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READER'S COMMENTS


12 September 2011

Hello Peter,
I came across your site while trying to find a DVD of 'The Grey Fox' movie. It is one of my all time favorites as far as topic, scenery, and music. I have had a VHS copy for ages but technology keeps moving on as you know. Anyway, I was surprised and excited to learn of your book. Spent the evening devouring all available info on the site. I have found some pictures on the BC Archive site. I would love to learn more. Is your book available? I didn't find it on Amazon.
Best Regards,
Bill B.

14 Sept 2011

I advised Bill that the book is still available as a direct order from myself.  We are finishing off the inventory from the fourth print, and will not be printing the fifth one until my next book is ready for printing.  This will probably be late winter or early spring 2012.  Some book stores however are still carrying copies, and our distributor, Sandhill Books in Kelowna, is still supplying stores with stock previously submitted to them by us.


28 July 2011

In September of 2010, I received this interesting email from Alaska.  In response to this inquiry, I advised the writer that there is no documented evidence that Miner ever had any children.  Since publication of my book, a few individuals have come forward claiming to be his direct descendants, but there has been no real provenance when they are queried on details.  One documented fact we do know is that a "Mrs. Ezra Miner" from an address in Spokane, WA wrote the BC Penitentiary in 1907 for more information about the escapee who she claims to have been her husband.  For anyone interested in following up on this, they can contact me at my email address.  P.

-------------

Hi,
     I live in Anchorage, Alaska and run a tobacco shop/internet cafe.  A few years ago an old man, with an escort, wandered into my shop to buy a cigar.  I started talking with him and he told me that he lived in a halfway house after serving a number of years in Lompoc prison in California.  He told me his name was Bill Miner...the only child of Thee Bill Miner.
     He had been sent to prison for murdering a friend in Dillingham, Alaska.  I had to go look into the court records to get what I'm going to tell you.  I've since lost all the names involved but if you want or need the information, I can still find it.
     Bill Miner apparently moved to Dillingham with a childhood friend.  They were hard workers but Bill managed to save his money and invest it wisely.  Eventually Bill owned a lot of land in Dillingham including a successful bar.  Bill got married and had a couple of kids.  Also remember that these men were uneducated and illiterate...and probably built a lot of animosity among the townspeople because of their success.
     What got Bill sent to prison was an argument with his childhood friend.  His friend was always flirting with Bill's wife.  One day, Bill had enough and pulled out a gun aiming it at his friend.  The friend grabbed the gun and pulled it toward himself and it went off killing him.  Bill was charged with the murder and sentenced to 99 years in prison.
     Bill's wife committed suicide after the trial on the porch of their home.  I'm told that exactly one year later, their son went to the same spot and shot himself.  Bill Miner died in Anchorage in March 2008.
     My question for you is:  is there any record of Bill Miner having children?
     Thanks,
      Richard G


26 July 2011

As I mentioned in my "Journal" section, I have been negligent in keeping up with the emails I have received from my readers.  I will try to rectify that over the coming weeks.  Meanwhile, here is one that I received in September of 2010 from Britain.

--------------

Dear Peter

I had the good fortune to meet you briefly, a couple of weeks ago ... when my brother-in-law ...  introduced you to me as "a bit of a historian".  What an understatement!

Later that day, Shaun gave me your book to peruse, and I realised straight away that this was a serious piece of work.  More than that, I became immediately entranced by the descriptions it contains about life in this part of BC at the turn of last century.  You may recall that we are visiting from England, and have been to Kamloops many times over the past 13 years or so, so the geographical context is pretty familiar.  However, it is the picture painted by the movements of the robbers, the officers of the Law and the people with whom they interact along the way which turns the book into a fascinating social history.  Moving a basic understanding of horse-based transport into the daily lives of real people has been a revelation to me.

 From a humble reader, I hope you will accept my compliments for the brilliant way you have woven the threads of hard evidence of such a complex chain of events into such a gripping story.  I've struggled to put it down!

Kindest regards

David S.


22 December 2009

Hello:

I recently found your website and read your book.  Both are fascinating – the amount of detail you have uncovered is incredible.   James Doyle, the brick yard instructor at the BC Pen, was my great-grandfather.  If you are interested in more information about his life, see my websitewww.fayewest.ca/doyle/p1030.htm  The tale of James and Bill Miner is one of our more exciting family stories.

Faye W.


29 November 2009

Hello:

A thoroughly entertaining read.  I took a photograph of the historical marker this year and it now hangs in the Keg in Richmond Hill Ontario.  I was appalled to find that staff of this large restaurant chain have no idea why they serve ‘Billy Miner Pie’.  It was my simple attempt to remedy a little bit of that.  Your book has done much better.  Possibly the Keg could use a number of copies of your book.

 In any case it was good to read of the history, the area and the people of that time.  Since moving from North Vancouver we have been home many times and travel the area often.  I continue to look for a DVD copy of the Grey Fox as well.  I will be recommending your book to my friends, assuming my copy will be worn out by those I lend it to.

Regards

Dave L.

Oakville ON


29 July 2009

Hi Peter and Karen,

 Thank you so much for the wonderful gift of your book, it's been a fantastic read!

As you know, I grew up in The Netherlands and 'historical' events there are considered to have taken place much earlier in time. In the area where I was born and raised, civilization started around 3000 before Christ and official archives and documents of important events have survived for over 1000 years today.

But although BC history (not civilization!) only goes back some 200 years, it's not of any less importance. It was shocking to me to read how hard it was for you to hunt down information on events that only happened 100 years ago! I get the impression that historical awareness in BC is on the rise, but it's unbelievable to me to read how government archives have been (and are?) treated. History is not only for the handful of 'history buffs' amongst us, sooner or later in life we'll all want to know more about 'the olden days'. If factional information is simply destroyed through negligence, how will we show future generations how things were and how will they be able to learn from things we could have done better?

With English being my second language, it may have taken me a little longer to read your book, but I can assure you that I took it up every night for almost a month and had to cut my reading time off at midnight... Your style of writing grabbed me and never let go. In my opinion, your book is a fantastic document that combines documenting facts and story telling in a most exciting format. I can't even begin to imagine how many hours of research went into this book and I admire your persistence and historical awareness.

This book for sure is something to be extremely proud of and I am looking forward to hearing more about your next project re the Gold Rush.

It was an honor to meet you both and I am sure we'll meet again.

Best regards,

Remco W.


23 May 2009

Peter

My wife bought a copy of your book for me at the Kamloops gun show. We talked for a long time about the firearms used by the miners for your next book at the show. I'm the guy who still uses an old blackpowder shotgun to hunt deer with.

Well its taken me longer than expected to finish my copy of your book. Work and family commitments you know.

I have to say that I found the book an outstanding read. To think of all that history and goings on in the area we were in. And not that long ago either. A 100 years, as far as history goes is pretty recent. While travelling back to the island on the ferry after the Kamloops show. I had the opportunity to run in to a real old timer who grew up in Kamloops. He said he knew one of the fellows that was part of the posse chasing miner. He saw my copy of your book on the table I was sitting at. This fellow was as the saying goes "older than dirt". I only wish I could remember his name. We talked for a while and he had a lot of interesting stories about Kamloops in his younger days.

I find it interesting that Dunn had a Luger pistol. A pistol so new would be worth a lot of money I would think. The Luger being in production for a short time, before the story takes place. Makes me wonder where the money would come from to buy such an expensive gun.

Anyways thanks again for a great book. And I wish  you luck with your next book. I'm sure it will be as good of a read as this one has.

Marc S.

Oma Products Ltd.


14 May 2009

Dear Peter,   I enjoyed meeting you and Karen at the Calgary Gun Show in

April , which I attended with a gun collector friend  from Richmond  who spent some time with you talking about Miner's firearms.

    The book was a great read. A fascinating story , both from the history of the people that settled in that part of BC, and the geographical details ,  to say nothing  of the story of Bill's escapades . I spent some time in Tulameen this past summer, and now have more reason to explore the area . I spent my working years with the HBC Northern Stores , which became the NorthWest Company in 1987, and have an interest in Canada's history and pioneers, particularly in the back country .

    Will be looking forward to your next book

        Jim B.


(I received this email in response to my query noted below.)

22 April 2009

Greetings -
Being a dealer in historical materials relating to the west, especially, I try to keep familiar with current research (and older secondary material, as well). Hence I read what looks good - and Interred with their Bones fits that bill. Or that Bill. I was also asked to appraise the Fitzpatrick/Mary Spencer material that came on the market a few years ago; my opinion is that the photos were all copy prints not made from negatives. Anyway, I have also had several primary documents and printed items relating to Miner, so have tried to contextualize them when offering them to clients, and your book is  fairly essential for doing so.
I will be issuing a catalogue of manuscript materials relating to BC colonial history sometime soon; there are a number of letters and other items relating to the Cariboo from the American perspective. I'll email you a copy as soon as I've finished editing it.
I look forward to meeting you in the future. 
Very best regards,
Steve

Stephen C Lunsford
                                        Within Canada:
PO Box 3023                  714 - 207 W. Hastings
Blaine WA  98231           Vancouver BC V6B 1H7
Ph: 604-681-6830
Associate Director B.C.and Yukon Region, National Archival Appraisal Board

 

----- Original Message -----
From: Peter Grauer <pgrauer@ocis.net>
Date: Tuesday, April 21, 2009 6:44 pm
Subject: catalogues.
To: stevebooks@shaw.ca

 Hello Steve, 
 I received your very interesting "Canadiana Americana" 
 catalogues in the  mail yesterday.  Just finished going through them.  I 
 was very impressed and  pleased that they ended up in my mail box.  As you probably 
 know I am a  researcher of early western Canadian documents, such as I used 
 for my last  book.  I am presently researching a book on the early days 
 of the Cariboo  gold rush which I hope to have go to print next spring.  I 
 make use of  original source material whenever I can access it.  Also in 
 my next book  will be as much 1859-1862 Washington Territory material as I can 
 access; particularly the movement of American miners to the  Cariboo and the Indian
 Wars that attempted to stop them.  Jack Splawn and Chief  Tonasket feature
 prominently.
  So, thanks again for passing on your catalogues to me.  All  I ask is, how
 did you get my name?  You must have good sources yourself.
  Regards,
 Peter Grauer in Kamloops
 


14 March 2009

Hello:

I recently finished your book and thoroughly enjoyed it. I love BC history and this just added to my deepening interest. I particularly like the gold rush history. “Our” history in this province is so young (I think) and it fascinates me what occurred only a short time ago. I grew up in Surrey and when the BC pen was closed I would go over and roam around the grounds (once getting chased by security patrol). Later, after it was slowly getting demolished, I climbed through a window of the entrance/receiving building (not the one on the riverfront) and looked around; even climbing up onto the roof up one of the ladders. I personally think it was a travesty that the site was demolished like it was but I’m probably one of the few. I’ve tried several times to find the old Pen graveyard; apparently some of the stones are still visible. I have a good idea where it is now and hope to get over soon and find it. I plan to go to the Mission Museum and look about soon since reading your book. 

Thanks for the great read! 

Karen G.

 

(I  responded to Karen as follows:)

15 March 2009

Hello Karen, nice to hear from you and I enjoyed your comments on the BC Pen.

You will be pleased to know that I am well underway on my research to my next book.  It deals with the very early years of the Cariboo Gold Rush, pre-Barkerville, and documents the exploits of 4 individuals who either left personal reminiscences behind, or considerable primary and secondary source material has been discovered in my research.  However, none of them are recognized by most BCers.

It will take place during 1861-62, the very foundations of BC as we know it.  It concentrates on one creek, Lightning Creek, and one town, Van Winkle.

So, glad you enjoyed the book, and thanks for contacting me.

Peter Grauer


20 February 09

Hi Peter,

Just finished reading your book, very impressed with the history and facts that you had researched for your book, it reads like a very excellent movie script, that jumps right into your thoughts as it is read, I relived the reality of those days, and all of the real life characters that opened up this country and province.  My mind was, as on eagles wings, as I read the last chapter reflecting on all the history and information that had been compiled between these to book covers.

 My wife purchased the book from your wife at the ... .  I have followed B.C. history with a passion since a young boy. I also had a friend who lived in Merrit and went to one of Bills old cabins up Hamilton hill towards Otter Valley / Princeton.  It was down a road that turned off to the left from the highway, the local population that new about this cabin.  Declared it to be were he had hid something in the area from one of the robberies, I took a photo of the cabin it still had all walls and a partial roof in the early 70s, even if it wasn't a cabin truly connected to Bill Miner it was a good day adventure ? 

I am also very interested in Politics and unions in Canada, you have touched on a bit of this history in your book, have you come across any information on Ginger Goodwin in your research or read the book published about him?  He was a coal miner from overseas that helped bring in better working conditions in the Cumberland coal mines of Vancouver Island.

 British Columbia history is far from dry and calm as you have presented, it is rich and alive with many new historical works, yet to come to life, in Canadian history.

 Thanks

James H.


Hello Karen and Peter,

It was a great pleasure to meet you personally at the mall this past weekend.

My wife Guida and I stopped to have a chat with you, when you showed us the letter and photograph sent to you from Constable Fernie's daughter.  (Actually, it was Constable Young's daughter. PRG)

We are the couple who moved to Canada from South Africa and settled in K... 16 years ago. Living in B... for 12 years, I had the opportunity to hunt the hills and areas around Monty Lake, Duck Range Road and Robbins Range just to mention a few of the locations. As you can understand, reading your book gave me the insight and understanding of what people went through during that era.

When you have an opportunity, would you please send us a copy of the picture and the letter. I would like to keep these as an addition to your book.

 I thank and congratulate you both on an excellent, factual and historical record you have given to Kamloops. I'm sure your book will be read and appreciated by many people who know and live in Kamloops, not forgetting those who have an interest in Canadian history.

Once again thank you,  may you have a wonderful Christmas Season and all the very best for 2009.

Good luck with the gold rush writing and am looking forward to reading it as well.

Regards

Dimas and Guida C.

Kamloops. BC


17 November 2008

Hi Peter,

I heard you speak at Sun Peaks last month (water conference), I did not have cash to buy your book but I did purchase it when I returned home to Grand Forks. This is one of the best books that I have ever read. Great work, especially since being an author was not your original line of work.

Thanks

Murray K.

Grand Forks


11 October 2008

What a Great book!!!

I found myself getting up in the middle of the night being drawn to your book.  I was so happy when recently travelling through Kamloops and filling up on gas (on heading to Vancouver Island for holidays) that I noted your book for sale at the gas station (Gateway Truck Stop, Bill Miner's Roadhouse PRG).  I was thrilled to purchase it, as this book had been in my mind for quite some time.

I do note you mention a couple of people in the beginning of your book that were from Powell River, which happens to be my home town... and that was a nice surprise to see. 

Even though I am not from the Okanagan, I am married to a family originally from Kamloops and now Vernon, which happens to be one of the sons of the founders of Armstrong Cheese (which in a way is a story in itself).  Founder Adrien Schrauwen and his wife Kay are now gone, but I think most people probably remember how good the cheese was before it was bought out in the 70's by Dairyland/Saputo.  Well, that is my opinion anyway... maybe I am prejudiced?

But now.... I am going to read your book again as it is calling me.  So again, I just want to thank you for what you have given the public.  I certainly can see the work and sacrifice involved in this great piece of history.

Thank you so much.

Diane S.


(Diane wrote another follow-up email to the writer:)

11 October 2008

Because I had travelled through Kamloops, and of course past Monte Lake, many times in the past, I always thought about Bill Miner.  (But the first time I thought of Miner was on looking at a mural at the Keg Restaurant at Granville Island in Vancouver many years ago when I use to go there. Someone there told me it was Miner and a bit about the story.) 

So being I had a long-standing interest in Miner, and while I was at the Coles bookstore here in Vernon, I asked if they had a book on Bill Miner.  That is when I was told of your book and that I could even order same through the Web.

Being I am really not that Web savvy (I am over 50 and do not know how to get around the computer that much), I sort of put it off, and that is why I was extremely thrilled when I saw the name of Miner at that gas station.  Yes, I believe it was the Gateway Truck Stop.  It is not far off from the bottom of the Vernon-Falkland road then crossing the highway into Kamloops.... there on right hand side.

When I went inside to see if a book on Miner was there to purchase I could not find any and I was disappointed.  Lucky for me that it was not too busy at the time and I asked a store clerk if they had any books on Miner.  Of course they had, and it was in an area behind the main counter.   I don't know if I had missed a sign that may have been displayed about the book.... but if there was it was not noticed by me.  

I think it would be really neat if they had set up a continuous running movie (snippets from the Grey Fox or something) that they could display above the main counter with a notation below the screen stating "books for sale here".  But I expect that would be too much of an expense; but on the other hand it would be something of interest to watch while waiting to make your purchases.

No, I did not see the escape tunnel, nor any other notable sites either as I had not read your book until I got home from holidays and I have not been in the Kamloops area since.

Sorry for rambling on, but I tend to do this.   When your next book is ready for purchase, can you put me on a list so I can get it?  Hopefully I will still be in the Okanagan by then as we might be moving to the Maritimes.... but not sure yet??

Thank you very much.

Diane S.


(The following individual, Peter R. requested a book through the writer's web site.  A short exchange of interesting emails took place.)

2 October 2008

Dear Peter,

OK, lets do it.  I may be missing something on the web-site but I can not find an address to send the money to!!!  I would like a soft cover edition.

 A little family history.  I was lucky enough to marry into a cabin on a lake.  The lake is Allison Lake on the present highway between Princeton and Merritt.  On one of your maps it looks like the main wagon road went through Otter Lake but showed a pack-trail that went right by Allison Lake.  Did Miner ever use the pack-trail?  It would be interesting to know because the original road/trail (long moved) went right along the beach and  our cabin is on the beach so it might be true to suppose Miner actually traveled right through the very space we are sitting in when we are sitting around our campfire!!!  (Does that make sense?) 

The property was purchase around 1960 by Ed & Dorene R. who have owned it ever since.  The cabin was built in 1962/3.  I came into the picture by marrying their youngest daughter, Dawna in 1981.  The cabin is still used by the whole extended R. family.  As for the dedication in the book maybe something along the lines of, "To the R...'s of Allison Lake" and then anything you like after that...  What do you think?    I plan on giving the book to "The Cabin" this Christmas. (Man I love this stuff)

I was a Vancouver City cop for 30 years so am able to see this story with a little different eye.  Even though, he still strikes me as a lovable old rogue.  I can tell you there aren't many lovable crooks around these days. 

