Thursday, August 02, 2007

"Grizzlies in Their Backyard" by Beth Day

Every time I take the ferry from Horseshoe Bay to the Sunshine Coast on my way to Powell River, I go into the gift shop. It has an excellent collection of Canadian books. On a recent trip I purchased Grizzlies in Their Backyard by Beth Day.

Grizzlies is the saga of Jim and Laurette Stanton who homesteaded at the head of Knight Inlet in the early 20th Century. They arrived at their remote Coastal BC destination from Seattle in 1919. Jim and Laurette lived in several cabins -- the last of which they built for themselves. Jim trapped, logged and fished to earn enough to pay for their annual winter supplies. Laurette canned berries, fish and meat from the forest to augment their supply order that arrived by steamship from Vancouver in late fall.

Surrounding their isolated wilderness home were grizzly bears and other forest friends. Laurette was always "saving" one creature or another. Their home and table were shared by birds, racoons, squirrels and even three orphaned grizzly cubs. Deer came to their yard during winter for handouts to get them through lean times. Jim and Laurette lived in harmony with the harsh land for over 40 years. What they lacked in money they made up for in the richness of their life in "paradise."

Coastal BC was filled with hardy settlers like Jim and Laurette. They lived through some of the hardest, but most exciting times in coastal history. The book will take you back in time to see what it was like to live by your wits and hard work. If you won't be riding the ferry any time soon, Grizzlies in Their Backyard can be purchased from or -- Margy

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