A fascinating tour through BC’s historical gold rush trails, focusing on the nineteenth-century churches that were pivotal to the establishment of early settler communities.
Much has been written about the Cariboo gold rush—from the trails and wagon roads to the rowdy mining camps, from tales of great luck to those of disappointment and despair. This book paints a different picture of those pioneer days. It is a guide to the nineteenth-century churches that were built during the gold rush or in the settlement days that followed. Most of these historic structures were handmade of local wood, though they differed greatly in size and style. Some are now abandoned, untenanted but still worthy of inspection. All were built to fill the spiritual need of the European migrants who flooded to the area, to nurture a sense of community that survived even after the gold was gone.
Filled with beautiful colour photography and detailed maps, Pioneer Churches along the Gold Rush Trail highlights the history, geography, architecture, craftsmanship, and social context of dozens of gold rush–era churches, preserving them, in their varying states of decay, for posterity. While acknowledging the destructive forces of colonialism, including Christianity, on Indigenous Peoples, this book also examines the historical role of churches in community building and invites the reader to consider this dichotomy with an open and curious mind.
About the author
Liz Bryanis a journalist with an extensive background in magazine editing and publishing. She is one of British Columbia’s premier travel writer/photographers and the author of four previous books, including The Buffalo People, Country Roads of Alberta, and Country Roads of British Columbia. She and her late husband, Jack, co-founded Western Living magazine.
"Travel the Gold Rush Trail from the Lower Mainland to the Cariboo and your eye will be caught by many historic places of worship along the way. Liz Bryan’s book will fill in the blanks, giving you the backstory to the compelling architecture and history of these churches and transforming your journey through the BC Interior into a pilgrimage."
—Sage Birchwater, author of Talking to the Story Keepers: Tales from the Chilcotin Plateau
Other titles by Liz Bryan
Adventure Roads of BC's Northwest Heartland
Pioneer Churches of Vancouver Island and the Salish Sea
An Explorer's Guide
River of Dreams
A Journey through Milk River Country
Stone by Stone
Exploring Ancient Sites on the Canadian Plains, Expanded Edition
Country Roads of Western BC
From the Fraser Valley to the Islands
Country Roads of British Columbia
Exploring the Interior
Country Roads of Alberta
Exploring the Routes Less Travelled
The Buffalo People
Pre-contact Archaeology on the Canadian Plains
British Columbia and SW Alberta