Carving the Western Path

Carving the Western Path

Routes to Remember

Book - 2006
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The sparsely populated southern Interior of British Columbia was rich in resources and ripe for settlement in the late 1800s. The agricultural lands of the Okanagan and Nicola valleys, and the precious metals and coal of the Kootenays, lay largely unused or undiscovered: the challenges was getting to these places.

Transportation was the key that opened the way to these riches, providing hope for the future for stout-hearted settlers--people for whom hope was the greatest of treasures. In this final book of his bestselling Carving the Western Path series, former Deputy Minister of Highways and Public Works R.G. Harvey tells the stories of the road through the Okanagan Valley, the highway alongside Kootenay Lake and the Crows Nest Railway. He also looks at how the challenge of moving people and cars over water was met, from river ferries running on human power or the force of currents to the 1,000-hp ferries on interior lakes.

Harvey's stories about BC's fascinating transportation history speaks of technical matters, but also of human resolution and determination in meeting nature's challenges.

Publisher: Surrey, B.C. : Heritage House, 2006.
ISBN: 9781894974172
Characteristics: 189 p. :,ill., maps ;,22 cm.


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May 06, 2017

Carving the Western Path has a great deal of experience and history packed into its pages, It's written by former BC Deputy Minister of Highway and Public Works, RG Harvey. From tales of building snow sheds to a deeper understanding of the ferries of the interior of the province to the inside scoop on the development of roads in the Okanagan, it's clear Harvey has much in the way of research hours and storytelling ability behind him. What is sometimes lacking is a cohesive through line; much of his stories seem to come from a stream of consciousness. It's hard to see what the author is driving at sometimes. Also, the final chapter, on the subject Mormon family travelling from Utah to BC, although indicative of the type of hardy characters that were pioneers to the province in the late 1800s, seems out of place in a book peopled by factual information and anecdotes about more recent road building and ferries in the province. Still B.C. history buffs will find a few tales to keep them interested.

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