Return to Northern British Columbia

Jay Sherwood


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In his third book on the adventures of Frank Swannell, historian Jay Sherwood continues his account of one of British Columbia’s most famous surveyors. During the final portion of his career, Swannell returned to northern BC for much of his surveying, but also worked in the Kootenays and on Vancouver Island.

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2010, paperback, 192 pages

150 b/w photographs

ISBN 978-0-7726-6283-5

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The 1930s was the era of bush planes, packers and river boats in northern BC. Swannell completed a vital triangulation network across the northern part of the province, participated in the provincial government’s important but little known PGE Resources Survey, and worked on the first surveys for the Alaska Highway. While in the north, he also worked as geographer for the Bedaux Expedition, one of the most unusual adventures in BC history (see Bannock and Beans).

Frank Swannell recorded his experiences with some of northern BC’s most colourful characters, including Skook Davidson, who worked with the surveyor over four seasons. Swannell provides much valuable information about the life of Davidson before he started his famous Diamond J Ranch. Return to Northern British Columbia includes a photo gallery of unpublished Skook Davidson photographs found in Swannell’s photo albums.

Return to Northern British Columbia provides a fascinating and informative look at life in the remote areas of this region during the 1930s.


About the Author

From 1979 to 1986, Jay Sherwood lived and taught school in Vanderhoof. There, he learned about the ledgendary land surveyor, Frank Swannell, through his involvement with the local history society. A former surveyor himself, Sherwood embarked on a study of Swannell that would result in the publication of three books about him. His research also inspired him write about other important land surveyors and explorers.

Other books by Jay Sherwood
Furrows in the Sky: The Adventures of Gerry Andrews
In the Shadow of the Great War
Surveying Central British Columbia
Bannock and Beans by Bob White (edited by Jay Sherwood)


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