So why isn't this book on every BC Ferry and the Canadiana section of every book store in Western Canada?  It is very well written and professionally done.  Do they shy away from self published pieces???

 Enough rambling for now.  I look forward to hearing from you.

 Peter R.

 (I replied as follows:)

Hello again, Peter,

The present highway between Princeton and through to Aspen Grove really did not get built until the 1930s.  The main wagon and stagecoach road went via the Otter Lake Valley.  If, when you drive north of Allison Lake and try to visualize a wagon road being built through this very rough country, you will see that building a wagon road through here in the early days would have involved too much time and money.  Hence they took the easier, even though longer, route.  However, a pack trail did exist through this country.  Some parts of it went through the Missezula Lake country to Aspen Grove.  Another trail would have gone through where the R...'s cabin is located on Allison Lake.  So, … yes, Colquhoun and Shorty Dunn did lead their pack horses through this way, and Bill Miner and Jack Budd would often use this trail to go back and forth to Kamloops, Nicola and the Douglas Lake Ranch.  It took some digging on my part to determine the roads that would have been taken in those days 100 years ago.  Also, I think more research could be done to nail down those pack trails through the Missezula Lake Country.

So, … I think the extended R... family would be able, on a slightly foggy night, when things are quiet and the moon does throw a bit of light over the water, … they would be able to see a man with a light-grey cavalry moustache and a battered flat-brimmed Stetson  with a four-cornered Montana pinch, wearing a long black duster and riding a black, high-stepping thoroughbred, heading north towards the grasslands of Nicola, Quilchena, Rockford, Anderson Creek and Kamloops.  Perhaps he knew he was keeping an unintended rendezvous with BC history.  You see, we are not trying to glorify a rather inept American bandit here, but rather, we are using him to tell the story of BC’s heritage; a story that is as full of adventure and thrills as any in the western US.  The stories just haven’t yet been told up here.  And those stories seem to have a bit of a unique Canadian twist to them

When an author is self-published, it is difficult to get their books into such venues as the BC Ferries.  It’s not from lack of trying, but we just do not have any big publishers behind us.  Also, sometimes the quality of self-published books is less than professional.

We self-published because we knew that a main stream publisher would have cut our book in half.  And we were convinced that what BC readers want to read is the detail of life as it was in BC 100 years ago.  You can’t tell the detail of this story without going to 600 pages.  And that is not acceptable to the publishers.

So, it is up to readers such as yourself to help us get the word out.  Word of mouth is a  very strong method of advertising, and the response to our book has been most encouraging.  Particularly from people such as yourself.

So, …, yes, …, I would be more than pleased to send a book to the R...s of Allison Lake.

Peter Grauer, Kamloops


(This is the email thread referred to in my "Journal.'  It refers to Maisie Campbell-Johnson Hurley.  I hope you, Dear Reader, can follow it.  See the "Journal" entry for more details.  Start at Roberts July 18th email at the bottom of this thread.)

 Peter

 I'm not sure whether you got my last email, but yes I am very happy for you to use  my Armytage-Moore findings on any of your websites.

 One further finding:

The Ellis Island web site has a ship's manifest showing that John R A Moore, aged 30 years and 10 months, sailed from Liverpool on the SS Carmania on 5th January, 1907, arriving at New York on the 13th January 1907, in transit to 748 Westminster Avenue, Vancouver. The manifest records his occupation as Estate Agent, Vancouver as his permanent address, and describes him as 6 feet tall, with dark complexion, brown hair and blue eyes. It also records he was previously in the U.S.A. in New York in 1906.

 It definitely seems to be him as it fits all the other information. So it looks like he moved to Vancouver and met Maisie there, and they become engaged about a year after this voyage. People from 100 years ago could never have imagined that they would have digital footprints.

 Robert W.

Huddersfield UK


From: Peter Grauer [mailto:pgrauer@ocis.net]

Sent: Thu 7/24/2008 5:00 AM

To: Robert W.

Subject: RE: armytage-moore

 Hello Robert,

 Thank you so much for the unexpected information on Armytage-Moore.  Fascinating stuff!

 The whole Maisie Campbell-Johnson story is most interesting, as I have met some of her descendants, and learned more about her and her escapades.  However, the Armytage-Moore Connection is a mystery to them.  When I next am in contact with them, I will advise them of your so-skillful research.

 With your permission, I will post it on my website.  The site has become a hotbed for genealogists looking into people associated with the early history of BC.

 How did you come across my site?  Did you Google Armytage-Moore?

 Thanks again for the solid information, and best regards from British Columbia.  (BTW, a few copies have found their way to the UK.)

 Peter Grauer

 Author of the award-winning book, "Interred With Their Bones, Bill Miner in Canada, 1903 to 1907."  See www.billminer.ca.

 

From: Robert W.

Sent: Wednesday, July 23, 2008 6:43 AM

To: peter@billminer.ca

Subject: RE: armytage-moore

 Peter

 Further to my email the other day I can now tell you more about John Reginald Rowallane Armytage-Moore, who was married to Maisie Hurley, and have also found a photograph of him. He looks a handsome chap. His sister, Priscilla Countess Annesley, was also well thought of for her looks.

 As you know, JRRA-M and Maisie married in September 1909. By May 1916 he is in the New Zealand Expeditionary Force sailing from Auckland to Samoa. Seehttp://muse.aucklandmuseum.com/databases/Cenotaph/69396.detail

 Two years later on 5th June 1918 he was sailing from Sydney in the Australian 12th Field Artillery Brigade Reinforcements. He did post-armistice war service in France and was discharged in England in July 1919. See http://www.aif.adfa.edu.au:8080/showPerson?pid=212980 and alsohttp://libapp.sl.nsw.gov.au/cgi-bin/spydus/NAV/PM/FULL1/2116/432032 which links to his photograph.

 The records also state that before joining up he worked as a real estate salesman, and the Australian records suggest he was also for a year in Rhodesia (Zimbabwe) in the Matabeleland Mounted Police. I don't know what happened to him after 1919.

 As Maisie Hurley seems to have had 5 children by the date of Centralia riot (November 1919), she must have eloped with Martin Murphy within a few years of her marriage to Armytage-Moore (unless any of her children were Moores).

 I also mentioned a bit about the Armytage-Moore family background in the previous email, but did not then know about his brothers Charles and Hugh. Charles Armytage-Moore seems to have turned out the wealthiest of them all, founding partner in the London stockbrokers Buckmaster and Moore (which had as a client John Maynard Keynes, amongst others), and owning an estate called Winterfold, a Queen Anne style residence with 219 acres near Cranleigh in Surrey, with a fantastic collection of furniture and art when it was eventually auctioned off. He died in 1960. The other brother Hugh William Armytage Moore inherited lands at Rowallane, Saintfield, County Down, Ireland, and developed them into famous gardens that are now owned by The National Trust and open to visitors. He died in 1954.

 In other words, JRRA-M came from a highly privileged and wealthy background. Why Maisie left him (maybe she found him boring), and why he went off adventuring around the world, and what eventually happened to him, I don't know, but there are some fascinating stories in all of this.

 Robert W.

 Huddersfield UK


From: Robert W

Sent: 18 July 2008 13:13

To: peter@billminer.ca

Subject: armytage-moore

 Peter

 I have been looking at your Bill Miner web site and note the queries about JRR Armytage-Moore, the husband of Maisie Campbell-Johnston. I can supply the following:

 John Reginald Rowallan Armytage-Moore born 25th March 1876 at Arnmore, County Cavan. Northern Ireland, to William Armytage-Moore and Mary Elizabeth Metcalfe. (this comes from a Gascoigne web site in New Zealand. Assuming this is correct then I can add the following).

 He came from a background of nobility and accomplishment. Close relatives include his Aunt, Priscilla Cecilia, Countess of Annesley (wife of the 3rd Earl), his sister, also Priscilla Cecilia, Countess of Annesley (wife of the 5th Earl) and her daughter Constance Malleson, writer and long-time lover of Bertrand Russell the philosopher. His family moved in the highest circles of London and Dublin society.

 Parents: William Armytage-Moore (1806-1883) (sometimes "Armitage-") and Mary Elizabeth Metcalfe (1845-1932). They married at the British Embassy in Paris on 8th June 1869. It was a second marriage for both. She had previously in 1863 married Horace Day Lockwood (1842-1864), son of Henry Francis Lockwood the influential Bradford architect, and later in 1902 married Frank Hardcastle (1844-1908), industrialist, Conservative M.P. and Lancashire cricket player.

 William Armytage-Moore managed the Annesley Estates at Castlewellan in Northern Ireland, and was in fact brother of the Countess of Annesley, Priscilla Cecilia (wife of the Third Earl). William and Mary's first daughter was also named Priscilla Cecilia (1870-1941) after her Aunt, and she later married her first cousin, Lt. Col. Hugh Annesley, the Fifth Earl. She was his second wife. Hugh Annesley was then 61 and Priscilla 22. They had two children, Clare Annesley who became an artist, and Constance Mary Annesley who became Constance Malleson, travel writer, actress (Colette O'Niel), and lover of Bertrand Russell with whom she held a long correspondence.

 Other children of William Armytage-Moore and Mary Elizabeth Metcalfe/Lockwood were:

 Ethel (Ettie) Kathleen Armitage-Moore (1871) who married Percy French the Irish composer and entertainer, but she died in childbirth at the age of 20.

 Hugh William Armytage-Moore (1873)

Charles Armytage-Moore (1880)

 I know very little about these last two, nor what happened later to John Reginald. I wonder whether he became distant from his family because I have not been able to find any announcement in The Times (London) about his marriage to Maisie in 1909.

 My interest is that my wife is a direct descendant of Constance Metcalfe Lockwood, John Reginald's half-sister, daughter of Mary Elizabeth Metcalfe and her first husband Horace Day Lockwood. John Reginald also had half-siblings from William Armitage-Moore's first marriage.

 Robert W.

 Huddersfield UK 


27 May 2008

Hello Peter,

You've written a fabulous book, "Interred With Their Bones."  This history is a foot-print in the dust, mud and snow of all those hills where I have had the great fortune to wander and make my own life.  Princeton to Kamloops to Westwold;  all the quiet meadows, lakes, streams and forest hills in between; truly a magnificent part of the world.

Once, as  kids in the Princeton hills in the sixties, we found a rusty old hexagonal-barreled twenty two, down on the Jack Budd lot; rusted and the barrel bent from some gone-by wreck; but it fueled our imagination of Bill Miner's day.  We rose a few chuckles from that great old rancher Karl Freeding who owned the Jack Budd lot and the Reith place for so many years.  As we came trudging up the dusty summer trail touting our new found treasure,  (he said to us)  "Where you two off to?  To rob a train?"

Many years later I dug that rusted twenty-two out of the blacksmith shop scrap iron and cut the barrel up to make bushings for some haying equipment repairs. 

I have a copy of a book of poetry written by G.W. Winkler titled , LONELY TRAILS by THE PROSPECTOR printed by a Victoria printing and publishing company

GW Winkler was a Hedley old timer and I believe the same individual mentioned in association with Billy Dunn.

This collection of GW Winkler's poems  captures a sense of a quieter Similkameen and Okanagan gone by.

 John V.

 

(I replied to John as follows-)

2 June 2008

Hello John,

Thank you for your very positive comments on my book.  I wrote it with people like yourself in mind; people who wanted to know what the real story about Miner was, and who wanted to know more about that world 100 years ago.  Also, you have a way with words yourself, and your love of our back country comes through in your email to me.

I was pleased to see your references to Jack Budd and to the Reith family.  They were intriguing connections with that time in the distant past.

As for George Winkler, he is deserving of some attention himself.  He also left personal legacies behind, some of which are in his fonds in the BC Archives.  I had the privilege of going through them.  The photos in my book of the Princeton Sports Club, Hedley City and the town of Princeton are from his collection at the BC Archives.

I have never seen any of his poetry, but apparently he was well regarded by his peers.  My research tells me that this was one of his connections with Shorty Dunn, the other being prospecting, of course.  Both he and Shorty would attend "poetry salons" in Mrs. Allison's place, where they would all read their poetry to each other.  I will keep my eyes open for a copy of that little book of his that you mention.  BTW, George Winkler has a brother or other relatives in the area that create some confusion.  One was Anton Winkler.

I have attached some Winkler info from my database in case you are interested.  Some is a bit confusing, as I did not follow up on further investigation as it was not pertinent to the story.

 

"Winkler was a prospector and mine owner in the south-central interior in the early decades of the 20th Century.  By 1923 he was living in Victoria, where he was interviewed by the Victoria Daily Colonist.  In 1966 he was interviewed by Cecil Clark on a lost mine in the Okanagan country."

"Rec'd phone call from Helen Martens (Museum curator) in Hedley 3 Dec 2001.  They have a photo of Jack Budd as an old man crossing the street with a cane. With regards to George Winkler, she thinks he is related to Anton Winkler in Hedley.  (brother?)  Maureen Dirksen (Campbell) is a great niece? of George Winkler.  She lives in Cawston close to Keremeos.  She is the great grand daughter? of Anton Winkler. I called her, and she is no relation to this George Winkler."

 

 I have never visited Jack Budd's place, but perhaps I will the next time we are in Princeton.

Thanks again for your welcome email.  Keep spreading the good word about my book, as it is self-published, and all the sales are the results of the efforts of my wife Karen and I.

Regards,

Peter Grauer


(The following correspondence was from a retired RCMP member now living in the Cariboo.  The writer most likely met him when he was stationed in Revelstoke in the early '60s and the writer was returning in the summers from UBC.  Little did either of us realize at the time that the Bill Miner Affair would have our paths cross almost 50 years later.)

(Mike's grandfather played an important role in the Bill Miner affair.  He was a junior BC Provincial Police constable in Princeton at the time the Ducks robbery was being investigated.  He has passed down to us, through the BC Archives, some very detailed and valuable Bertillion descriptions of Jack Budd and Tom Arnold.  His story will be added to the "Journal" section of the website shortly.  PRG)

3 February 2008

Peter.

You have written a wonderful book!  It brings back memories for me that go back over 50 years.  I have resided or been stationed as a policeman in almost (with one exception) all of the areas you have included: Enderby, Kamloops, Penticton, Chilliwack, Abbotsford, Williams Lake, Victoria and points in between.  I have kicked most of the dust you have so aptly described, and never really thought much about the history mixed up in that dust.  It brings back memories, for me, long forgotten, of riding my bike as a kid on the old Enderby Road to Westwold and all the adventures we had in between.  I haven't heard the name "Glen Emma" for 50 years, but I remember the night that I and two hundred other Army Cadets from Vernon spent most of the night attempting to put out a grass fire at the top of Glen Emma that was started by an Officer Commanding with an errant flare gun.  He was attempting to signal our night attack on a machine gun nest and had obviously never been advised that when firing flare guns in grass country, particularly in the hot summer months, one should always point the gun in a vertical, rather than a horizontal, direction. ....

I stumbled upon the Douglas Lake ranch (and was) impressed with the beautiful little river crossing at English Bridge.  Little did I realize that I would stumble across your book some two months later in a museum in Hedley.  ...  As I read the book, I could immediately picture, in my mind's eye, those exact locations you were referring to.  I don't ever recall reading a book that I felt so connected to in terms of knowing and identifying the geographically described areas, the police investigative procedures and the court milieu and processes.  It was all extremely accurate, in my opinion.  You have certainly done your homework.

Mike H.  Williams Lake.


3 January 2008

Peter,

I enjoyed your book and became acquainted with the area around Kamloops as we moved here from North Vancouver two years ago.  We are familiar with the area around Cache creek as we have been staying at Pavilion Lake a number of years and hunted in the area.  

 I did notice in your book at the time of the Mission robbery you mentioned a name of F Hutchison.  This could have been the name of my Great Uncle Fred who owned  a Corner Grocery in Maple Ridge on Dewdney Trunk Road and one of the main cross streets.

 I also noticed that Mr. Fernie married a lady with the last name of Lyle.  This is my Grandfather's name on my mothers side.  They came from Prince Edward Island around the Summerside area.  I know that some others of his family did come West during that time frame.

 Thanks again for writing such an entertaining read.

 Tim H., Kamloops


(2 January 2008.  The following interesting email was recently received from the Wells/Bowron Lakes area.  My response and the following reply are also included below.  PRG)

30 Dec 2007

Dear Peter

Your book, “Interred With Their Bones” is as inspiring as it is a historical wonder.  Both my husband and I took great joy in reading it and learning more about the history of our Province.  I took even more joy in learning how you formatted your extensive historical research into a book.  For years I have agonized and wondered how to put all my own research together.  I have been researching the history of Bowron Lake Provincial Park for some 30 years now.  Actually in the 70’s and 80’s I didn’t realize what I was doing…. just thought I was collecting and storing a bunch of old papers and memories. But in 1990 my husband and I realized our dream of owning land at Bowron Lake, and since then my collection and research has been getting serious.  Each year I get more and more people visiting my “collection” and they keep urging me to put it together into a book.  I think now that I have an idea of how to do this, thanks to you, I should give it a start.  One of the things I agonized about was how to relate to a reader that there can be many different variations of one event, as each source has his or her own unique memory.  I am not the one to say which variation is correct and which is not and your approach of penning open and honest comments throughout your book have inspired me.  Thank you.

 Now to get down to business, you yourself mentioned Bowron Lake twice in the book.  I wonder if I may be bold enough to ask more about this.  Chapter 10, Kamloops Country, page 131; you include a poem composed by Fernie.  You wrote, “Fernie’s poem was written close to the time that Shorty Dunn penned his own Paean to the Cariboo in 1896.”  The Poem continues:

Goodbye to Cariboo

Farewell to far Chilcotin and goodbye to Tatla Lake.

The thoroughfare that Waddington was not allowed to make

And hunters out at Bowron Lake, who dares the grizzlies’ fang,

And trappers at Chilanko Forks, and Cowboys at “The Gang”.

