Following World War I, Canada encouraged farmers to immigrate and settle in the west. The Solberg family left Norway in 1926, enticed by the opportunity to start a new life. Herman Solberg had farming experience, but chose to go to Vancouver and work in the city. When he lost his job, he moved the family up the coast to homestead on Sechelt Inlet. Here he built a life in the harsh wilderness and with his wife Olga, and raised his two daughters Bergliot and Minnie.
|Up Salmon Inlet|
The Cougar Lady: Legendary Trapper of Sechelt Inlet written by Rosella Leslie has is a book about the life of Bergliot Solberg, known as Bergie. Because of her hunting prowess, she attained the radio handle Cougar Lady. The book chronicles the life of the Solberg family, with an emphasis on the exploits of Bergie. And there were many for this woman who was as tough and independent as a man.
I enjoyed the book for several reasons. I have a Norwegian background. My grandmother's family arrived in the States in the late 1800s with a similar desire. The picture of Bergie's mother Olga reminded me of gramma with her long brown hair pulled back into a knot at the back of her neck. I admire Bergie and her sister Winnie for being so independent and self-reliant. They lived their lives by their own rules. Growing up in the big city, I felt just the opposite. And of course, Sechelt is near our home in Powell River, where we are living up the lake in a float cabin. Maybe there's hope that a little of Bergie's independence and self-reliance will rub off on me.
There are lots of places to read about the life of Bergliot Solberg online. Here are a few:
January 2011 Harbour Spiel articles -- pages 3 and 14-15Do you have any good books to recommend? -- Margy
February 2011 Harbour Spiel articles -- pages 20-21
February 2012 Oddvin Vedo Blog -- A Norwegian's blog
BigPacific.com article -- by Laurie McConnell
Coast Reporter -- book review