins, Ontario, her dissertation is an environmental history of transnational technologies, ideologies, and economies affecting late-nineteenth century gold rush landscapes. Mica grew up in the Wells/Barkerville area, and completed her MA at the University of Northern British Columbia in 2012.

Richard Mackie is associate editor and book reviews editor at BC Studies and adjunct professor in the Department of Geography at UBC. He is author of Trading Beyond the Mountains: The British Fur Trade on the Pacific, 1793-1843 (UBC Press, 1997), as well as two histories of logging on Vancouver Island, Island Timber (2000) and Mountain Timber (2009), both published by Sono Nis Press.

Douglas Ross received his PhD in Archaeology in 2009 from Simon Fraser University, where he is currently a part-time instructor. His research interests focus on the everyday lives of Chinese and Japanese immigrants in western North America and his recent book, An Archaeology of Asian Transnationalism (University Press of Florida, 2013), explores patterns of cultural persistence and change and diasporic identity formation among Asian labourers at the Ewen Salmon Cannery in Richmond, BC.