 I am wondering about your having dated this poem, which uses the name “Bowron Lake” as being written around 1896?  The Bowron Lake country was known as “Bear Lake” and “Bear River” from approx. 1862 until a name change in 1914.  The Victoria Colonist of April 14th, 1914 reported:

 “Now Bowron River.  – By a happy combination of circumstances, the Geographical Board of Canada, acting on the advice of the Provincial Government and its representative in this province – Mr. W. Fleet Robertson, has been able to perpetuate the memory of one of British Columbia’s foremost pioneers – the late Mr. John Bowron. The Geographical Board is making constant effort to eliminate those place names that overlap in this province, and in its investigations to this end it discovered that there were a number of Bear rivers. One river so named, which runs from the head of Portland Canal, it was decided could not be otherwise than perpetuated, seeing that it became fixed in historical documents arising out of the work of the Alaskan Boundary Commission. But the Bear river, which runs from Barkerville to the line of the Grand Trunk Pacific, and is a tributary of the Fraser, will hereafter been known as Bowron river.  Old-timers in the province will recall that John Bowron was for many years, gold commissioner at Barkerville.  Beside his career while in that post he had other claims for distinction, inasmuch as he had the honor, with Mr. R. B. McMicking, of this city, of making the trip overland through the Tete Jaune Pass. The late Mr. Bowron and was known the lengths and breadth of the province, and his recognition of his place in the pioneer life in the country on the part of the Geographical Board of Canada will it elicit hearty commendation from all classes in British Columbia.”

 I know that this article refers to Bowron River and not Bowron Lake, but I have always been under the assumption that both names where changed at the same time.  After reading your book, I realized that this may be an erroneous assumption on my part, so am wondering if you have more information with regards to the date of the renaming of Bowron Lake itself.  John Bowron (1837 – 1906) first came to the Barkerville area in 1863 and remained at until 1906, when he moved Victoria and died shortly there after on September 6, 1906 at the age of 69.  Despite the name change, and although the area was officially named the Bowron Lake Game Reserve in 1925, and Bowron Lake Provincial Park in 1961, it is still affectionately referred to as Bear Lake and Bear River by many of the remaining old-timers.

 Chapter 29, Afterward, page 551, you wrote about William Fernie.  Here you wrote, “true to his love of the West, and the outdoor life he led hunting, fishing and writing, he assisted and was instrumental in getting the Bowron lakes set aside as a provincial wilderness Park. John Bowron and was one of the Fraser River Overlanders, and it was through the Fernie family’s friendship with Bowron’s daughter Lottie that he became involved in the project.”

 Would you be kind enough to disclose to me where I may find more information about William Fernie’s involvement with the formation of the Bowron provincial wilderness park.  I am going to assume that in your passage here, you meant the “Bowron Lake Game Reserve” as the Provincial Park was not established until the 1960’s, long after Fernie’s death.  I have information of other prominent Victoria officials, such as fisheries Commissioner John P. Babcock and Chief Justice Hunter, as also being instrumental in the formation of the Bowron Lake Game Reserve in 1925, and would welcome more information on this subject. 

 I thank you for your time and consideration and for any help you may be able to offer me.  My husband and I also thank you for producing such a wonderful historical document in the form of your book, “Interred With Their Bones” and look forward to any new endeavors that you may have forthcoming.

 Yours Sincerely,

 Sandy P.

Bear River Mercantile, Wells, BC

(I responded to Sandy as follows:)

1 Jan 2008

Hello Sandy,

What a welcome email you sent.  I am so pleased that my book might have inspired a reader to follow up on work that they are undertaking.

As you can assume, I was faced with a wealth of detail, and my quandary was how to give it to the reader without hopelessly confusing them.  I’m glad to hear that you feel I might have achieved that goal.  You see, I was convinced that what people wanted to read was what life was really like 100 years ago.

With regards to your questions about William Fernie.  Daphne Fernie (the lady in the photo with me at the back of the book, and William Fernie’s daughter) was the one who supplied me with a copy of the Chilcotin poem.  She advised that it was composed upon his leaving that area to take up his homestead just north of Kamloops.  Without doing too much research into the origins of the Bowron Lakes, I accepted the assumption that the poem must have been composed prior to the turn of the century.  However, with your additional information, I have to now assume that Fernie composed the poem sometime after he left the Cariboo, and obviously after Bowron had died and the lakes had had their name changed.  I would now date it to after Fernie returned from overseas during the First World War.  He had kept next to him throughout that conflict a book of poems by his friend Robert Service, and Fernie greatly admired Service and the other great poets.

Daphne also told me of her father’s involvement in the formation of the park.  She took great pride in this fact, and was enthusiastic in her telling of it.  If Fernie had a fault, it was a great shyness and modesty.  He always remained in the background and let others gain the glory when it should have been him that was recognized.  For instance, refer to the photo in my book on page 193.  Fernie characteristically puts himself almost out of the photo frame.  This is despite the fact that of all the individuals in the photo, it was he who was most responsible for Miner’s capture.  In Daphne’s relation of her father’s involvement with the lakes, she did not elaborate too much, and I didn’t pursue it.  (Sorry.)  Below is the small portion of the transcript of the tape recording including that reference.

 

Daphne:  He was a fisherman, but I'm sure you wouldn't know what kind of gear he would use as a fisherman. 

Peter:  Was he a fly fisherman?

Daphne:  Yes.  He liked to go out on the lake in a boat and catch fish.  Fish lake … He had a pet lake up Face Lake.

Peter:  F A C E?

Daphne:  Yes, it's up behind the Corn…, the Cherry Creek.  And he used to go camping in there … quite a big lake.  Used to blaze his trail, one short, one long, one short.

Peter:  That was his blaze?

That was his blaze and for going up in the mountains …probably so we'd know the way.  He used to have a packhorse.

(Terry) Cue:  He was instrumental in protecting one of those lakes wasn't he?  (Terry Cue was the two sisters’ guardian when we first met with them.  Subsequent to this interview, we became quite close friends with Daphne, and Cue was no longer in attendance.)

Daphne:  The Bowron Lakes.  He really worked on that.  He knew Lottie Bowren.

 

So, I’m sorry, Sandy, that I don’t have more information for you on Fernie’s involvement.  But knowing him like I do through my research, I am confident that he probably did play a rather important role.

Again, I’m so pleased you both enjoyed my book.  Where did you pick it up?

As for my next endeavour, I am trying to determine whether there might be enough information out there to do a detailed book on the first years of the Cariboo Gold Rush, 1860 to 1863.  In the gold fields, it will concentrate on Van Winkle and Lightning Creek area and story (BB – Before Barkerville).  However, the story will cover much of BC’s interior at that time.  Some of the people I ran into in the Bill Miner story will also make an appearance.   I have met some very interesting characters in my research, and perhaps there is something about the gold rush that I can follow up on.  People seem to love the detail in the Miner book, and some have told me that it’s the detail that puts them right back to that time 100 years ago in BC’s southern interior.

Regards,

From Peter in Kamloops.

 

(Sandy responded to my reply as follows.)

2 January 2008

Hello Peter,

Thank you so much for your response to my e-mail and for your shared information regarding my inquires on Fernie.  A little information is certainly better then none.  Still, you have opened up many more avenues for me to look into – during my next visit to the Victoria Archives I will have to look for fonts regarding William Fernie to see if I can find anything about his involvement in the formation of the Bowron Lake Game Reserve.  I still have a lot of work to do at the Archives, they are a real treasure and invaluable to our Provinces History.  I also thank you for all your references and footnotes as listed in “Interred With Their Bones, Bill Miner in Canada, 1903 to 1907”. These also give me many more avenues to explore. From my experience it seems that many history writers, write the stories but neglect to list their sources of information.  This is unfortunate for other researches that strive to expand on works of their own, but I’m sure you are already well aware of this.

 I bought your book as a Christmas Present for my husband, at Coles Books, during a recent shopping trip to Prince George.  Your next endeavor sounds quite worthwhile.  I know there are already a lot of writings in that subject area, but a comprehensive and detailed account, such as what you provide, would really put the whole picture together.  I assume you might find yourself in the Barkerville Archives some day, and hope that while in the area you may find the time to come out to Bowron Lake to pay us a visit. I have some research pertaining to the Stanley/Van Winkle area.  Having been raised in Wells, my interests actually lie in the area from Wing Dam to Keithley Creek / Likely, the places I’ve tramped around since I was a child. So I have collected other material besides my Bowron Lake stuff and your welcome to come see what I have.  As far as posting my e-mail on your website, you are quite welcome to do so, this e-mail also, if you like.

 Sincerely

Sandy P.


3 December 2008

Is anything known about Bill Miner's family? My grandmother's maiden name was Miner. She wouldNEVER talk about any of her family or background. There were only these pictures of her uncles (below). A long time ago I'd heard of Bill Miner, gentleman bank robber, and always wondered if there was any connection.

After my parents’ death, I ran across these old photos. Compare pics of Bill Miner with Joe & John. Same nose, same chin, moustache, ears, deep set eyes... I think the pic of Joe in the second pic really resembles the one of Bill. The following pic from Wikipedia sure seems like a resemblance to me.

I saw on one website that the family (Bill's) was involved in mininghttp://outlawbillminer.com/main.html. My grandmother’s uncles were also involved in mining. (see pic below). With the family resemblance and background, it sure makes me wonder. . We are from Iowa but it seems they all did some moving around.

Owen H.

Des Moines, Iowa

 

(I responded to Owen to tell him that, while his photos were interesting, I rather doubted that any were of the Bill Miner we know.  I am reluctant to post them here as I do not have his permission to do so.  Also, I advised him that the web URL that he gave me is riddled with error, and almost useless as a source of any type of information on Bill Miner.  The site merely perpetuates the same old myths and half-truths that have been around since before Bill Miner died.  The only thing the site does have to say is that Bill Miner's spread of his own propaganda was very effective and still alive and well today.  PRG)


(On 21 November 2007, I received the following query about a Detective Scott mentioned in my book as being involved in the Mission robbery of the CPR.)

I am reading the Bill Miner book and discovered on page 47:

"The group also included Detective Scott, City Officers Hartney and Deptford,......"

 I believe this is my Grandfather who was promoted to Detective on Sept 15 1904. The Posse was constituted on Sept 11but  I think it would be quite possible that he was "acting" prior to official promotion (at the magnificent sum of $840 p/a - no raise in pay from 1st Cst.)

Det. Scott is not mentioned in the index so I assume at this point that he takes no further part in the book. Also Grauer may have only had his surname from an article and if not mentioned further, did not follow up on given name etc.

Would it be possible for you to email him regarding any further information  he may have and at the same time, asking if he would wish any background from me.

Greg Scott

(I emailed back to Greg advising him that the information I had on Detective Scott was limited to what I had included in my book.  He replied as follows:)

23 November 2007

Peter

 It is funny this story did not come down through the family as his son (my father) spent 46 years with the CPR and one of his daughters married a long serving CPR employee. I can remember as a child sitting on his knee (died 1951) and being told stories of the old days including the storming of the Komagata Maru. I have emailed out to the rest of the family to see if they know anything.

By way of background, I am a volunteer researcher at Touchstones Nelson, also a museum board member, Chairman of the City of Nelson Heritage Commission and have written the weekly history column in the Nelson Daily News for the past 5 years as well as several stories for November 11 issues etc.

 Hear from you soon

 Greg S.


27 September 2007

Hi Peter,

Greg Scott, here in Nelson, has done some research on Chief Young. (See the "Author's Journal" for more on Constable Young.)  He is away until next weekend, I believe. Young was an accomplished artist/painter, as well. I am sure there is information to be shared. I was browsing through the Provincial Police records and came across several items related to Young when he was a Constable. I will go back and write them down!

What exciting experiences you have had through your events! I am not surprized this book has touched a cord. There are far more tentacles out there then we realize.  It really is fantastic-makes readers out of non readers and arm chair historians out of those who think Canadian History is so dry.

I have to pass along a compliment to you. I loaned my copy of your book to a friend. She said "I can tell by the way he writes that he is a good, nice man." It is not often a writer can portray their own sense of self in a book and still come out with an outstanding book-you did!

I will be at the archives on Thursday and will ask Shawn about a picture of Young. There must be something there. I will also head back into the Police records and see what I can find for you and his Granddaughter.  I like that connection! I hope someone is talking to the daughter!

 As Ever,   Pat


25 September 2007

Mr. Grauer, I had the pleasure of meeting you at the Salmon Arm fair, and purchased a hardcover copy of your book there. As I live in Mission, I went to the Celebration of Community at Heritage Park September 15 to see you again. I was there at about 6:30 PM and didn’t see you. (We had left by that time.)  It may very well be that you had left by then, or hadn’t arrived yet. At any rate, I did attempt to see you again!!!.  I finished reading your book last night, and it was an intensely satisfying book. I only wish it was longer. Your research was exhaustive and the illustrations were well chosen. If I related every facet of your book I enjoyed, this would be a very lengthy e-mail. You have produced something very important and very valuable. Your book will occupy a prominent place on my shelf, and will be read many times. If you choose to write any more books on the history of BC, I will be first in line to purchase them!  After finishing your book, I was excited to see the bonus book companion section of your website, as well as the research sources. I was glad to see these because I would like to read as many of the references as I can. I just find the history of BC so interesting. I can not adequately express my appreciation of your hard work. Feel free to contact me at any time. I enjoyed our last conversation immensely.

Brandon K., Mission


(Mary Spencer was the Kamloops photographer who took the famous photos of the train robbers, the posse and the Royal North-West Mounted Police.  Karen and I were contacted by some of her relatives from Ontario and the Lower Mainland this summer.  We met them one afternoon for coffee and conversation, and they are very pleased to see the renewed interest in Mary as she takes her place as one of BC's premier early female photographers.

David G., whose email is attached below, is a long-time fan of Mary Spencer's.  He lives in Summerland where Mary and her sister settled after leaving Kamloops.  The home they built still survives and is visited by Heritage Tours on a regular basis.  Let's hope that Mary and her sister eventually have their final resting places in Summerland suitably marked.)

 

20 September 2007

RE: Mary Spencer Up-date 

Dear Peter,

 I hope your summer has been going well. There are a couple things to tell you about. In the summer I hosted a cemetery tour in Summerland. These are ALWAYS the most popular heritage tours (you figure that one out !?!)

 Anyway one of the grave sites is Mary Spencer. So I am sending you a photo.  This is Peach Orchard Cemetery in Summerland. The cemetery looks over Okanagan Lake. When people die they ALWAYS want a view lot (you figure that one out too ?!?!)  Anyway Mary is buried in a unmarked grave. Her grave is just below the three green stone/glass grave sites. One site is for Mary and one for her sister Isabelle.

 Also buried in this cemetery is her uncle George Spencer (which is a marked grave site)

 Anyway just before the tour a family member from Ontario contacted us asking where Mary Spencer was buried. Of course, without any hesitation I was able to tell the person. Anyway, the family is thinking about putting up a tomb-stone.

 That’s all I got Peter, but I figured you might like to know

Sincerely

David G.


14 September 2007

Hello Peter, missed you in Revelstoke, ... .

 I belong to the book club here, when it was my turn to recommend a book I chose yours. Not only because you were from Revelstoke, but also as a history lesson for the new comers to Revelstoke. (Some have lived here for 30 years or more.)

Must tell you it was a huge success.  We could not get enough copies from the library, some of us had to borrow from someone we knew and the others, after hearing our rave reviews, went ahead and read it from the library.

I was to go to your book signing while you were here, ...  and somehow we got our wires crossed so missed you .

What was so interesting for me is I have been to some of the range lands you mention.  My former husband's family was from Falkland & Westwold and my son lived on Rosehill.  It was interesting to learn it always was Rosehill.

Thanks for the good read and what fun the research must have been.

Hello to Karen, take care, Mary O., Revelstoke. 

(Mary O. was a former classmate of mine from Revelstoke High School, graduating class of 1959.)


11 September 2007

Hello Peter,

Let me begin by offering my apologies if this is the umpteenth time someone has asked about touring around the Bill Miner related spots of interest.  I have always had an intense interest in ‘re-tracing’ the steps of events I consider of interest.  This may be mundane and uninteresting to most people, especially when the locations/buildings/etc. have changed or disappeared.  Like many other people you have probably encountered, I have a strong interest in seeing the events unfold as if I was looking through the eyes of the person who originally created the events (like Bill Miner). 

Some years ago, I retraced the steps (literally the steps) that my father and my uncle took to escape Nazi Germany into Switzerland.  A few years later, that same uncle and I retraced the routes that my grandfather took as a door to door salesman in the period 1920-1939.  He had a specific route for each day of the week and the route never varied.  My uncle had to accompany him during summer vacation so he was able to describe houses along the route, who lived there, what they encountered, etc.  Needless to say, my uncle had a great memory.  In retracing those steps, we had to deal with streets now intersected by highways, rerouted parts and the sprawl of urban highrises into the rural countryside.   Those five days were fantastic.  I recorded my uncle’s entire commentary enroute onto cassette for future use, as well as some intermittent video. 

Which brings me to your book.  I purchased a copy at the Quilchena Store on September 1, 2007 while staying at the hotel with my wife.  I was immediately drawn to the possibility of learning what the area was like 100 year ago and what it would have been like for Bill Miner and other notables you wrote about.  I am only 33 pages in and can see that you are going to give me some great insight.  I have driven through many of these places like Quilchena and Aspen Grove not knowing the colourful history, but now I am intrigued.  I am very interested in the October 13 bus tour mentioned on the web site.  However, I think you will probably tell me that taking such a tour after I complete the book will be much more rewarding than before.  Any thoughts on whether such a tour may be repeated in the future?  Regardless, I can already say with certainty that I will spend some time over the coming years poking along back roads and various towns re-tracing some of the events that I will read about in your book. 

 Thanks in advance for the enjoyment that will give me.

Lee Z., Edmonton, AB.

 

(My reply to Lee is as follows:)  Hello Lee,  Certainly no apologies are necessary.  I like to hear from readers regardless of the reasons.  Your story is especially poignant.  The ability to see in your mind’s eye what happened in certain locations and with people that are no longer with us is a characteristic of a discerning reader and observer with a keen sense of what our mutual past holds for us.  This ability has seen many of the readers of my book contact me to tell me how they are travelling the roads of southern BC and the Fraser Valley re-tracing the steps taken by that inept American bandit over 100 years ago.  Their emails and phone calls are always exciting to receive.

With regards to the bus tour, I really would recommend that you take it after you have read the book.  So much happened in the places that we will visit that it would substantially limit the experience not having read the book.  Preliminary interest in the tour tells me we will have to run another one in the spring with a bigger bus.  I have attached a scan of the recreation program advertising.  For your interest, the building I am standing in front of is the old Pratt homestead where Paul Stevens climbed into bed the night of the train robbery.  Let me know your thoughts upon completion of the book.

Peter Grauer in Kamloops


6 September 2007

Hi Peter, Hope you remember me; I met you and Karen at Government House this spring. I just wanted to let you know I just finished reading your book.  I found it very informative and interesting.  I look forward to reading more updates on your website.  On page 552 you talk about the Fernie family-Mary and daughter having a tea house in Metchosin. Do you know if it still exists today under different owners?  I would be interested from a history point of view to go look at it.  Hope all is well with you and Karen.   Suzan L.

