The Railroader's Wife: Letters from the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway

The Railroader's Wife: Letters from the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway

by Jane Stevenson

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Overview

The Railroader's Wife: Letters from the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway by Jane Stevenson

The story of the railway has never been told in such a charming voice as in these letters by Bernice Medbury Martin. Bernice Medbury married railroader Leslie Martin in 1912 and arrived later that year in Prince Rupert at the height of rock blasting and railroad building. Lonely for her family in Wisconsin, Bernice wrote frequent letters home in which she described in striking detail the machinery and mudslides, the weather and the wilderness, the local characters and the outrageous cost of supplies. She wrote of her frustration at the slow pace of the railway work and her happiness at an invitation to a social event many miles away. She lived in a tent at Kitselas, a hotel in Hazelton, a shack in the Bulkley Valley and a hand-hewn log cabin at Decker Lake. Bernice's letters span the two final years of Grand Trunk Pacific Railway track building and are neatly woven together by Jane Stevenson's well-researched narration.

A stunning collection of photographs illustrates the enormous task of constructing a railway along the Skeena River, through the Bulkley Valley and on to Burns Lake. Bernice travelled to a land her friends and family could not imagine, where she experienced the challenges and joys of the Canadian western frontier and witnessed the construction of the truly "Grand" Trunk Pacific Railway, until the last spike was driven near her home early in the spring of 1914.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781894759434
Publisher: Caitlin Press, Incorporated
Publication date: 04/15/2010
Pages: 196
Product dimensions: 7.00(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.50(d)

About the Author

Jane stevenson holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Victoria, majoring in Anthropology and Environmental Studies. She was curator of the Bulkley Valley Museum in Smithers and has been published in 'Geist', 'Connections Magazine', 'The Western Producer' and 'Acreage Life'. She is the regular historical writer for 'Northword' magazine.She lives in Telkwa, BC.

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