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River of Mists

People of the Upper Skeena, 1821-1930

Geoff Mynett

A collection of extraordinary stories about ordinary people from BC’s wild frontier.

In River of Mists, best-selling author and award-winning historian Geoff Mynett returns to the Skeena River community of Hazelton to shed new light on the wide spectrum of characters who left their mark on the area. Delving as far back in time as the early 1820s, Mynett covers over a century of change in the small community which, due to its location at the forks of the Skeena and Bulkley rivers and proximity to mountain ranges, seems destined to be a hub of activity—always industrious, often prosperous, and occasionally scandalous—while maintaining the charming nature of a small town.

The characters in River of Mists may not be those traditionally associated with the written history of the region now known as Hazelton, BC. Here are the stories of those whose lives left some mark on the community—visitors like Hudson’s Bay Company trader Simon McGillivray, Western Union Telegraph medical officer George Chismore, and famed painter Emily Carr; and the lesser known pioneers, prospectors, and longtime residents like HBC agent turned local business owner Thomas Hankin, and Bishop William Ridley and Jane Ridley, founders of the Hazelton Queek, named after the whistling mountain marmot. 

Combining folksy, small-town charm and meticulous research, Mynett’s River of Mists: People of the Upper Skeena, 1821-1930 is a whimsical and informative chronicle of a century in the heart of Northern BC.