(No, unfortunately I never did get to see Daphne and Mary's famous tea house at Metchosin.  If any readers have  photo or comments, please let me know.)


(Our new-found friend in South Africa, Cor van der Merwe, has continued his correspondence with us.  He has completed my book, and has the following comments to make.  I have added my comments in italics.)

28 August 2007

Dear Peter, 

Good morning, I trust you are well on that side of the world.  You will remember that I contacted you recently while I was halfway through Interred...

 Just to say that I finished your fascinating book last night, and what a wonderful experience it was!  Thank you so much for creating this marvelous read with all that interesting and almost-long-forgotten information. 

 A few things about the book:

1)    I think your title is very apt - the secrets of Bill Miner and co., and I am sure that of many other people went to their graves without anyone ever finding out.  It is lamentable but simultaneously adds to the stuff that legends are made of.

2)    I really enjoyed the fact that you were able to include so many bits and pieces of information from the old timers and local collectors/museums etc.  The photographs I particularly enjoyed - as you know, a picture is worth a thousand words...  We are fortunate that so many of those people like Daphne Fernie and others lived on into their 90's or even 100 years old.  It is always sad when those old people die because they are our last link with a world long gone, and the last connection with people who lived in those times.  I felt the same when my formidable grandfather died in 2001 - he was born in 1909, and my last link with the old timers of the previous century (19th Cent).  After having read the book, I wonder if my grandfather, for example, was ever aware of Bill Miner, and who knows - maybe he even saw that WANTED poster that was also sent to SA?

(Yes, it was a little known and obscure fact that Miner's wanted posters were distributed throughout the British Empire of that day, and South Africa was then part of the Empire.  So, Cor's grandfather may very well have seen a copy of an old Miner wanted poster.)

 The people who lived from the middle of the 1800's well into the 1900's particularly went through interesting times as they came from the midst of the Victorian era into the modern era, from basically "nothing" to electricity, cars, telephones etc.

3)    I now realize how fortunate I have been to have passed through B.C. only in September 2006, and not earlier, since it seems that your book was still about to be printed only a few months earlier (in April?).  In other words, I almost missed out on the whole affair!

4)    On the other hand, I would love to have read your book before I travelled through that area, in order to be informed of all these events about Bill Miner, and to have had a better understanding of the lives there a 100 years ago.  I think I would have looked with different eyes to towns like Kamloops etc., and made a more concerted effort to visit the museum and the area associated with Miner.  The best will be to visit again!  I grabbed my photo album and looked at my pictures of those areas again, this time in a much different light.  (One picture was of a street in Merritt with sign boards overhead, showing the directions to Quilchena, Kamloops, Kelowna etc), as well as the old hotel.

5)    Interesting that Fernie's (?) estate in later years was called "the Kloof".  Do you know where that name comes from?  I wonder if he didn't perhaps pick that up during his time in South Africa, since "Kloof" is an Afrikaans word meaning something like "ravine" or "valley".  In fact, there are some streets in Cape Town called "Kloof Road" or "Kloof Street" - the one just around the corner of where I live.    Do you perhaps know? 

(Indeed the Kloof that Fernie named his ranch house after was named after that Afrikaans word for valley, as his family's home then overlooked the whole of the Thompson Valley just west of Kamloops.  Boer War veterans of those days formed a lasting attachment to southern Africa, as is borne out by Col. Sam Steele's "Forty Years in Canada," which details his service with the South African Constabulary.)

6)    Without splitting hairs, there was one or two occasions where a possible mistake (I think??) in the book attracted my attention:  e.g. at the beginning of the prison sentence of Bill Miner in the B.C. Penitentiary in New Westminster you refer that "before the month was out" he would have escaped.  But Bill only escaped some year and a half later on?  Or did I miss something?   Also, a reference to "Burke" where surely it must be "Bourke"?  Anyway, I thought I just mention it, the overall enjoyment of the book, your way of writing and making it easy to read, the huge amount of research, etc more than outweigh a possible slip here or there. 

(Cor's sharp eye has, indeed, picked out a few inconsistencies in my book.  Before a year was out, Miner would have escaped from the penitentiary, and the Burke referred to is indeed Bourke.  Other readers have also pointed out some typo errors, but none of them really interfere with the historical integrity of the book.  That remains as close to historical fact as I could make it at that time.  Perhaps when I was writing the book, I was struck by the observation that Miner had started plotting his eventual escape from the BC Pen before he had even been placed behind the prison walls.)

7)    As a matter of interest - why was Miner branded/wanted as a "sodomite" as described by the police at one stage (only one reference to it in the book)?  Surely he was heterosexual as proved by his patronage of the prostitutes?

(Without any reliable primary sources to answer this question, I have to suppose that the Pinkerton's, whose poster contains the "sodomite" reference, were expressing their frustration at their inability to catch Miner.  He seemed to be able to slip through their fingers, and to re-appear in the most unlikely of places.  Also, any man that spends the years he did in San Quentin, 20 years at the last stretch, would probably be sexually compromised under those conditions.  The Pinkertons would have picked up on this and put it on the poster just to irk and humiliate him.  His affection for women and prostitutes is well documented, and I have encountered only one reference to his possible homosexuality outside of prison.  Not being a sociologist familiar with the trauma suffered by ex-cons, I am only assuming it would have a permanent effect on their psyche.  Perhaps bi-sexuality would be a logical outcome, but I have no background enabling me to deduce this possibility. )

8)    I am sure with the second and third and more prints of your book in future you will include the other interesting bits that have surfaced as a result of this first print - e.g. the picture that's on the web of Bill's grave, and I hope that Ottawa will be more cooperative with their archives this time! 

(Further printings will undoubtedly take place, but whether another edition is forthcoming is somewhat doubtful.  However, I will say that if enough additional information comes to my attention on any aspects of the Bill Miner Story, I will add them to this web site as well as trying to get them into select publications.)

 Sorry for the long email, I hope you have time to read it all.  Thank you again for a most fascinating book!

 Regards

Cor van der Merwe, Capetown, South Africa


24 August 2007

Dear Sir: 

This summer my husband and I had occasion to ride the Armstrong Explorer - due simply to our interest in old steam engines and railroads.  However, it turned out to be a trip into genealogy for myself.  I am a direct descendent of the Ducks.

 I did pick up your book "Interred With Their Bones" after our trip and have just finished it. I had no idea that Albert and Edith had any knowledge of Bill Miner so it sure made for some interesting reading.  With your permission I would like to copy off from your site some of the information you have in regards to statements etc from the Ducks to add to the family genealogy book. 

This past weekend I had occasion to be in Vernon to pick up my daughter from Cadet Camp. On the way back I took her to Holmwood. I had been there many times before. She found it very interesting to compare the picture of Holmwood in your book to what is existing today. Not much for changes.

Kind Regards,

Tracey F.


14 August 2007

(I had to post the following email to my site as soon as I received it.  It was a great thrill to find it in my email basket this morning, amid numerous solicitations for stocks, sexual aids and drugs.  It is humbling to me that something that I created should gives such pleasure to someone half-way around the world.)

Dear Peter, 

I traveled through Canada in Sept last year, spending some time in Vancouver and visiting those exciting and beautiful places like Banff, Lake Louise and Penticton.  En route from Vancouver to Banff, with a lovely 4x4, we passed through Sycamous etc., and made stops at Merritt, Kamloops as well as Revelstoke.  And what wonderful countryside it is!  I particularly enjoyed the old type "Wild West" country of Merritt, Revelstoke etc.

 Anyway, it was on our way back, again through Revelstoke that we decided to stop for lunch.  My friend wanted to cut his hair so he went off searching for a barber while I browsed through a small bookstore (Grizzly Book Store) next to the "pasta" parlour we ate at.  And my eye fell on a black book with the captivating title "Interred with their Bones".  Now me being a history freak and even more so when it comes to unsolved mysteries and graves of the past, I was immediately drawn to your fantastic book.  The shop lady told me a little about it, and that you grew up/lives in Revelstoke and hence very involved in the area.  I paid with a smile and couldn't wait to start reading it.  However, it was only until now, in August 2007, that I finally got through my other books that I had to read and started reading yours.  And WHAT A PLEASURE IT IS!!  Having visited that area personally last year and having a very vivid imagination I can fully identify with and picture the happening in my mind as they unfold. 

 I am not done with the book yet (only at page 220 now), sometime after the Ducks Robbery, and look forward to finished it asap, although I always hate finishing a good book because it means I'm done with it (for now).  So for now, thank you SO much for an outstanding book sofar - it is truly a gem and I am enjoying it thoroughly.

 Of particular interest to me, and possibly to you, are your references to the Boer War, and places like Potchefstroom, Losberg etc.  That being because I am South African, living in Cape Town, and hence very familiar with the Anglo-Boer War.  It was surprising and fascinating to read and see this "connection" between your book and where I come from!  To think that Constable Fernie and some others in your book may have seen the same things (e.g. towns) and have experienced SA like me, a 100 years ago...

I mean, the chances of picking up YOUR book in a small Canadian town like Revelstoke and bringing it back to SA!?  I wonder if there is anybody else in this country who also has your book?

 One last question - do you perhaps know a Tante Thea and Uncle Carl in Penticton? Unfortunately I don't know their surname, but they used to run a German restaurant in town for many many years. 

 All the best, and once again thank you for a most marvellous book sofar!

 Regards

Cor van der Merwe

Cape Town


(9 Aug 2007.  Needless to say, the following email, which arrived last month, generated some excitement on my part and with my wife, Karen.  Michael's grandfather in Kamloops would have known some of the participants in the Miner affair personally, and one can only imagine some of the primary, first-hand information he may have acquired.  This is another example of the connections this story and the myths associated with it have generated amongst ordinary British Columbians.  The story of Miner, generating as it does an interest in the people, places and events of 100 years ago, is such an integral part of the family history of so many of us in this province.  The book seems to have generated a modest renewal of interest in our provincial history and served as a vehicle to bring forward all those stories, memorabilia and photographs associated with those events of long ago.  Stories such as Michael's bring a fresh look at those simpler days beyond the memory of any of us living today.

I will keep everyone informed if anything further develops with Michael's story as he tells it below. -PG)

4 July 2007

Dear Mr. Grauer,

I am most grateful for your e-mail message of ..., and apologize for the absurd length of time it has taken me to respond in kind.  June ended up being a horrendously busy month, with a whirlwind trip to California and the purchase of a new computer (along with the consequent transfer of all old e-mails and to-do items!).

I am greatly interested in acquiring one of the hardcover copies of "Interred With Their Bones", and will gladly send a cheque for $65 ($55 plus $10 shipping).  To what address shall I mail my payment?

... I have followed the success of your book with great interest, and convey my congratulations for the honour you received from Lt.-Gov. Campagnolo.  Bill Miner has been a subject of particular fascination for me since I discovered that my grandfather, a high school principal and later a provincial inspector of schools, was the author of an unfinished manuscript about Bill Miner's years in Canada.  He completed the majority of the book in the 1940s, assembling sheaves of interviews and primary documents, before laying the project aside.  I suspect that his work as principal of Kamloops High School, combined with the birth of his third son (my father), left little time for the undertaking.  Some fifty years later, in the early 1990s, I discovered his work and completed the volume, distributing it among family members.

Since then, fascinating connections have arisen.  For example, several of my great-uncles (on my mother's side) were apparently bathing in the lands around the BC Penitentiary when Miner escaped.  They heard the bell ringing just before he came crashing out the woods, shared a few choice words, then disappeared into the brush.

I look forward to receiving your mailing address so that I may submit my cheque to you promptly.  My mailing address is below.

Yours sincerely,

Michael G.


29 June 2007

Peter, I enjoyed meeting you ... in P(rince) G(eorge) recently and more to the point, immensely enjoyed the read.

Great background and detail- Having lived here in BC these past 37 years, it gives me a different perspective on the area's we have camped and traveled through over the years.

Many thanks for that.

regards frank d


(I continue to embarrass myself and forget people who I meet at book affairs, as shown below.)

23 May 2007

Hi Peter- an aside to you regarding Bill Miner- went on the website for the Register of Canadian Heritage places [not sure if my name is correct]. When I did a place name search using Billy Miner, only one hit- the old Bank of Montreal Building in Maple Ridge, and it only came up because its a heritage building that now houses the Billy Miner Pub. I wonder, should the culvert you mentioned be nominated? A second aside- my Grandpa Garney liked to tell of a day when he held Bill Miner's horse for him and was given a dime [big money!] for doing so. He kept a photograph of Miner in the house. Funny how one man can touch such a large area and yet be relatively unknown outside of the history books. Jeremy W., Kamloops.

25 May 2007.

Hi Peter- apologies, I should have re-introduced myself- I am one of the people involved with this BC heritage ride, and we met at Forsters at our first meeting.  Grandpa Garney grew up in the area now Chilliwack, the family homesteaded there and then branched to Princeton- I think he also had what is now the Rocking Chair Ranch in Cawston, among other ranches. Had a large sheep ranch too with Charlie [?] Taylor as well. The Willis family was one of the pioneering families during the Gold Rush. Abraham Willis ran an ox train on the Cariboo Road- he was Garney's dad. Grandpa was an older man, was in the army for WW1- I'll have to get the details from the family album and my father. I believe the picture is in the book- full front face picture in black and white. I don't have the book here, I think it went with an in-law, but I'll see if I can get a copy and give you the page number. W... E... is my music business- I sing, DJ, MC, and songwrite- my current focus is songs on BC history, right now on the Gold Rush days where both my familial lines started in Canada. My great great grandfather was Sgt Mjr John McMurphy of the Royal Engineers. I have most of his old documents available to me, so trying to write about that, Abraham, and some of the other characters of the Rush.  Jeremy W.,   Kamloops.


One month after his last email of the 16th of May, Bruce W. had finished the Bill Miner book, and had these comments to make.

13 June 2007

Peter 

Just a short note to say that I just finished Interred With Their Bones, Bill Miner In Canada, 1903-1907 and thoroughly enjoyed it.  Nice even writing and I am glad that you published it on your own as an editor may have cut out some of the necessary and interesting detail in the name of economy.  

Some thoughts.  The book certainly helped to discredit the CPR-assisted-escape-in-return-for-the-stolen-bonds theory.  I also hadn't realized that Lewis Colquhoun was, in fact, not guilty and the third man may have been someone else.  A sad end for Colquhoun.  It certainly was a coup for you getting into the privately held Anthony Martin collection. 

Is Frederick Fulton a progenitor of E. Davie Fulton for there is a strong family resemblance?

 Glad to see that you also have disdain for political correctness.

 Bruce  W.


When Karen and I were in Victoria to accept the award from the BC Historical Federation 11 May, we made many interesting and knowledgeable contacts.  An exchange of emails with one of them, Bruce W., follows.

16 May 2007

Peter

For what it is worth for the record, I thought I would clarify which relatives encountered Bill Miner, something which I talked to you about on Saturday at the Victoria conference of the BCHF.  There is no reason that any of them warrant any mention in a work like yours as their association was peripheral at best.

The person that I mentioned that you thought may have been Calgarian W. A. McFoy, was Alexander Galbraith McPhee (1865-1942) who was born in Ontario and spent much of his life in Vancouver.  In 1904, after coming down from the Klondike gold rush he joined the CPR's Investigations Department, then in its formative days.  In his 28 years with the CPR he served as constable, then as a "plain clothes" investigator, then as Assistant Inspector, the rank he held on his retirement in July 1932.  He worked on a variety of criminal cases including the pursuit in 1909 of Bill Miner.  (This is probably a reference to Miner's escape from the BC Penitentiary in August of 1907.  PG)

At an early age, Victoria born William Robert Strachan (1885-1962) became interested in racehorses, and developed into a highly knowledgeable expert on horses.  In his late teens he worked as a cowpuncher on the Douglas Lake Ranch in the Nicola area, alongside Bill Miner.  He later drove a stagecoach but, because he froze his hands in particular cold weather, he had a variety of careers after that.  He died in Vancouver.

Ontario born James Archibald Galbraith (1878-1962) worked for the Vancouver Hardware Company and his job took him all over British Columbia via stagecoach, sternwheeler, and railway.  It was while he was in Kamloops that he spotted Bill Miner on the street.  They never spoke.

My own father, who never saw or met Bill Miner but was 10 years old at the time when Miner was captured, remarked that Miner had garnered a huge amount of public sympathy, probably because he had scored against the CPR. 

There you are.  None of these people deserve to be part of a book on Bill Miner you can see the influence that the "gentleman bandit" really had.

Good luck with the sales of your book.  I am enjoying it.

Bruce W., Vancouver

(Of course, as always, I rarely, if ever, remember the people I meet, even on the best of occasions.  For this, I am eternally condemned by my wife as being on unfeeling wretch.  The stimuli that happens during these book sales events, meetings and conventions are always overwhelming, and blank out my memory processes.  At least, that is my excuse.  So I had to ask Bruce who he was.)

17 May 2007

Thanks for your interesting email, Bruce.  I appreciate your following up on our initial contact.  We are continually being overwhelmed with how the story of this relatively inept and flawed petty criminal has entered into the unconscious mythology of BC.  Everywhere we go, someone comes forward with family anecdotes from 100 years ago about Bill Miner.  It never ceases to amaze us. ...  BTW, please refresh my memory as to what position you are in to be at the BCHF conference in Victoria.  Regards, Peter

So, Bruce graciously responded..

17 May 2007   

Peter 

Yes it is amazing how this flawed soul pushed all the right buttons to enter the unconscious mythology of BC.  I think a big factor is that he did one up on the CPR, a "home grown" relief from trying to make interesting history out of being part of a relatively uncaring Central Canada and English Empire.  He obviously touched a nerve and gave voice to a certain element in society.

 As for me, I was one of the Vancouver Historical Society gang at the conference with no role in the BCHF. ... . 

My most recent publication is something jointly written with Jean Barman:  Leaving Paradise:  Indigenous Hawaiians in the Pacific Northwest, 1787-1898 (Honolulu:  University of Hawaii Press, 2006).

 

Bruce W.

(Jean Barman's "The West Beyond The West" was at my elbow when I researched and wrote my book.)


Amazingly, after receiving the emails of the 14th and 15th of May regarding Maisie Hurley (Campbell Johnston), the following showed up in my IN basket.

23 May 2007

Hi Peter!

I am looking to purchase a book, as I am fascinated with all the extra tidbits on my

Great Grandmother Maisie Hurley.  I have a picture of Bill Miner that she had painted that was amazing.

I had heard on her way to BC on the train, she ran into Bill and wasn't the least bit frightened

of him or his 6 shooter.  They became close friends after that, as I have been told.

Have a Great Day!  Kerrie H.

I replied to her as follows:

Hello Kerrie,

Nice to hear from you, especially from a descendant of Maisie Hurley.  She must have been a very special lady, and from the research I have done, could very well have a book done on her.  I know some things about her life, including the magazine “Native Voice,” her boxing promotions and the heart of her ancestor.  Would love to talk to you about her sometime, and to look at the painting of Bill Miner. ... So pleased to hear from you.  Maisie has been somewhat of a mystery in some ways.  A woman ahead of her time, but also very complex.  PG

Kerrie replied on 24 May 2007.

Hi Peter!

Thanks for the reply.  A story was told that I was actually playing with the heart of Montrose and thought that I had broken it when it broke in two.  Apparently I was quite upset but found out that a bullet apparently had split it in half in its travels to Vancouver.  Yes she was way ahead of her time.  My mother Moira has a book that my great-great grandmother Amy wrote over the years  that goes into extensive stories of their adventures, with great concern for Maisie who would break wild horses in the Nicola  Valley.  Anyways, fascinating really.  have a great day, Kerrie H.


One of the intriguing characters I ran into in my research, and who also made it into my book, is Maisie Campbell-Johnston.  She was the young girl in Aspen Grove that Bill Miner built a skating rink for.  In her later years she married a lawyer in Vancouver by the name of Hurley, and, among other things, was the editor of "The Native Voice."  Further information on her is available in the web site database.

I received the following interesting series of emails regarding her family.

14 May 2007

Hello Peter 

I would like to buy two copies of your book.  I have been fascinated with the Campbell-Johnston family since finding an old Prospectus for a mining company about 1969, written by Ronald Campbell Campbell- Johnston.  I think it was the double barreled name that hooked me although the man himself had to have been a character.  You seem to have a lot of information on his daughter Maisie, who was also a wild one.  There is quite a display at the North Vancouver museum here, which has a lot of her things. 

I have collected quite a bit of information about RCCJ and have made contact with a great grandson. 

.........

Thanks and Cheers

Barry P.

The same day I replied to him as follows:

Hello Barry,  Nice to hear from you.  How did you hear about my book, and that it had Mazie Hurley and the Campbell-Johnstons in it?  I too was intrigued by the Campbell-Johnstons.  There is more info on them in the Vancouver Archives as well as the BC Archives.  I was not aware of the North Van display.  I hope I can get to see it.  I always thought there was a good story behind them somewhere.  I would appreciate hearing more about the information you have accumulated.  It seems that geologists are enjoying my book.  You are not the first who has contacted me to share stories and comment on aspects of my book.  I did do some research on mining at the turn of the last century for my book, as it was such an integral part of life in BC at that time.  It seems that everyone had a mine or was doing some prospecting at that time.  PG.

Barry replied to my email as follows:

15 May 2007

Hi Peter, 

Thanks for the note.  I came across your site in a search for "Campbell-Johnston".  I had been aware of the Bill Miner connection with Maisie, various versions in different accounts.  My first encounter with RCCJ was when I drilled the Taltapin silver or Silver Fox property on Pinkut Creek near Babine Lake about 1970.  Our client was N... C... who had in her files a prospectus written by RC, which was fabulous in all senses of the word.  Wish I had taken a copy.

 RC was also one of the first "engineers" into the G... Coal field.  I have several thick reports on his exploration there.  His wife was a game old gal, accompanying him into very isolated country.  She may have had connections with the owners of the S... smelter.

 I also have a little book "Tales of the Totems" written by RCCJ from accounts written down by his wife.

 I look forward to reading your book. 

 Cheers

Barry P.


26 April 2007

Hi Peter – hope to meet you someday soon. Great book!

I am an environmental consultant working most of BC. My work has some archive and heritage elements to it.  I recently found a title to land in Kamloops in the name of William Lewis Fernie, of Kamloops BC . Land Title # 57831F was issued May 20th 1931 for the SW ¼ of Section One, Twp 20 Range 18 West of the 6th Meridian. This is near the corner of Dalhousie and Notre Dame in Kamloops. There is a tax sale notice on the Fernie title. It was transferred in 1945 to the Gov’t of Canada as part of the military camp holdings in Kamloops.  Also you should note the anecdote in the menu of the Coldwater Hotel in Merritt. It purports Miner stayed there and stashed things in the dome.

Eric G.

(The author replied to the above email as follows:)

Thanks, Eric, for the interesting information on the Fernie property.   I remember Daphne Fernie telling me about how her father used this part of his holdings for grazing his imported thoroughbreds.  As far as the tax sale information goes, William Fernie had passed away many years before this event, and his daughters and wife had moved to Victoria in the early 1940s.  They probably couldn’t find a sale for this property at that time, so left it to be picked up for a tax sale.  Thank you for this information, which I wasn’t aware of.  Any information that people send me that relates to my book is most appreciated.  It adds to our store of knowledge of this period and the people who were around at the time.

As far as the anecdote in the Coldwater Hotel goes, I am familiar with the story.  However, Merritt was not yet a town in the days that Miner was in BC, and the dates given were long after Miner had died.  But I suppose it does add some romance to the hotel itself.  Thanks for your positive comment on my book.

Peter Grauer

(In a second email, John comments further: )

Peter -- Thanx for the personal reply. In my work (I am a geologist with strong landform/map bias) the scenery and geography of each of the locations in your book always impress me. I have been driving across BC – all directions, air, road, coast and rail since I was a kid – in the 1960 window. Now I write physical reports on properties including the history of ownership. This has allowed me to write about Campbell Creek, Merritt, and Kamloops. Living here near ... allows a wondrous connection between your book and where I have rubber-necked for the last 20 odd – they have been odd – years.  I know you are aware of the Merritt museum. They have the data on this next point. Merritt did not exist under that name in the period you describe but the town was there under several other names. (Forksdale & Midvale.) So… the inference is that Merritt by another name was there and thriving – parallel to Quilchena but not on the main route from Kamloops to Princeton which I believe is on the hill side to the east of Merritt and was used for a rough road auto rally last year. The best proof of the montage of these towns is the legal surveys of that era. You might want to speak with legal surveyor John Graham in Merritt. And there is always the knowledge of the affable author Murphy Shewchuk. I defer to your previous work however. The command of dates you show is exceptional. We certainly understand why a hotel would grasp any story that might add to its marketable mystique, fact, conjecture, folklore or otherwise.

Eric G.


April 1, 2007

Peter,

Congratulations on doing such a good job of assimilating so much  research. I have just completed reading your book. You have given me renewed interest in getting back to work on my family history.  My great-grandfather, John S., arrived in Victoria in 1862,  spent time in the Cariboo, then settled in Victoria.  There has been a John S. there ever since - my father resides a  few blocks from the family plot in Ross Bay Cemetery. I have done some research in both Victoria and the Provincial Archives, but have a long way to go.  I have just retired from a career as a high school English teacher (Armstrong) and live in Vernon. I don't know if I have any material of interest to you, but I sure appreciate your references in the back of your book.

Thanks again for the well-researched book!  Cheers,

John S.

(In a second email, John comments further: )

My only comment to improve the book - more maps would be useful as most readers won't be familiar with our area. I found myself bookmarking the map on page 20 and used this for a continual reference. My next task is pulling the Backroad Mapbook off my shelf and finding all these places to explore once the weather improves.

John S.


March 28, 2007

Hello Peter,

I am currently reading your book with much interest and fascination.  A couple of years ago we purchased acreage in the ......... area for recreational use (we live in Vancouver). I have been doing some research and found it is the old .............. ranch, just off ........... Forest Service Road. It was originally 320 acres but now is 141 acres. The property has an old road through it and signs of an old cabin or structure near the lake (rusty stove and an old bed). In addition, I found that the 'Similkameen Trail' used to go through the property as shown on the back the original preempt document from 1891 (which I got a copy from the Merritt Archives). I think it is this old road we see today and may be the 'pack trail' you refer to in your book. Not sure though.

We would like to preserve some historical elements of the property and would appreciate any information you have. My wife and I are both very interested in the historic nature of the area.

All the best, E. P.  Vancouver

(Note - Place and proper names have been removed to protect privacy.  PRG)

(The author replied to the above email as follows:)

Hello E.,

Thanks for your intriguing email. I am aware of a number of cabins around your area that may be associated with Miner, Allen, Budd, Chisholm et al. However, the ........... property in my research has only referred to the Miner/Budd cabin.  It is rather special to think that your cabin could have been the one in which Miner spent the winter of 1905/06.  I will have to refer to my research documents again and see whether more information is contained in them.  By all means give me a call sometime. Evenings after 7 and before 10 would be best.  ........... has always been of interest to me, and I am presently pursuing more information through his descendants.

Peter Grauer


March 17, 2007

Hi,  I  liked the book.  I really liked the detail.    I have over 700 Canadian and Alaska books, many of them like yours.  I have always  been interested in Bill Miner since I have been going to Quesnel Lake for the last 30 years.  Something has puzzled me for a long time. There is a creek named Bill Miner  on the most remote  arm (east arm) of the lake between Kill Dog and Bouldery creeks.  I know why Kill Dog and Bouldery got it's name . I  have talked with a friend whose father trapped on the lake in the 30's and Bill Miner creek was named as far back as he could remember.  I have been to the Billy Miner Saloon in Williams Lake and understand why a saloon  would be named after a colorful character, but why a remote creek? Bill Miner was not in the area. Can you shed any light on this ???

On page 559, I found it  interesting that Jack Budd's daughter , B.L. Barron,  lived in Chico, California (my home town).  I have looked in the Chico phone book and cannot find any connection today for the mail routes are not the same.   

Thanks for writing the book.  I really did enjoy it.  The photos, maps and  research you have done is appreciated by this reader.

Walt R.

(The author replied as follows:)

Hello Walt,

The only explanation I could come up with for the name Bill Miner Creek would be that it must have been named by a miner in the first decade of the 20th C.  Many of the Princeton/Nicola/Kamloops miners and prospectors headed up into that country when the mining exploration petered out in the south part of the province.  Bill Miner was even then a figure of some interest to ordinary people in the southern part of BC.  I found not one iota of indication that he went any further north than Kamloops, Ashcroft or Spence’s Bridge.  However, I should say that there were rumours passed down in families that he had been up in that country, but absolutely no primary source data.  As readers of my book know, people were great travellers in those days, both on foot and on a good through-bred.  New information on Miner that put him in the Cariboo would never surprise me.  He was an interesting individual.

The trail of Jack Budd is still warm, and information is still continuing to come in on him.  Descendants have been trying to trace his trail up here in Canada, and I hope to be able to post some of the information on my website in the future.

Thank you for your positive comments on my book.  I tried to use the detail to put the reader back in that time 100 years ago.

Regards,

 

Peter Grauer


March 4, 2007

Dear Peter: 

I finished reading your book a couple of weeks ago.  I found it quite interesting and enjoyed learning a little more local history. You mentioned that Shorty Dunn had worked for Jack Hanna after serving his time.  Jack Hanna was my step grandfather and the original owner of this painting.  I would assume it is the same Jack Hanna.  I was delighted to see his name mentioned.  Giving someone a break would be in character with how I remember him.  He was quite an interesting person and always had some story to tell. 

Thanks

John F., Kamloops.

(John came up to Karen and I during "Art in the Park" in Kamloops in the summer of '06, and told us he had a contemporary oil painting done of Bill Miner that had been in his family for many years.  The name of Jack Hanna did not come up at that time, and this incident just confirms again how connections have kept happening since the book was first published last summer.  The interest of BC residents in their own history, and the connections so many had with the Bill Miner story continues to amaze us. PG)


March 2, 2007

Hi Peter,

I have just finished reading your book and the best

descriptions I can use are:   superb, excellent, fascinating, terrific,

etc.  Other friends who have read your book share similar comments.

Thanks very much!!!!!

Ron P., Kamloops.


February 16, 2007

Hi Peter.

I just wanted to commend you on your book. I know the research involved in a project like that and it's easy to see your passion for the subject. To say I devoured it is probably an understatement. It was all very easy to read. And the statements you found from the three men seem very telling. I always had my suspicions about Colquhoun and never bought his portrayal when I first saw The Grey Fox. It didn't make sense to me that a young, respected and consumptive school teacher would leave his home and family (presumably for both his own sake and the health of others) only to use explosives and guns to jeopardize the lives of strangers.

But there are still a lot of unanswered questions and I'm going to see what digging I can do at this end.

But maybe you can offer your thoughts/speculations on one.

The three statements are fascinating. Were they taken at the same time in the regular course of activities at the prison? Both Dunn and Edwards say they make the statements of their own free will. Colquhoun doesn't. Hmmm. As well, Dunn's statement suggests it was written by someone else. Was he playing the illiterate just as he had played the mute in the store?

My guess is that Miner (probably in agreement with Dunn) made the unusual(?) request in a humanitarian effort to free the sickly Colquhoun without it actually costing them anything (increased sentence, legal fees, #3's wrath, etc.). And it is possibly the only reason Dunn might talk to Miner at all in prison. If it was Miner's first and only recorded confession, he would have been well aware of that fact, reinforcing the idea he indeed was a con man with a conscience. So it also seems the only acceptable con for him was tricking men into thinking he'd shoot them if they didn't help unload the express car or open a lock box.

Anyway, I won't ramble on any longer, though I know I could. My thanks. I always like reading books that make me want to find out more.

All the best

Richard T.

(Richard Turtle is a playwright from Ontario.  He devoured the 600 plus pages of "Interred With Their Bones" in just a few days.  A listing of some of his plays can be seen athttp://www.doollee.com/PlaywrightsT/TurtleRichard.htm and a brief bio can be seen athttps://www.brookpub.com/richard-turtle-and-peter-moore-m-214.html?osCsid=06c583542)


February 16, 2007

Hello Peter. 

I recently finished your book, which I enjoyed so very much !

It was obviously written after extensive research, and with a dedication to "getting it right".

 I am a Kamloops resident, having lived here for 35 years, and been to so many of the locations described in your book, in my pursuit of outdoor activities and explorations. Knowing these locations just adds to my pleasure of reading your book.

Thanks for an excellent book.

I will be recommending it to my friends and family.

 Garry G.


February 8, 2007

Hi Peter, Just wanted you to know that I finally finished "Interred With Their Bones" and enjoyed it very much. I am not a fast reader and I do most of my reading in bed, before I go to sleep.  Usually the sleep-bug gets me before I get about half a chapter read, so I was the better part of a month reading it. I'm no expert, but I feel the story would make a great movie---better than "The Grey Fox." The book really brought a lot of B.C. heartland history out, with reference to many places and  people to which we [natives] can relate. You've put a great deal of time, effort and hard work into the book, and you must be very proud! I had occasion to speak with Brenda T. a few days ago, after finding out about her connection to Ducks. She spoke very highly of "Interred." Good luck in your marketing of the book.

I'm sure you are very busy selling the book, so I was wondering if you've had time to read "An Okanagan History," (The Diaries of Roger John Sugars, 1905 to 1919 Sandhill Book Marketing.  PG) and as it falls into the same time frame as Roger's diary, what your feeling is for the book. Incidentally, my first 1800 copies just sold out and I have my second edition of 500 more. ... I am being given the opportunity of presenting the books to each (Okanagan school) library and doing a short reading in front of the students.

 All the best to you and your wife, Karen. May you have a best seller!!   John Sugars.

(John Sugars is the son of Roger John Sugars, and he edited his father's diaries to create a poignant vignette of life on Okanagan Lake 100 years ago, as well as an enduring legacy detailing our local interior heritage. PG)

 


February 3, 2007

I've just finished reading your very excellent book about Bill Miner . I have a great interest in the stories as I remember my grandfather Victor S. talking about him.  In your book on page 108 the picture of William Dodd's roadhouse is, I am very sure, a picture that I have of my Grandfathers ranch house. The front porch has been removed in my photo, but you can see the lighter area that it was attached to the house with. I would guess I'm about 2yrs old ..muddy pants and all ..looks like spring time.  I'm not sure when he bought the ranch or from who...I do know from Don Blake's book Blakeburn,..Dust to Dust ...they were in Blakeburn in the 20's as they are mentioned as residents and my uncle Bill's picture is in the school photo.  Vic was looking after the mine mules and just going in when it blew up. He was only slightly injured. Bill S. had the Missezula Lake ranch that you talked about ..but later. ( He passed away last month in Princeton at 90 yrs.)

    I remember up above the ranch at Aspen Grove an old mine site with a short tailings ramp ...could it be some of their old diggings ? I used to ride from Aspen Grove to Missezula a couple of times a year.

 

Bill B.  Westbank B.C.

(The author and Bill B. are working together to determine the provenance of this photo from the Nicola Valley Museum and Archives.)


January 30, 2007

Dear Peter.  I have just completed reading the book that my wife bought from you at Coles Book Store ... before Christmas.  I found the story of Bill Miner, Shorty Dunn. Lewis Colquhoun and all the others absolutely fascinating and captivating.  I have barely put your book down since I received it on Christmas Day.  There is so much information and detail that really brings out the character of the many people who you wrote about.  Many of the names have stood the test of time and are part of the cities and regions today.  I am quite familiar with many of the areas that were spoken about, both in the interior of BC and at the coast.  My Dad's family pioneered in the Mission area and there is a street there named after us. ... Some of my ancestors are in the Mission Museum and the New Westminster Museum.

It was sad that Lewis Colquhoun may have gotten convicted for a robbery that he apparently knew nothing about.  He should have had independent legal representation, and their defence lawyer, Alexander Duntroon Mcintyre, appears to be as unscrupulous as many a lawyer today.  I was especially sad to read that Shorty Dunn drowned whilst guiding on the river and that his grave is now below water.

Further, Bill Miner ... mostly stole from corporations who were also considered as stealing from their customers, given the exorbitant rates that were being levied.  ... He must have been quite the challenge for the authorities and railways alike. ...

Terrific book, Peter.  I look forward to reading the next one.  There will be others, I hope.

Bob W., Kamloops.


January 21, 2007

Dear Peter.  Just before Christmas you were signing books at Aberdeen Mall, and I had a brief conversation with you about my Dad's interest in B.C. history. My Dad, Dinty M., is thoroughly enjoying your book, and has constantly remarked on the similarities between William Grell, aka Shorty Dunn, and his 'Old Bill', William Henry Dunbar. Thank you for writing such a fascinating story: it's been worth every penny, just for the hours of wonder it has provided my father, William 'Dinty' M. And I promise to read it myself!

Regards, Linda F.


