Wagon Road North: The Saga of the Cariboo Gold Rush, and British Columbia in Flames: Stories from a Blazing Summer, are both nominated for a Jeanne Clarke through the Prince George Library.
Art Downs, who was based in the Quesnel area, wrote Wagon Road North originally in the 70’s.
Ken Mather then edited a new addition for 2020, bringing it into the 21st century.
“I did a chapter on the indigenous people’s involvement in the Gold Rush, another chapter on the Chinese and the BC Gold Rush, and another chapter yet on the women of the Cariboo, and I did a 4th chapter as well, so I expanded the book considerably, but it still remains Art Downs’ book.”
Mather says it is really a legacy of the beginning of BC publishing as well, and a very special book in the history of British Columbia.
Claudia Cornwall, who’s family has a cabin on Sheridan Lake and was evacuated, wrote the story on the wildfires in BC in 2017.
“I started in Ashcroft/Cache Creek, go up Highway 97,100 Mile House, I talk about Williams Lake, I talk about the Bowron Lakes, there were fires in there, the Chilcotin, Riske Creek, and there is also an interesting episode about a fire just along the Highway, a little bit south of Quesnel.”
In that case, Cornwall says fire fighters lost communication with the Cariboo Fire Centre.
“It was a very unusual situation. I remember talking to one of those fire fighters and he said he just got out a pizza box and drew where the fire was and showed it to his guys. He said this is what we’ve got to do ,and this is where you’re going to go, and it was very primitive. There was no fancy communication or anything, it was all done on a pizza box.”
Despite that, Cornwall says they were successful in putting the fire out.
The award winners will be announced on March 13th and 14th.