Monday, March 12, 2012

"Three Against the Wilderness" by Eric Collier

Our good friends Dave and Marg head for the Chilcotin each spring with camper and quad. Like us, they like reading about the regions they visit. Three Against the Wilderness was a book they recommended. It's a compelling tale of pioneer life far from civilization in the early 20th Century.

Eric Collier immigrated to Canada from England in the early 1920's. He was educated, and came from a family of means. But he was more interested in the outdoors than studying.

Eric made his way west to British Columbia and ended up in Riske Creek, a small trading post in the Chilcotin interior. Here he worked as a clerk and met his wife to be Lillian. Before she died, Lillian's grandmother LaLa, a 97 year old First Nations woman, passed on her dream of repopulating her homeland on Meldrum Creek with beavers.

Eric registered a trap line that included the Meldrum Creek area, and moved his wife Lillian and newborn son Veasy 25 miles into the wilderness. With all their worldly possessions and provisions in a horse drawn wagon, they undertook building a self-sustaining home and life in the bush.

Over the years, Eric, Lillian and Veasy worked hard to make a living in the beautiful, but often unforgiving, land. The book, written by Eric Collier, covers over thirty years of their exciting, harrowing, and heart-warming adventures.

I found a series of interviews with Veasy Collier conducted by James Stewart on YouTube, and a blog he wrote. Take a look for a first hand account.

Three Against the Wilderness is available in both print and Kindle formats at, on BC Ferries, and in many book stores. -- Margy


  1. Very interesting! I read their book many years ago and enjoyed it - the first printing was in 1959 and the library I got it from still has it. It is a book I need to read again. Thanks for jogging my memory!

  2. interesting...going to check it out at Amazon!

  3. 2 Tramps - I think you would like the book - Margy.