January 16, 2007. 

Good morning Peter.  I can’t tell you how much my wife and I enjoyed this book.  What a wonderful, informative and amazing story.  We both enjoyed it very much.  In fact we can not keep it in the house, because we keep lending it out.  Is it still possible to order another copy of it from you directly; and would it be possible to have you autograph it for the people we want to give it to?  Could you please let me know by return e-mail when you get a chance?

Thanks very much, Craig and Judy R., Vernon, BC.


January 16, 2007.

Hi Peter,  

 Well, I must say your book is the best one I've read in, I don't know how long!  Of course, Bill Miner's story has always been my favourite.  I first read about Bill when I was 13 and bought the book Bill Miner Train Robber. That book started me on a 30 year adventure into B.C.'s history, and of course I just have to have every book written on Bill Miner!  The irony of it is though, and I just realized it after reading your book, I moved to Princeton 15 years ago, and every morning upon opening my curtains I look at Baldy (Miner) mountain!  Thanks for the hours of happiness! 

Sylvia H., Princeton, BC.


January 15, 2007.

just wanted to let you know how much I have enjoyed this book. I received as a gift and the fact it was signed made it even more special. I am curious about some of the places you mention, grande prairie rd. Where is that today and are any of the homesteads still standing? I live in Mclure and I often travel up the Barnhartvale Rd. I love the old place at the end close to the junction. Is that part of any of this history? 

Peggy Y.


11 January 2006. 

Thanks Peter for all your research and the detail you put into writing Interred With Their Bones.  My brother-in-law, Mark H. from Kamloops picked up a copy for me, which you were kind enough to autograph.  I enjoyed the book and look forward to reading any additional books you may have in the works - Follow the Tracks,

Phillip N., Mission, BC


December 24, 2006

HELLO Peter, I AM so excited to hear from you!!!! I have a lots of information I know we could trade and your just the person I NEED TO HELP ME TO CONFIRM WHAT I THINK I ALREADY KNOW! ''BILLY MINER IS MY GREAT-GRANDFATHER!!!!

EVERYTHING WE HAVE IN OUR FAMILY GE NEOLOGY POINTS IN THIS DIRECTION............I WOULD BE PLEASED IF WE COULD FIND SOMETIME... TO CHAT ABOUT IT!

I am only sorry I do not have copy of your book yet, "Interred with their bones", I would be very pleased to be able to purchase it, if you could tell me where I can do so?

At the present time I am not too well,  In "Hospice Care" ... , I AM NOT SURE HOW MUCH TIME I WILL HAVE LEFT TO GET MY STORY TOLD, SO I would like to get at it as soon as I possibly can.  I CAN GO BACK QUITE A FEW GENERATIONS IN HIS LIFE TO CONFIRM.

ALMOST Everything KNOW, since I am his oldest living great granddaughter. He also still has one grand-daughter alive living in the Kamloops area!!!!

Please contact me at your earliest convenience, it would be very much appreciated!!!! Wow, I can hardly believe this! And a very Merry Christmas and Holiday Season to you!

Yours in success

MRS. DOLORES J.

 


December 19, 2006

Hi............just found your site recently..........wow!!!! I AM SO EXCITED............BILLY miner you see is my Great Grandfather...........I am so interested in doing more research into the "Gentle man Bandit", your help will be greatly appreciated. I would be nice if we could get together and compare some notes and history! Please consider getting in touch with me!

Your truly

Mrs. Dolores J.

 


November 30, 2006

Hi Peter,
Just a note to say that I really enjoyed your book.  You certainly achieved a great level of detail, proving that not only is the book an impressive work of scholarship but also that the news media of the day must have really gone to town following the story, providing you with a wealth of source material.   I was surprised, from what is revealed of his character, that Dunn went along with concealing the name of the Third Man, which made Colquhoun a suspect in the actual robbery.  We can suppose Dunn was completely under Miner's evil influence, and anyway he probably didn't have much confidence in altering the big justice machine.  Thanks again for recreating the past, and congratulations.  Jim N.
(From 1941 to 44 and 1949 to 55, I lived at 129 Seymour St., near the Court House where all the excitement climaxed.)
 


November 29, 2006

Peter, Karen and Kirsten
This is a great book, detailed, interesting, historical and a must read book. The research you have done is amazing. What makes it most interesting to me is that the places in Kamloops and New Westminster are all familiar. I must commend you on your accomplishment I know there must have been times when you wondered if you would ever finish! Thanks so much for doing so. Orest M.


November 07, 2006

Hi Peter.  Just a short note to Thank You ! for the book of Summerland and the CD.  Great pictures... Mom has nearly finished the book (Interred With Their Bones) so then it will be our turns.  She raves when she comes in for dinner, and dinner goes a little bit slower, stopping to hear of the chapter she is involved in. (Many cold dinners lately) So we really appreciated your kindness and we look forward to seeing you and your wife in beautiful Summerland.  Our very best regards to you, Michael


November 03, 2006

Peter: I have just finished your book and it is excellent. The detail you have given makes you feel that in reading this book, you are living in that time period. Top marks to ya. Cheers Calum


November 02, 2006

Hi: Well as you say once I read the book I get to check out this web site and write to you. I just this Oct. finished my 9th season of work on the Rocky Mountaineer Train. Somehow I don't think I need to explain what that is to you. I knew nothing of BC & Canadian history when I started but now have two book cases full of history and train books and I'm dangerous in a book store, like the one in Kamloops. Thank-you for writing this book, the only problem is I'll have to change my three minute story about Miner that I do on the train because now I know "The rest of the story". Actually maybe I'll stay with the story as written in newspapers and one page articles as it's funnier and more Robin Hood'ish. But the nice thing is When asked for more detail by a guest I will be able to recommend your book as the final authority. I will stay in touch with this site. Alex D.


November 01, 2006

Hello Peter & Karen; I've just finished your book and loved it!  It's a 10/10!  You have a way with words and it's wonderful that you were able to have so much history and mystery included.  You and Karen are very special people and I know your daughter is too because of the web site she has created.  I really enjoyed meeting you at Westwold and it made reading the book that much more meaningful.  - Burnie


October 30, 2006

Hello Peter, I can't wait to start reading "Interred With Their Bones"-- love the title btw, and the jacket design is perfect--my mum bought a copy and said it's great and that you are a very talented writer. I have mid-terms this week but I am planning to reward myself with your book as soon as I can actually start reading for pleasure again and not for credit. I've seen your book all over town! Fiona O.


October 30, 2006

Dear Peter, Loved your book! One of those books that gets better and better the further along the story you get. Tks Don E.


October 18, 2006

Hi Peter, I used to have a room in the old Portland stage stop in a room upstairs. At that time Verna Sledge used to cook for the crew downstairs, in a pretty rough kitchen. The pack rat smell never left that place. The old road went right in front. The barn below is original to that era too, I understand. When I was manager I pushed to keep the roof sound to keep the historic old barn sound. I dont know that I could find the Smoky Chism cabin, but we might do it in conjunction with a Douglas Lake cowboy who is familiar with the area, like the Portland cowboy foreman. As for Dhad Allen (spelling?) all I know of him is that the road east of the Merrit Princeton leading to the Crater Lake/Bluey Lake chain is named after him. I don't remember much else, except that Joe Sledge, now long since deceased, did talk about him. Sincerely, Neil W.


October 18, 2006

Hi Peter, Douglas Lake Cattle Co Ltd took catte down to Westwold for many many years: anywhere from 1000 to 1500 yearling heifers (unbred) would go down some time just before Christmas and stay there until there was open bunchgrass country at Douglas Lake to turn them out on probably in March. Initially, I guess Toddy (was this his name) Clemitson bought the hay; when I was first at Douglas Lake Robert Clemitson Sr looked after buying the hay, always at a fairly low price, as open yearling heifers did not need top quality hay. Robert would be in charge of the cattle while they wintered at Westwold. In those days Douglas Lake bred the heifers as two year olds, a practice long since abandonded once ample feed sources were locally grown and the calves could be grown out to be large enough to be bred as yearlings. One winter Robert Clemitson was short-handed, so he contacted Brian Chance the Manager at Douglas Lake, and asked him if he could spare anyone from the ranch. He sent down a young fellow- his name escapes me for the moment- but he never came home: he married Robert's daughter, and they eventually moved back to Alberta, where he came from. Anyway, I digress. What I wanted to tell you is that I remember the cowboys telling me that "The Company" used to put them up at the Westwold Hotel, and "then it burned down" they said. They were sorry, as after that we always stayed at Bobby Talbot's place up the Salmon Lake road. All the best with your book and its promotion. Sincerely, Neil W.


October 18, 2006

Kirsten, I’m at home and listening to the Bill Good Show on Radio NL. They were talking about books and one caller provided a glowing report on your dad’s Billy Miner book. The caller is so enamored with it, he is taking a holiday to retrace the steps of the first robbery near Mission. Just thought you’d want to know. Kirk F.


October 18, 2006

Hello Peter My Dad finally got here to visit me this week, he has been very busy with a new job. The funny thing was that he brought his girlfriend who is from Saskatchewan, and she had never really been to BC>So on the trip my Dad was telling her stories about BC,and when they drove through Monte Lake he told her about Bill Miner. Anyways he truly loves the book, he said if it wasn't for me he would of ignored us and read the whole book. He was half way through when we left, he visited for 5 days. I told him that I promised you we would contact him when his finishes the book and let you know, so you will be hearing from Old Man Green soon. It was one of the best presents that my Dad had ever got, so Thanks for that. Hope all is well with you, your Wife, and your book sales. Take it easy Kerri G.


October 10, 2006

Good Morning Peter I met you during my visit of the Spencer Home in Summerland during the Heritage Home tour. It was my family's home during the years I grew up. I enjoyed meeting you. I am so glad that I purchase your book Interred With Their Bones. I enjoyed it immensely. In fact I could hardly put it down until it was finished. I, as many I suppose had heard little bits about Bill Miner over the years. What a fascinating character he was. Growing up in Summerland during the fifties and sixties gave me the opportunity to meet many pioneers and early residents of our area. I found them and their description of the early years in Summerland to be very interesting. Your story sheds a lot of light onto what life was like in those times. Anyone who thinks that Canada has a dull past would do well to read your book. Thank you Sandy B.


October 03, 2006

Hi Peter, I really enjoyed your book - I am familiar with so much of the area you describe. Where is Furrer siding? I haven't been able to see a sign for it along the tracks. I've given several copies for gifts - it's what I'm giving for Christmas and birthdays this year. I checked with all the high schools ... and only S.(had one) on order - the others are going to purchase one or more copies for their school libraries.  It should be in every high school library in BC!  Regards, Holly C.


October 03, 2006

Dear Peter, A most interesting book, well researched. Congratulations on a terrific job. Gordon Lloyd, Kamloops. I am interested in learning more about Chief Constable Pearse, as I think his son is recognized in the Kamloops High School Hall of Fame see www.kamhigh.com.  Thanks again for your terrific research and a well written book.


October 03, 2006

Dear Peter: I very much enjoyed reading your book...as a third generation Kamloopsian I particularly appreciated the details about life in Kamloops in the early 20th C. My grandmother used to tell us stories about going to the trial. One specific bit of information I would appreciate you comments on are Chief Constable Pearse.  I was the principal of Kamloops High School for many years and have written the story of Kam High which is on www.kamhigh.com website. Under the banned alumni; special recognition, hall of fame Walter Pearse is recognized as a Kam High Grad., Rhode scholar and killed during World War I. I would appreciate and further information you have about Ernest Pearse and his family. I was recently contacted by a gentleman who is writing a book about young men who played hockey for Oxford University just before WWI. He is anxious to learn more about Walter and his background.


September 07, 2006

I doubt you remember me, but we met one Saturday morning in Merritt, in July (the weekend of the country music festival). You were just setting up outside a book store, and I bought a copy of the book. I just wanted to let you know I have just finished reading it, and enjoyed it completely. It reminded me of the Pierre Berton style of writing - address and cover a particular series of events and time period in careful detail and from a number of different angles, but still able to avoid falling into the dry recitation of mere history. I will look forward to reading anything else you write and publish! As a criminal defence lawyer, I found your review of the proceedings in Kamloops particularly interesting - especially the speed with which things happened 100 years ago. These days, a similarly serious robbery trial would likely take place months (if not a year or more) after the event, and would likely take two or three weeks! And was the speaking to sentence really as brief as your book suggests? I was particularly shocked that defence counsel seems to have said nothing at all about the proper penalty to be imposed, etc. Best wishes with everything. Charles D.


September 02, 2006

Hi Peter Just got back from holidays at my cabin up on Powell lake, had great time and weather. Completed reading the book and I think it is excellent, well done. Did you miss the part where the posse passed right by Jacks (Montieth) folks home and his mother tried to pet the dogs but cst. Fernie told her not to as they were not to be petted. Jack said he was there when this happened . The dogs were tied on long chains at the time. Jacks dad had a sawmill on the property at the time. When we visited there the ranch was called the Fox ranch. maybe you have been there on your search for information. All the best for now. Don K.


September 02, 2006

Hello Peter When I was visiting my daughter, Jen Fretz, in Kamloops, she loaned me your book. It was fascinating and I really enjoyed it. I was intrigued with the pictures taken by Mary Spencer and wanted to know more about her. Thanks very much, Isabel H.


September 02, 2006

Hello Peter, I have just finished reading your book. It is truly wonderful. My brother Anthony came over here to England in June and gave me the book to read. I found it really interesting because in 1965 I was lucky enough to visit BC with my Mother and Father. My Dad had won over £1,000 in a draw and we sailed from Salford to east Canada to visit relatives before boarding the CPR for three days to Burnaby, New Westminster. As I was only 1 year old when my eldest sister Mary emigrated to Canada, and 5 years old when Anthony went it was very exciting for me to visit them. As I had travelled through Kamloops, Kicking Horse Pass, Revelstoke etc I could picture the storey of the robbery very easily. When we were in New Westminster my brother took us for a visit to the BC Penitentiary and so I was also familiar with the Warden's office and the Prison Yard where the escape took place. I work for Salford City Council as Conservation Officer maintaining the records for Protected Buildings (Listed Buildings) and Protected areas (Conservation Areas) and have a special interest in history. Thank you once again for such an interesting adventure that reminded me so much about my visit to Canada 41 years ago. Best wishes, Joe M.


September 02, 2006

Hello Peter, I would like to order a copy of your book Interred With Their Bones. We met on Aug. 12 at the Second Glance bookstore during the car show on Victoria Street. I am the granddaughter of Thomas Kilpatrick , the C.P.R. Superintendent who was with the posse who apprehended Bill Miner. It was great to meet and talk with you that day, ... . Thanks so much, Heather B.


August 29, 2006

Hi Peter I had trouble putting your book down once I started reading it. I couldn't wait to get back to it. I found it to be a superb blend of history and mystery. Congratulations !!! Harvey E


August 28, 2006

Hi Peter: Just finished reading " Interred with their bones" - congratulations on a great book. I was fortunate to have visited beautiful Kamloops and area in October 2005 and April 2006 and now again 100 years ago. Thank you so much for the signed copy and personal message. Francis & Kathleen B., Kippens, Newfoundland


August 27, 2006

Hi Peter, I just finished you book and enjoyed it very much. Thanks Dave Lands End Studios Ltd.


August 27, 2006

HI Peter, I have been enjoying your book immensely. So often when a researcher uses quotations in a book or research project he strings them together emphasizing the fact he cannot write. You can write! The details are a pleasure to read as you do it in such an easy manner. As Ever, Pat


August 27, 2006

Hi Peter: I finished this wonderful book a few days ago. WOW!!! You sure do know how to keep a persons interest from start to finish. It helped a lot to have lived in Princeton for three years, and have traveled to almost every place that is mentioned. It made reading real easy and very interesting. When we lived in Princeton, 62-65, I was a scout leader and we took the boys up to Shorty Dunn's ranch several times. Of course during that time it didn't mean too much to me. The boys being local new a lot more than I did. You sure have a way with words Peter, All the little extra expressions just lay everything out to be enjoyed to the fullest. Thank you again for the book. It will be a real addition to my library of BC history. Herb A.


August 16, 2006

Dear Peter, I wanted to pass on to you my feeling of satisfaction in the reading of your book " Interred With Their Bones".  The in-depth research along with the paraphrasing to put it all together makes it a most enjoyable read. Thank you. Bert J.


August 14, 2006

Hello Peter, I took advantage of my time off to start your book. I am enjoying it. I also decided to rent Grey Fox and found, after reading some of your book, that this is completely inaccurate! It's funny what Hollywood does to make movies work. Heather T.


August 14, 2006

Hi Peter, My name is Neil W. and I have just finished your book, which I have found fascinating. Your book is of particular interest to me, because I know pretty well all of the country you refer to, and many of the names in one way or another. I spent the years 1960 through 1980 at Douglas Lake, and before that spent time at the Guichon Ranch at Quilchena in the time of Dr Laurance Guichon and Gerard Guichon. When I first started cowboying at Douglas Lake, I worked at the Portland Ranch at Aspen Grove rounding up stock. My foreman at that time was Joe Sledge, who had jumped a square rigger (illegally) at the outbreak of WW Two in Montreal, and ended up at Douglas Lake for many years. He showed me Jack Budd's cabin at Aspen Grove, and told me about the man, his ways with horses, and his questionable dealings. He told me that when he first went to the Aspen Grove country, it was thought of as a robbers roost, and had the feel to go with it. When I first became manager at Douglas Lake I hired a retired RCMP to patrol that country, as we were still suffering above average stock losses over there. We talked about Jack Budd's friend George Edwards, and how he would go to the Sunday school picnics in Princeton, and give candy to the children. We looked at Smoky Chism's cabin as we rode by. When I was irrigating the haylands at Douglas Lake Home Ranch in 1960, I irrigated the land where Bill Miner, Shorty Dunn and Lewis Colquhoun were caught. Many names in your story have special meaning to me. I learned a lot when I was cowboying from Slim Cammpbell (Campbell Creek). I have riden into Stephens Meadows, but did not know how infamous this man was! Toddie Clemitson, Jerry Mellin, Joseph B. & Joe Greaves Jr, Susan Allison, Franci Basil, Dr. Burris, Lewis Campbell, Joe Coutlee, F. J Fulton: these are all people whose family I know! I could go on and on. A lot of the Douglas Lake story came alive for me ... I have some idea of the tremendous research job you have done. I am sorry to be finished reading (every word of) your book; it has made a lasting impression on me. Thank you for writing such a great history of this era, and making it come alive for me! Once a cowboy always a cowboy I guess. I hope our paths cross. Sincerely, Neil W.


