The Land on Which We Live

Life on the Cariboo Plateau: 70 Mile House to Bridge Lake

The romantic backwoods landscape known as the North Bonaparte, stretches east from 70 Mile House to Bridge Lake and is full of small remote ranches, hidden abandoned homesteads, and rutted roads leading to graves in forgotten meadows. High on the Cariboo Plateau, the land was once the domain of the Secwepemc people who hunted and fished throughout the region. White settlers began to arrive in 1891 and discovered the land they chose was tough and challenging. Winters were long with frost in July and September, the soil was inhospitable, the location remote from any amenities. Those who made it their home had to be tough, resourceful and resilient in order to thrive. This is the story of those people: colourful, hard-working, hard-playing individualists. Tales of well-known pioneers such as Bill and Mary Boyd and the Saul brothers of the 70 Mile House, the McDonald family of The Rainbow Chasers, and Jack Dubois, the famous rustler and horse breeder of Outlaws of Western Canada are among those included in the book. Barbara MacPherson’s The Land on Which We Live fully captures a life that depended on tenacity, skillfulness, and on the kindness and help of neighbours and friends.

Barbara MacPherson Barbara MacPherson spent several years as a child in Bridge Lake and has since lived in many places in British Columbia. Combining her passion for social history and genealogy with her love of the Cariboo, she began a four-year project of researching, studying, and writing about the lives of the those who came to the region of Bridge Lake to 70 Mile House during the years 1871 to 1959. A founding member of the Arrow Lakes Historical Society, she co-wrote the prizewinning FACES OF THE PAST (Arrow Lakes Historical Society) with Milton Parent. MacPherson is freelance writer in many subjects and has been writing and publishing stories for over thirty years. She lives in Nakusp with her family.

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