Marianne - Author and Historian

Books by Marianne Van Osch



A Mill Behind Every Stump. 196 Pages. 69 Images.

A Mill Behind Every Stump (image)

In 1922 Marion Judson brought his family by covered wagon to Ruth Lake in the Cariboo District of British Columbia. The story of the family's life on a remote homestead is told through the memories of his son Louis.

Louis' unique stories of his childhood are fascinating. They are humorous, tragic at times, rich with detail and sprinkled with wisdom.

He tells of working at a gold mine in Bralorne at a young age, riding the rails, how he lost his foot in a milling accident, witching for gold and water. Most of all, this is the story of early sawmills in Cariboo forests, before chainsaws and skidders, how they flourished and how they declined, and the men who worked so hard on them, often at great cost to themselves.

Louis is a direct descendant of the legendary Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce. He is proud of his family’s friendship with the First Nations people of the Canim Lake Band. His lifelong contact with them resulted in captivating stories of how to fish, trap, and live within nature. Read an excerpt from A Mill Behind Every Stump.



Along The Clearwater Trail (Revised). 150 Pages. 60 Images. $15.00 Canadian + Shipping.

Along The Clearwater Trail

In the early spring of 1925 Everett Greenlee brought his young family to Canim Lake in the Cariboo District of British Columbia. The family settled at Sand Point just below the Clearwater Trail, an ancient route used by First Nations people to travel from Canim Lake to the Clearwater Country.

Toody Greenlee Shirran and her three sisters worked with their parents,doing “whatever had to be done” to survive on a wilderness homestead. It was a hard life but one that shaped the girls’ futures as women who pioneered in a man’s world, working as independent loggers, truck drivers and well drillers.

Toody’s stories and poems tell of a time when there were no roads, neighbours were few and far between, and a chance to go to school meant the world to a young girl. Read an excerpt from Along The Clearwater Trail.



Cariboo Christmas. 46 Pages. 16 Illustrations. $9.00 Canadian + Shipping.

Cariboo Christmas

Cariboo Christmas is a collection of Christmas writings. The book includes short stories inspired by the memories of pioneer people and early residents of the Cariboo District, in the Interior of British Columbia. A poem, written as a tribute to a local fire department, and two commentaries on the origins and adventures of Santa Claus round out the book.

Illustrations for the book were done by artist Tom Godin.

Read an excerpt from Cariboo Christmas.



The Homesteader's Daughter. 333 Pages. 72 Images. $22.00 Canadian + Shipping.

Homesteader's Daughter

In the spring of 1914 Edward Higgins brought his young wife and children on the Cariboo Wagon Road to a homestead in the wilderness of the interior of British Columbia. In 1917 a daughter was born who would prove to be as unique as her name. Noveta helped her mother with household chores from an early age but was far more interested in working with her father and in being 'as like him as I could be'.

And so she was. She homesteaded with her husband, coped with life on their homestead, and relied on her own resourcefulness and the energy that kept her going "eight ways from center." She made furniture, built barns, hunted, and 'camperized her van'. The Homesteader's Daughter is a collection of stories that flow with humour, dangerous encounters and tragedy. Read from The Homesteader's Daughter.



The Wanderer. 185 Pages. 64 Images. $15.00 Canadian + Shipping.

The Wanderer

Harold Gangloff is a superb storyteller. His story begins on a homestead in Ontario near the Manitoba border. He tells of a wilderness farm, of will o' the wisps, and of childhood adventures that include a moonlit race with a wolf.

When the family moves to British Columbia a new world opens for Harold. From the dangers of skyline logging to a gold dredge in the Yukon to a mine in Mayo where he is seriously injured in an underground explosion, Harold tells his wonderful stories with humour and fascinating detail. His descriptions of working in a saw mill in Ocean Falls and horse logging in Northern Ontario put the reader on the spot. There are gangsters, hoboes, Holocaust survivors, and Doukhobors. He marries, slips to rock bottom with a family to care for, then finds a new life with a new set of adventures in the Cariboo, in 100 Mile House. Read from The Wanderer.



The Buffalo Man. 185 Pages. 64 Images. $15.00 Canadian + Shipping.

The Buffalo Man

The Buffalo Man is the story of Albert Walters and his family. Defeated by the bitter wind and drought of the Depression, they leave their doomed Saskatchewan farm and travel north to a home site in the Alberta bush. After a few years on their hardscrabble farm the family leaves in a small wagon train, with eleven children, on a quest to find prosperity in BC. However, they settle on a farm in the beautiful country near Sundre, in Alberta.

Albert heads into the Yukon on historical surveys, into the Rockies on early grizzly studies and down the Mackenzie as a cook for a geological survey crew. He takes part in early Calgary Stampedes and is badly hurt in a ranch accident. He moves to BC where he obtains a permit for the first buffalo ranch in the province. The buffalo soon bring 'the world to my door'. Albert's seven sisters' unique stories and memories enrich the book with humour and insight. Read from The Buffalo Man.



A Teacher's Story: Forest Grove, 1951. 61 Pages. 64 Images. $8.00 Canadian + Shipping.

A Teacher's Story

John Calam arrived at the Forest Grove School one week before the school opened in 1951. It was the first teaching assignment for the young man and an introduction to both rural education and a way of life that was far different from his childhood in England and teenage years in Vancouver.

During that novice year, Calam photographed activities at the school and the teacherage nearby. His beautifully written Introduction and Epilogue bookend the photos. They tell the story of the year he became part of the Forest Grove community, a unique and lasting experience. Read from A Teacher's Story: Forest Grove 1951.




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