August 06, 2006

Hi Peter, I am enjoying your book! I was wondering if it would be possible to put a present day map of the area up on your site marking in the "Miner spots?" I have a rough idea of most of the places, but I am sure others, not familiar with Kamloops and area, are lost. If you could also use the previous names of present day communities it would also help. Just a thought! Pat R


August 03, 2006

Peter: I am now reading and enjoying your book. I have ties to the McKay family of Rose Hill so am finding lots of interesting reading.. Virginia S. Toronto


August 01, 2006

Hello Peter, I have just finished reading your book and found it be extremely interesting . It was a real pleasure to read a well written and detailed account of Canadian history. Congratulations!! Also Kirsten, the website you created is awesome. Louise S.


July 30, 2006

Great book. Have tried to enter the bonus site but no luck. My father in his early teens worked for Jack Bud, but said he seldom spoke of Bill Miner CW


July 29, 2006

Dear Peter, I have just finished the book and really enjoyed it. I really liked the idea of the Afterword, where you told us what happened to the major characters. I also liked the extensive use of the old photos. The only quibble I have (and I'm not familiar with the legal requirements of footnotes) was with the many footnotes. However, I solved that by using a second bookmark and as I came to each chapter I quickly scanned down the footnotes and then ignored them when I came upon them in the chapter. I don't know if just listing a full bibliography would fulfill the legal requirements--probably not. I think you did a magnificent job. When do you think you will find the energy to tackle another one???!!!! All the best, Barb E.


July 29, 2006

Hi Peter, I ... was surprised to learn that Chilliwack played a very important roll in Bill Miner's life and times in BC. I really enjoyed the book. I must say, things haven't changed much in law enforcement over the years with respect to "Taking claim" or embellishing one's roll in an arrest etc. I can really relate to many of the incidents you so aptly describe. Hope all is well in the heat of Kamloops.. Cheers, Brian K.


July 29, 2006

Hi Peter, Your book arrived and I now have my nose in it! It is an easy read for which I thank you. A lot of historical writers just string quotations together which makes for a very difficult read and showcases the fact they cannot write! Thank you for such a splendid job! Patricia R.


July 23, 2006
 

Hey Peter, Enjoying your book very much. The detail you've included is amazing. Even more amazing is how well travelled some of these characters were, given the mode of transportation of the day. This is really my first foray into any kind of history in B.C. and specifically the Kamloops area. Quite enlightening. John S.


July 21, 2006

Hi Peter, Just read the Saturday, June 24, 2006, John Mackie's review of your book in the Vancouver Sun. I am also doing research for a book that takes place during that same period of time on Vancouver Island, and have come across interesting articles on Bill Miner. I noticed that you self-published which is also my intent. If you have a few minutes to spare, please Email me my name is Robert Janning. Cheers.


July 12, 2006

Hi Peter, I'm about 2/3 of the way through your book and am enjoying it hugely. Your reconstructions of the time and the events -- very masterful. It gives me such a vivid sense of that landscape too ... Anyway, thanks so much for a fascinating read. Theresa K.


July 12, 2006

Hello Peter, I am half way through the book and will finish it before the weekend, It is wonderful and should be mandatory reading in BC High Schools. Cheers, Brian Kingman


July 03, 2006

Hi Peter, I'm a slow reader, but I savoured every word of your book. Finished it, loved it, any more in the works? Did you notice that even though Bill Miner was noted for his very blue eyes that the $500 reward poster listed him as having brown eyes! Hmmm. As I said, loved the book. Am in awe of Bill Miner as a traveller (all by horseback); the area he covered astounds me. Did you by any chance trail-ride the same routes? Would love to hear you talk about your book. - Heather Murdoch


July 03, 2006

Hi Peter Just wanted to let you know that I have read the book Although I am no critic I want you to know that I think you have a very powerful story with an exceptional way of relating the facts and making the story very interesting Your understanding of the horses and riders is most interesting and having some knowledge of them (Horses) myself , your explanation is quite factual Perhaps this is because I have an interest in the area and the history of the Province --- I was born in the Royal Columbian Hospital in New Westminster,which was located above the B.C Penitentiary--- Back to your book I think in time it will become required reading for the school children to learn about the history of the Province Best Regards Ken W Miller


June 19, 2006

Hi Peter, Almost finished your book..............congratulations you did a superb job, am taking a copy to England with me on thursday for one of my brothers. Thought you may be interested in the attached correspondence in the Vancouver Sun. I won't see Saturdays copy until I return Tony (Tony Martin was the retired BC Penitentiary guard who saved all the records and glass plate negatives from the dumpster when the Pen was closing in 1980. PRG)


June 19, 2006
 

Hi Karen and Peter, Hope this finds you both relaxed and enjoying the 'book' interest. Anyways, after the second read of the 'book', I am very impressed with it. You have done a great job and I surely look forward to your next book, Peter. I have talked to several locals that have read the book, people are very impressed with it. It is a very easy read, most history books are more difficult to stay with for most people. Congratulations on a great job. Sandi


June 14, 2006

Hi Peter, Thank you so much for taking the time to be a part of our TV series for the Bill Miner segment. We really appreciate it. I hope you enjoyed your time with our hosts and crew. Sincerely, Jessie Kergan Kergan Big Red Barn Entertainment 6556 60th Ave Delta, BC V4K 4E2


June 11, 2006

Dear Peter and Family....the book has arrived and I have spent most of the afternoon boasting and showing it to friends....this of course comes with my I know the author so well ...Peter what can I say....It has been a long journey for you from the start to the publishing and you did it like a pro. I loved the dedication which of course is so well deserved. I am not a voracious reader but I will read it and I know Ann will as she is a voracious reader. Thank you for the wonderfull words and the signing it is more than I could ever hope for....you are the best....Thanks to Karen and Kirsten.....So my dear friend .....thank you so much.....I am still coming down from the high I got from getting the opportunity to talk to you .....best to all the family.....Love Terry


May 31, 2006
 

Hi Peter, WOW you did a fantastic job. Your writing is so good, you write so descriptively I could almost see what was happening. Everyone will enjoy this book!! I will be re-reading it just to be sure I did not miss anything. I really enjoyed that actual robbery at Ducks. Not the most suave robbers were they? Thank you again for all your efforts to tell the true story and at the same time you have captured a lot of history for the world to see. Poor Lewis, he really did get set up didn't he? Thanks again for sharing this book with us. Enjoy the rest of the ride, it is going to be a great time for you and Karen and Kirsten. Sandi p.s. we are getting rave reviews on the book launch.


May 30, 2006

I was lucky enough to receive an invitation to your official launch in Westwold. What a well-organized and enjoyable event. I especially enjoyed your reading - you are definitely a natural speaker and story-teller. Thank you for signing my book, I am already half way through and can't put it down! RB


May 28, 2006

Hi, Peter and Karen, As soon as I got home from school, I went over to show your book to my Dad. He is 92 now and remembers you and your wife very well. Dad is very anxious to read your book. I thnk that I will be lending him the book to read during the day when I am working, and I can read it in the evenings. I don't know if you realise it, but my wife and I live in the log house built by Robert Pratt. I have only read as far as the Mission robbery at this point, but I already see that it is a very impressive work. You are skilled in your use of words. I cannot begin to conceive of what a massive undertaking it must have been to write such an extensive history. From reading even this far into the book I already see that you very skillfully portray Bill Miner for what he was. I think that is important. I am very interested in history and try to pass it on to my students. I put together my little history of Barnhartvale when I realised that very few people living here now know the history of Barnhartvale and that the history that was known was not always very accurate. You probably know that a group of people are working to put together a book on Barnhartvale history. I have sent them all the information I have. My interest is in getting the history known. I think I will be teaching my Barnhartvale history with a little extra enthusiasm this week because of you. Gary and Lynda Kershaw


May 28, 2006

Bravo Peter! The book looks great. Love the cover and the format and the liberal use of photographs makes it so appealing! You've managed to make an historically-accurate publication that will appeal to the non-academic readers. Thanks for using a type-set that's large enough to actually read without a magnifying glass. Nicely done, and most importantly, very handsome author's photo on the book flap. ;-) Thank you for the Archives' copies. I'll be sneaking a copy home with me this weekend. Very impressive! Take care, Susan


May 17, 2006

Looking forward to the release! Saw you on the History Channel a few years ago...hope to be able to go to some of your readings. LG


May 07, 2006

Beautiful site! I read the chapter excerpt on this site - I am craving more! Am really looking forward to reading the book. -NR

 

READER'S COMMENTS

_______________________________________________________________

 

28 July 2011.  In September of 2010, I received this interesting email from Alaska.  In response to this inquiry, I advised the writer that there is no documented evidence that Miner ever had any children.  Since publication of my book, a few individuals have come forward claiming to be his direct descendants, but there has been no real provenance when they are queried on details.  One documented fact we do know is that a "Mrs. Ezra Miner" from an address in Spokane, WA wrote the BC Penitentiary in 1907 for more information about the escapee who she claims to have been her husband.  For anyone interested in following up on this, they can contact me at my email address.  P.

-------------

Hi,
     I live in Anchorage, Alaska and run a tobacco shop/internet cafe.  A few years ago an old man, with an escort, wandered into my shop to buy a cigar.  I started talking with him and he told me that he lived in a halfway house after serving a number of years in Lompoc prison in California.  He told me his name was Bill Miner...the only child of Thee Bill Miner.
     He had been sent to prison for murdering a friend in Dillingham, Alaska.  I had to go look into the court records to get what I'm going to tell you.  I've since lost all the names involved but if you want or need the information, I can still find it.
     Bill Miner apparently moved to Dillingham with a childhood friend.  They were hard workers but Bill managed to save his money and invest it wisely.  Eventually Bill owned a lot of land in Dillingham including a successful bar.  Bill got married and had a couple of kids.  Also remember that these men were uneducated and illiterate...and probably built a lot of animosity among the townspeople because of their success.
     What got Bill sent to prison was an argument with his childhood friend.  His friend was always flirting with Bill's wife.  One day, Bill had enough and pulled out a gun aiming it at his friend.  The friend grabbed the gun and pulled it toward himself and it went off killing him.  Bill was charged with the murder and sentenced to 99 years in prison.
     Bill's wife committed suicide after the trial on the porch of their home.  I'm told that exactly one year later, their son went to the same spot and shot himself.  Bill Miner died in Anchorage in March 2008.
     My question for you is:  is there any record of Bill Miner having children?
     Thanks,
      Richard G

__________________________________________________________________

26 July 2011.  As I mentioned in my "Journal" section, I have been negligent in keeping up with the emails I have received from my readers.  I will try to rectify that over the coming weeks.  Meanwhile, here is one that I received in September of 2010 from Britain.

--------------

Dear Peter

I had the good fortune to meet you briefly, a couple of weeks ago ... when my brother-in-law ...  introduced you to me as "a bit of a historian".  What an understatement!

Later that day, Shaun gave me your book to peruse, and I realised straight away that this was a serious piece of work.  More than that, I became immediately entranced by the descriptions it contains about life in this part of BC at the turn of last century.  You may recall that we are visiting from England, and have been to Kamloops many times over the past 13 years or so, so the geographical context is pretty familiar.  However, it is the picture painted by the movements of the robbers, the officers of the Law and the people with whom they interact along the way which turns the book into a fascinating social history.  Moving a basic understanding of horse-based transport into the daily lives of real people has been a revelation to me.

 From a humble reader, I hope you will accept my compliments for the brilliant way you have woven the threads of hard evidence of such a complex chain of events into such a gripping story.  I've struggled to put it down!

 Kindest regards

 David S.

___________________________________________________________________

22 December 2009

Hello:

I recently found your website and read your book.  Both are fascinating – the amount of detail you have uncovered is incredible.   James Doyle, the brick yard instructor at the BC Pen, was my great-grandfather.  If you are interested in more information about his life, see my website www.fayewest.ca/doyle/p1030.htm  The tale of James and Bill Miner is one of our more exciting family stories.

Faye W.

____________________________________________________________________

 

29 November 2009

Hello:

A thoroughly entertaining read.  I took a photograph of the historical marker this year and it now hangs in the Keg in Richmond Hill Ontario.  I was appalled to find that staff of this large restaurant chain have no idea why they serve ‘Billy Miner Pie’.  It was my simple attempt to remedy a little bit of that.  Your book has done much better.  Possibly the Keg could use a number of copies of your book.

 In any case it was good to read of the history, the area and the people of that time.  Since moving from North Vancouver we have been home many times and travel the area often.  I continue to look for a DVD copy of the Grey Fox as well.  I will be recommending your book to my friends, assuming my copy will be worn out by those I lend it to.

 Regards

 Dave L.

Oakville ON

____________________________________________________________________

 

29 July 2009

Hi Peter and Karen,

 Thank you so much for the wonderful gift of your book, it's been a fantastic read!

As you know, I grew up in The Netherlands and 'historical' events there are considered to have taken place much earlier in time. In the area where I was born and raised, civilization started around 3000 before Christ and official archives and documents of important events have survived for over 1000 years today.

But although BC history (not civilization!) only goes back some 200 years, it's not of any less importance. It was shocking to me to read how hard it was for you to hunt down information on events that only happened 100 years ago! I get the impression that historical awareness in BC is on the rise, but it's unbelievable to me to read how government archives have been (and are?) treated. History is not only for the handful of 'history buffs' amongst us, sooner or later in life we'll all want to know more about 'the olden days'. If factional information is simply destroyed through negligence, how will we show future generations how things were and how will they be able to learn from things we could have done better?

With English being my second language, it may have taken me a little longer to read your book, but I can assure you that I took it up every night for almost a month and had to cut my reading time off at midnight... Your style of writing grabbed me and never let go. In my opinion, your book is a fantastic document that combines documenting facts and story telling in a most exciting format. I can't even begin to imagine how many hours of research went into this book and I admire your persistence and historical awareness.

This book for sure is something to be extremely proud of and I am looking forward to hearing more about your next project re the Gold Rush.

It was an honor to meet you both and I am sure we'll meet again.

Best regards,

Remco W.

____________________________________________________________________

 

23 May 2009

Peter

My wife bought a copy of your book for me at the Kamloops gun show. We talked for a long time about the firearms used by the miners for your next book at the show. I'm the guy who still uses an old blackpowder shotgun to hunt deer with.

Well its taken me longer than expected to finish my copy of your book. Work and family commitments you know.

I have to say that I found the book an outstanding read. To think of all that history and goings on in the area we were in. And not that long ago either. A 100 years, as far as history goes is pretty recent. While travelling back to the island on the ferry after the Kamloops show. I had the opportunity to run in to a real old timer who grew up in Kamloops. He said he knew one of the fellows that was part of the posse chasing miner. He saw my copy of your book on the table I was sitting at. This fellow was as the saying goes "older than dirt". I only wish I could remember his name. We talked for a while and he had a lot of interesting stories about Kamloops in his younger days.

I find it interesting that Dunn had a Luger pistol. A pistol so new would be worth a lot of money I would think. The Luger being in production for a short time, before the story takes place. Makes me wonder where the money would come from to buy such an expensive gun.

Anyways thanks again for a great book. And I wish  you luck with your next book. I'm sure it will be as good of a read as this one has.

Marc S.

Oma Products Ltd.

 

____________________________________________________________________

 

14 May 2009

Dear Peter,   I enjoyed meeting you and Karen at the Calgary Gun Show in

April , which I attended with a gun collector friend  from Richmond  who spent some time with you talking about Miner's firearms.

    The book was a great read. A fascinating story , both from the history of the people that settled in that part of BC, and the geographical details ,  to say nothing  of the story of Bill's escapades . I spent some time in Tulameen this past summer, and now have more reason to explore the area . I spent my working years with the HBC Northern Stores , which became the NorthWest Company in 1987, and have an interest in Canada's history and pioneers, particularly in the back country .

    Will be looking forward to your next book

        Jim B.

____________________________________________________________________

 

(I received this email in response to my query noted below.)

22 April 2009

Greetings -
Being a dealer in historical materials relating to the west, especially, I try to keep familiar with current research (and older secondary material, as well). Hence I read what looks good - and Interred with their Bones fits that bill. Or that Bill. I was also asked to appraise the Fitzpatrick/Mary Spencer material that came on the market a few years ago; my opinion is that the photos were all copy prints not made from negatives. Anyway, I have also had several primary documents and printed items relating to Miner, so have tried to contextualize them when offering them to clients, and your book is  fairly essential for doing so.
I will be issuing a catalogue of manuscript materials relating to BC colonial history sometime soon; there are a number of letters and other items relating to the Cariboo from the American perspective. I'll email you a copy as soon as I've finished editing it.
I look forward to meeting you in the future.
Very best regards,
Steve

Stephen C Lunsford
                                        Within Canada:
PO Box 3023                  714 - 207 W. Hastings
Blaine WA  98231           Vancouver BC V6B 1H7
Ph: 604-681-6830
Associate Director B.C.and Yukon Region, National Archival Appraisal Board

 

----- Original Message -----
From: Peter Grauer <pgrauer@ocis.net>
Date: Tuesday, April 21, 2009 6:44 pm
Subject: catalogues.
To: stevebooks@shaw.ca

 Hello Steve,
 I received your very interesting "Canadiana Americana"
 catalogues in the  mail yesterday.  Just finished going through them.  I
 was very impressed and  pleased that they ended up in my mail box.  As you probably
 know I am a  researcher of early western Canadian documents, such as I used
 for my last  book.  I am presently researching a book on the early days
 of the Cariboo  gold rush which I hope to have go to print next spring.  I
 make use of  original source material whenever I can access it.  Also in
 my next book  will be as much 1859-1862 Washington Territory material as I can
 access; particularly the movement of American miners to the  Cariboo and the Indian
 Wars that attempted to stop them.  Jack Splawn and Chief  Tonasket feature
 prominently.
  So, thanks again for passing on your catalogues to me.  All  I ask is, how
 did you get my name?  You must have good sources yourself.
  Regards,
 Peter Grauer in Kamloops
 


14 March 2009

Hello:

I recently finished your book and thoroughly enjoyed it. I love BC history and this just added to my deepening interest. I particularly like the gold rush history. “Our” history in this province is so young (I think) and it fascinates me what occurred only a short time ago. I grew up in Surrey and when the BC pen was closed I would go over and roam around the grounds (once getting chased by security patrol). Later, after it was slowly getting demolished, I climbed through a window of the entrance/receiving building (not the one on the riverfront) and looked around; even climbing up onto the roof up one of the ladders. I personally think it was a travesty that the site was demolished like it was but I’m probably one of the few. I’ve tried several times to find the old Pen graveyard; apparently some of the stones are still visible. I have a good idea where it is now and hope to get over soon and find it. I plan to go to the Mission Museum and look about soon since reading your book. 

