HOW BEAUTIFUL WAS MY VALLEY
The book is a light hearted recounting of my boyhood in the magic northern Ontario farming community of Sylvan Valley during the 1950s and '60s. (Sylvan Valley is located near Sault Ste. Marie.) Sylvan Valley has always been dear to me. It was a beautiful, magical place.
I actually wrote the book in 2009 for my children and grandchildren. Until now, I have kept those writings solely for my family. Recently, contact with my old public school friends has prompted me to publish my stories.
I have augmented my original book with a section on the early history of Sylvan Valley - the old homestead ruins have always intrigued me. In describing the pioneer days, I have drawn upon a multitude of sources - from the Sylvan Valley centennial book For Old Times Sake, to census records, to the reminisces of early Valley settlers. I have added a map in the book of the locations and names of the original settlers.
Along with The Valley stories, I have also included memories of my initial years living in the inimitable Finnish Canadian wilderness community of Wabos before I moved to The Valley.
In an endeavor to evoke the feel of the era, I have added family photos to the book. And, to better capture the beauty of Sylvan Valley, I have included images of paintings of Sylvan Valley by Robert-Ralph Carmichael, the noted Canadian artist who lived in Sylvan Valley. Rose Campbell, the book designer, has further accentuated the beauty of my magnificent north with her world class design.
The heart of the book though, is the story of my happy and adventurous boyhood growing up with my brother in my magnificent north.