Surveying Central British Columbia

Jay Sherwood


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Frank Swannell contributed greatly to the shape of British Columbia by surveying and mapping large portions of the province over three decades. He also took thousands of photographs and kept detailed journals of his travels. In his second book on Swannell’s adventures, Jay Sherwood presents central BC through the eyes and words of one of BC’s most famous surveyors.

2007, paperback, 192 pages

b/w photographs

ISBN 978-0-7726-5870-8

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Swannell photographed First Peoples, settlers, various methods of transportation and the daily life of a surveying crew. Of about 1500 photographs he took between 1920 and 1928, Jay Sherwood has selected the best for this book. Many have historical significance, showing the changes beginning to occur in this largely wilderness region of central BC.

Surveying Central British Columbia is based primarily on Swannell’s diaries and photographs. It is supplemented by interviews with descendants of some members of Swannell’s surveying crew, research and the author’s personal visits to several places where Swannell surveyed. It includes database of Swannell’s photographs online at the BC Archives.
Second prize in the 2007 BC Historical Federation Writing Competition.
Merit Award for book design at the Society of Graphic Designers of Canada 2008 Rock Awards.

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
In the Shadow of the Great War
Return to Northern British Columbia
Bannock and Beans by Bob White (edited by Jay Sherwood)


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