Tuesday, July 6, 2010

A darn good story

I don't usually blog about Reference books, because you can't check them out and take them home, so why tempt you?   But I'm making an exception here, since the book in question is so interesting and useful it's a shame not to let everyone know about it.
Exploring Alaska & British Columbia by Stephen E. Hilson is actually a reprint of a 1997 follow-up to his first historical reference atlas: Exploring Puget Sound & British Columbia (which we've had in the Reference collection since it's publication in 1975).  These are NOT nautical atlases for navigation purposes, although Hilson did use actual 1970's-era NOAA and CHS charts as the 'backdrop' for his information.  Instead, these pages are full of little historical tidbits:  old gold mines, village sites, plane crashes, shipwrecks, canneries, etc.
Looking over this atlas is a little like sailing around Southeast with your old grandfather, as he points out things that used to be.  'On Oct. 26, 1947 a Pan Am DC-4 crashed on Tamgas Mt and all 18 people aboard died' .   Or, 'There's a natural soda spring just at the head of Ella Creek that gets exposed at half tide'.  Or 'Over there is where Scotty Johnstone had his fox farm. His boats all sank in the winter of '29, and he had to eat Christmas candy and fox food to survive until someone from Ketchikan came over to check on him'.
So if you're looking for a little historical information about the area, if you're in search of old mines or canneries, if you had a relative who had a fox farm but you're not sure where (apparently, our area was just awash in fox farms), or if you're just planning on taking the boat out to do a little exploring and you're looking for points of interest....then copy off a couple of pages and take them along on your trip.

No comments: