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By Snowshoe, Buckboard and Steamer

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By Snowshoe, Buckboard and Steamer

Women of the British Columbia Frontier


The vivid, personal accounts of four women who lived and travelled as settlers in early British Columbia

“…a cloud passing away from the face of the moon revealed a band of wild horses bearing down upon us at a full gallop. As they came near and saw us they divided into two groups, passing by on either side. Had the moon not come out they would probably have become entangled in our tent ropes, and we should not have lived to tell the tale.”—Violet Sillitoe, between Osoyoos and Penticton

The women in this book were trailblazers. The frontiers they lived on were not only geographical but personal. As they left the drawing rooms of England and eastern Canada for new lives in the far West, social patterns were disrupted, and the status quo dissolved. On the wagon roads and river boats of nineteenth-century British Columbia, they found risks, opportunities and freedoms far beyond those familiar to their more settled contemporaries. By Snowshoe, Buckboard and Steamer tells four extraordinary stories of life on the unruly edge of empire.

Winner of the 1998 BC Lieutenant Governor’s Medal for Historical Writing.

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