BOOK Martin Fry, Frontiersman

BOOK Martin Fry, Frontiersman

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by Joseph Colebrook Harris; Introduction by Cole Harris

Martin Fry grew up in the Willamette Valley, Oregon, and spent much of his life in the vast, thinly populated watershed of the Columbia River. In the fall of 1891–92 he participated in the rush to the Slocan, and early the following spring staked a claim that became the Slocan’s first shipping mine.

He was interviewed in 1927 by J.C. Harris, who wrote an account of his life. Now, almost a century later, this account offers a glimpse of a vanished frontier where Indigenous people were still the principal population, the regulatory apparatus of modern societies was weakly in place, and ingenious individuals like Martin Fry created livelihoods out of an astonishing variety of practical occupations. It is also the most detailed surviving eyewitness account of the early days of the Slocan mining rush.

Paperback, 2019