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Slocan story by Peter Smith awarded the Community History Prize

A self-published book on the silver rush in the Slocan Valley has been awarded the Community History Prize during the 38th Annual British Columbia Historical Federation Lieutenant Governor’s Historical Writing Competition.

Author Peter Smith was recognized for his book, Silver Rush: British Columbia’s Silvery Slocan 1891-1900.

Smith writes in his 600-page book about the men and women who traveled the region in search of prosperity.

In the 1890s, mining camps like Sandon, Three Forks, Whitewater and their neighbours; New Denver, Silverton, Slocan City, Kaslo and Nakusp, thrived. Once the most productive mining region in British Columbia, prospectors and miners came from Idaho, Montana and other mining centres to reap the silver harvest.

Capitalists flooded in from Spokane, Seattle, Vancouver, and investment centres across North America and the world.

Plummeting silver prices, labour troubles and the Klondike gold rush eventually put an end to the silver rush but the legacy of that rush endures to this day.

Other awards from the 38th Annual British Columbia Historical Federation Lieutenant Governor’s Historical Writing Competition included:

The Lieutenant-Governor’s Medal for Historical Writing 2020

  • The BC Lieutenant Governor’s Medal for historical writing and $2,500 was awarded to Catherine Clement, Chinatown Through a Wide Lens: The Hidden Photographs of Yucho Chow, Chinese Canadian Historical Society of British Columbia
  • 2nd prize, $1500, Deborah Griffiths, with Christine Dickinson; Judy Hagen & Catherine Siba, Step into Wilderness: A Pictorial History of Outdoor Exploration in and around the Comox Valley, Harbour Publishing
  • 3rd prize, $500, Lara Campbell, A Great Revolutionary Wave: Women and the Vote in British Columbia, UBC Press

Honourable mentions 

  • Liz Bryan, Pioneer Churches of British Columbia and the Salish Sea: An Explorer's Guide, Heritage House Publishing
  • Claudia Cornwall, British Columbia in Flames: Stories from a Blazing Summer, Harbour Publishing
  • Nina Shoroplova, Legacy of Trees: Purposeful Wandering in Vancouver's Stanley Park, Heritage House Publishing