Thanks for the great read! 

Karen G.

 

(The writer  responded to Karen as follows:)

15 March 2009

Hello Karen, nice to hear from you and I enjoyed your comments on the BC Pen.

You will be pleased to know that I am well underway on my research to my next book.  It deals with the very early years of the Cariboo Gold Rush, pre-Barkerville, and documents the exploits of 4 individuals who either left personal reminiscences behind, or considerable primary and secondary source material has been discovered in my research.  However, none of them are recognized by most BCers.

It will take place during 1861-62, the very foundations of BC as we know it.  It concentrates on one creek, Lightning Creek, and one town, Van Winkle.

So, glad you enjoyed the book, and thanks for contacting me.

Peter Grauer


20 February 09

Hi Peter,

Just finished reading your book, very impressed with the history and facts that you had researched for your book, it reads like a very excellent movie script, that jumps right into your thoughts as it is read, I relived the reality of those days, and all of the real life characters that opened up this country and province.  My mind was, as on eagles wings, as I read the last chapter reflecting on all the history and information that had been compiled between these to book covers.

 My wife purchased the book from your wife at the ... .  I have followed B.C. history with a passion since a young boy. I also had a friend who lived in Merrit and went to one of Bills old cabins up Hamilton hill towards Otter Valley / Princeton.  It was down a road that turned off to the left from the highway, the local population that new about this cabin.  Declared it to be were he had hid something in the area from one of the robberies, I took a photo of the cabin it still had all walls and a partial roof in the early 70s, even if it wasn't a cabin truly connected to Bill Miner it was a good day adventure ? 

I am also very interested in Politics and unions in Canada, you have touched on a bit of this history in your book, have you come across any information on Ginger Goodwin in your research or read the book published about him?  He was a coal miner from overseas that helped bring in better working conditions in the Cumberland coal mines of Vancouver Island.

 British Columbia history is far from dry and calm as you have presented, it is rich and alive with many new historical works, yet to come to life, in Canadian history.

 Thanks

James H.


Hello Karen and Peter,

 It was a great pleasure to meet you personally at the mall this past weekend.

My wife Guida and I stopped to have a chat with you, when you showed us the letter and photograph sent to you from Constable Fernie's daughter.  (Actually, it was Constable Young's daughter. PRG)

We are the couple who moved to Canada from South Africa and settled in K... 16 years ago. Living in B... for 12 years, I had the opportunity to hunt the hills and areas around Monty Lake, Duck Range Road and Robbins Range just to mention a few of the locations. As you can understand, reading your book gave me the insight and understanding of what people went through during that era.

When you have an opportunity, would you please send us a copy of the picture and the letter. I would like to keep these as an addition to your book.

 I thank and congratulate you both on an excellent, factual and historical record you have given to Kamloops. I'm sure your book will be read and appreciated by many people who know and live in Kamloops, not forgetting those who have an interest in Canadian history.

 Once again thank you,  may you have a wonderful Christmas Season and all the very best for 2009.

 Good luck with the gold rush writing and am looking forward to reading it as well.

 Regards

 Dimas and Guida C.

Kamloops. BC


17 November 2008

Hi Peter,

I heard you speak at Sun Peaks last month (water conference), I did not have cash to buy your book but I did purchase it when I returned home to Grand Forks. This is one of the best books that I have ever read. Great work, especially since being an author was not your original line of work.

Thanks

Murray K.

Grand Forks


11 October 2008

What a Great book!!!

I found myself getting up in the middle of the night being drawn to your book.  I was so happy when recently travelling through Kamloops and filling up on gas (on heading to Vancouver Island for holidays) that I noted your book for sale at the gas station (Gateway Truck Stop, Bill Miner's Roadhouse PRG).  I was thrilled to purchase it, as this book had been in my mind for quite some time.

I do note you mention a couple of people in the beginning of your book that were from Powell River, which happens to be my home town... and that was a nice surprise to see. 

Even though I am not from the Okanagan, I am married to a family originally from Kamloops and now Vernon, which happens to be one of the sons of the founders of Armstrong Cheese (which in a way is a story in itself).  Founder Adrien Schrauwen and his wife Kay are now gone, but I think most people probably remember how good the cheese was before it was bought out in the 70's by Dairyland/Saputo.  Well, that is my opinion anyway... maybe I am prejudiced?

But now.... I am going to read your book again as it is calling me.  So again, I just want to thank you for what you have given the public.  I certainly can see the work and sacrifice involved in this great piece of history.

Thank you so much.

Diane S.

 

(Diane wrote another follow-up email to the writer:)

11 October 2008

Because I had travelled through Kamloops, and of course past Monte Lake, many times in the past, I always thought about Bill Miner.  (But the first time I thought of Miner was on looking at a mural at the Keg Restaurant at Granville Island in Vancouver many years ago when I use to go there. Someone there told me it was Miner and a bit about the story.) 

So being I had a long-standing interest in Miner, and while I was at the Coles bookstore here in Vernon, I asked if they had a book on Bill Miner.  That is when I was told of your book and that I could even order same through the Web.

Being I am really not that Web savvy (I am over 50 and do not know how to get around the computer that much), I sort of put it off, and that is why I was extremely thrilled when I saw the name of Miner at that gas station.  Yes, I believe it was the Gateway Truck Stop.  It is not far off from the bottom of the Vernon-Falkland road then crossing the highway into Kamloops.... there on right hand side.

When I went inside to see if a book on Miner was there to purchase I could not find any and I was disappointed.  Lucky for me that it was not too busy at the time and I asked a store clerk if they had any books on Miner.  Of course they had, and it was in an area behind the main counter.   I don't know if I had missed a sign that may have been displayed about the book.... but if there was it was not noticed by me.  

I think it would be really neat if they had set up a continuous running movie (snippets from the Grey Fox or something) that they could display above the main counter with a notation below the screen stating "books for sale here".  But I expect that would be too much of an expense; but on the other hand it would be something of interest to watch while waiting to make your purchases.

No, I did not see the escape tunnel, nor any other notable sites either as I had not read your book until I got home from holidays and I have not been in the Kamloops area since.

Sorry for rambling on, but I tend to do this.   When your next book is ready for purchase, can you put me on a list so I can get it?  Hopefully I will still be in the Okanagan by then as we might be moving to the Maritimes.... but not sure yet??

Thank you very much.

Diane S.


(The following individual, Peter R., requested a book through the writer's web site.  A short exchange of interesting emails took place.)

2 October 2008

Dear Peter,

OK, lets do it.  I may be missing something on the web-site but I can not find an address to send the money to!!!  I would like a soft cover edition.

 A little family history.  I was lucky enough to marry into a cabin on a lake.  The lake is Allison Lake on the present highway between Princeton and Merritt.  On one of your maps it looks like the main wagon road went through Otter Lake but showed a pack-trail that went right by Allison Lake.  Did Miner ever use the pack-trail?  It would be interesting to know because the original road/trail (long moved) went right along the beach and  our cabin is on the beach so it might be true to suppose Miner actually traveled right through the very space we are sitting in when we are sitting around our campfire!!!  (Does that make sense?) 

The property was purchase around 1960 by Ed & Dorene R. who have owned it ever since.  The cabin was built in 1962/3.  I came into the picture by marrying their youngest daughter, Dawna in 1981.  The cabin is still used by the whole extended R. family.  As for the dedication in the book maybe something along the lines of, "To the R...'s of Allison Lake" and then anything you like after that...  What do you think?    I plan on giving the book to "The Cabin" this Christmas. (Man I love this stuff)

I was a Vancouver City cop for 30 years so am able to see this story with a little different eye.  Even though, he still strikes me as a lovable old rogue.  I can tell you there aren't many lovable crooks around these days. 

So why isn't this book on every BC Ferry and the Canadiana section of every book store in Western Canada?  It is very well written and professionally done.  Do they shy away from self published pieces???

 Enough rambling for now.  I look forward to hearing from you.

 Peter R.

 (The writer replied as follows:)

Hello again, Peter,

The present highway between Princeton and through to Aspen Grove really did not get built until the 1930s.  The main wagon and stagecoach road went via the Otter Lake Valley.  If, when you drive north of Allison Lake and try to visualize a wagon road being built through this very rough country, you will see that building a wagon road through here in the early days would have involved too much time and money.  Hence they took the easier, even though longer, route.  However, a pack trail did exist through this country.  Some parts of it went through the Missezula Lake country to Aspen Grove.  Another trail would have gone through where the R...'s cabin is located on Allison Lake.  So, … yes, Colquhoun and Shorty Dunn did lead their pack horses through this way, and Bill Miner and Jack Budd would often use this trail to go back and forth to Kamloops, Nicola and the Douglas Lake Ranch.  It took some digging on my part to determine the roads that would have been taken in those days 100 years ago.  Also, I think more research could be done to nail down those pack trails through the Missezula Lake Country.

So, … I think the extended R... family would be able, on a slightly foggy night, when things are quiet and the moon does throw a bit of light over the water, … they would be able to see a man with a light-grey cavalry moustache and a battered flat-brimmed Stetson  with a four-cornered Montana pinch, wearing a long black duster and riding a black, high-stepping thoroughbred, heading north towards the grasslands of Nicola, Quilchena, Rockford, Anderson Creek and Kamloops.  Perhaps he knew he was keeping an unintended rendezvous with BC history.  You see, we are not trying to glorify a rather inept American bandit here, but rather, we are using him to tell the story of BC’s heritage; a story that is as full of adventure and thrills as any in the western US.  The stories just haven’t yet been told up here.  And those stories seem to have a bit of a unique Canadian twist to them

When an author is self-published, it is difficult to get their books into such venues as the BC Ferries.  It’s not from lack of trying, but we just do not have any big publishers behind us.  Also, sometimes the quality of self-published books is less than professional.

We self-published because we knew that a main stream publisher would have cut our book in half.  And we were convinced that what BC readers want to read is the detail of life as it was in BC 100 years ago.  You can’t tell the detail of this story without going to 600 pages.  And that is not acceptable to the publishers.

So, it is up to readers such as yourself to help us get the word out.  Word of mouth is a  very strong method of advertising, and the response to our book has been most encouraging.  Particularly from people such as yourself.

So, …, yes, …, I would be more than pleased to send a book to the R...s of Allison Lake.

Peter Grauer, Kamloops


(This is the email thread referred to in my "Journal.'  It refers to Maisie Campbell-Johnson Hurley.  I hope you, Dear Reader, can follow it.  See the "Journal" entry for more details.  Start at Roberts July 18th email at the bottom of this thread.)

 Peter

 I'm not sure whether you got my last email, but yes I am very happy for you to use  my Armytage-Moore findings on any of your websites.

 One further finding:

The Ellis Island web site has a ship's manifest showing that John R A Moore, aged 30 years and 10 months, sailed from Liverpool on the SS Carmania on 5th January, 1907, arriving at New York on the 13th January 1907, in transit to 748 Westminster Avenue, Vancouver. The manifest records his occupation as Estate Agent, Vancouver as his permanent address, and describes him as 6 feet tall, with dark complexion, brown hair and blue eyes. It also records he was previously in the U.S.A. in New York in 1906.

 It definitely seems to be him as it fits all the other information. So it looks like he moved to Vancouver and met Maisie there, and they become engaged about a year after this voyage. People from 100 years ago could never have imagined that they would have digital footprints.

 Robert W.

Huddersfield UK

 ________________________________

 From: Peter Grauer [mailto:pgrauer@ocis.net]

Sent: Thu 7/24/2008 5:00 AM

To: Robert W.

Subject: RE: armytage-moore

 Hello Robert,

 Thank you so much for the unexpected information on Armytage-Moore.  Fascinating stuff!

 The whole Maisie Campbell-Johnson story is most interesting, as I have met some of her descendants, and learned more about her and her escapades.  However, the Armytage-Moore Connection is a mystery to them.  When I next am in contact with them, I will advise them of your so-skillful research.

 With your permission, I will post it on my website.  The site has become a hotbed for genealogists looking into people associated with the early history of BC.

 How did you come across my site?  Did you Google Armytage-Moore?

 Thanks again for the solid information, and best regards from British Columbia.  (BTW, a few copies have found their way to the UK.)

 Peter Grauer

 Author of the award-winning book, "Interred With Their Bones, Bill Miner in Canada, 1903 to 1907."  See www.billminer.ca.

 

From: Robert W.

Sent: Wednesday, July 23, 2008 6:43 AM

To: peter@billminer.ca

Subject: RE: armytage-moore

 Peter

 Further to my email the other day I can now tell you more about John Reginald Rowallane Armytage-Moore, who was married to Maisie Hurley, and have also found a photograph of him. He looks a handsome chap. His sister, Priscilla Countess Annesley, was also well thought of for her looks.

 As you know, JRRA-M and Maisie married in September 1909. By May 1916 he is in the New Zealand Expeditionary Force sailing from Auckland to Samoa. See http://muse.aucklandmuseum.com/databases/Cenotaph/69396.detail

 Two years later on 5th June 1918 he was sailing from Sydney in the Australian 12th Field Artillery Brigade Reinforcements. He did post-armistice war service in France and was discharged in England in July 1919. See http://www.aif.adfa.edu.au:8080/showPerson?pid=212980 and also http://libapp.sl.nsw.gov.au/cgi-bin/spydus/NAV/PM/FULL1/2116/432032 which links to his photograph.

 The records also state that before joining up he worked as a real estate salesman, and the Australian records suggest he was also for a year in Rhodesia (Zimbabwe) in the Matabeleland Mounted Police. I don't know what happened to him after 1919.

 As Maisie Hurley seems to have had 5 children by the date of Centralia riot (November 1919), she must have eloped with Martin Murphy within a few years of her marriage to Armytage-Moore (unless any of her children were Moores).

 I also mentioned a bit about the Armytage-Moore family background in the previous email, but did not then know about his brothers Charles and Hugh. Charles Armytage-Moore seems to have turned out the wealthiest of them all, founding partner in the London stockbrokers Buckmaster and Moore (which had as a client John Maynard Keynes, amongst others), and owning an estate called Winterfold, a Queen Anne style residence with 219 acres near Cranleigh in Surrey, with a fantastic collection of furniture and art when it was eventually auctioned off. He died in 1960. The other brother Hugh William Armytage Moore inherited lands at Rowallane, Saintfield, County Down, Ireland, and developed them into famous gardens that are now owned by The National Trust and open to visitors. He died in 1954.

 In other words, JRRA-M came from a highly privileged and wealthy background. Why Maisie left him (maybe she found him boring), and why he went off adventuring around the world, and what eventually happened to him, I don't know, but there are some fascinating stories in all of this.

 Robert W.

 Huddersfield UK

 ___________________________

 From: Robert W

Sent: 18 July 2008 13:13

To: peter@billminer.ca

Subject: armytage-moore

 Peter

 I have been looking at your Bill Miner web site and note the queries about JRR Armytage-Moore, the husband of Maisie Campbell-Johnston. I can supply the following:

 John Reginald Rowallan Armytage-Moore born 25th March 1876 at Arnmore, County Cavan. Northern Ireland, to William Armytage-Moore and Mary Elizabeth Metcalfe. (this comes from a Gascoigne web site in New Zealand. Assuming this is correct then I can add the following).

 He came from a background of nobility and accomplishment. Close relatives include his Aunt, Priscilla Cecilia, Countess of Annesley (wife of the 3rd Earl), his sister, also Priscilla Cecilia, Countess of Annesley (wife of the 5th Earl) and her daughter Constance Malleson, writer and long-time lover of Bertrand Russell the philosopher. His family moved in the highest circles of London and Dublin society.

 Parents: William Armytage-Moore (1806-1883) (sometimes "Armitage-") and Mary Elizabeth Metcalfe (1845-1932). They married at the British Embassy in Paris on 8th June 1869. It was a second marriage for both. She had previously in 1863 married Horace Day Lockwood (1842-1864), son of Henry Francis Lockwood the influential Bradford architect, and later in 1902 married Frank Hardcastle (1844-1908), industrialist, Conservative M.P. and Lancashire cricket player.

 William Armytage-Moore managed the Annesley Estates at Castlewellan in Northern Ireland, and was in fact brother of the Countess of Annesley, Priscilla Cecilia (wife of the Third Earl). William and Mary's first daughter was also named Priscilla Cecilia (1870-1941) after her Aunt, and she later married her first cousin, Lt. Col. Hugh Annesley, the Fifth Earl. She was his second wife. Hugh Annesley was then 61 and Priscilla 22. They had two children, Clare Annesley who became an artist, and Constance Mary Annesley who became Constance Malleson, travel writer, actress (Colette O'Niel), and lover of Bertrand Russell with whom she held a long correspondence.

 Other children of William Armytage-Moore and Mary Elizabeth Metcalfe/Lockwood were:

 Ethel (Ettie) Kathleen Armitage-Moore (1871) who married Percy French the Irish composer and entertainer, but she died in childbirth at the age of 20.

 Hugh William Armytage-Moore (1873)

Charles Armytage-Moore (1880)

 I know very little about these last two, nor what happened later to John Reginald. I wonder whether he became distant from his family because I have not been able to find any announcement in The Times (London) about his marriage to Maisie in 1909.

 My interest is that my wife is a direct descendant of Constance Metcalfe Lockwood, John Reginald's half-sister, daughter of Mary Elizabeth Metcalfe and her first husband Horace Day Lockwood. John Reginald also had half-siblings from William Armitage-Moore's first marriage.

 Robert W.

 Huddersfield UK 


27 May 2008

Hello Peter,

You've written a fabulous book, "Interred With Their Bones."  This history is a foot-print in the dust, mud and snow of all those hills where I have had the great fortune to wander and make my own life.  Princeton to Kamloops to Westwold;  all the quiet meadows, lakes, streams and forest hills in between; truly a magnificent part of the world.

Once, as  kids in the Princeton hills in the sixties, we found a rusty old hexagonal-barreled twenty two, down on the Jack Budd lot; rusted and the barrel bent from some gone-by wreck; but it fueled our imagination of Bill Miner's day.  We rose a few chuckles from that great old rancher Karl Freeding who owned the Jack Budd lot and the Reith place for so many years.  As we came trudging up the dusty summer trail touting our new found treasure,  (he said to us)  "Where you two off to?  To rob a train?"

Many years later I dug that rusted twenty-two out of the blacksmith shop scrap iron and cut the barrel up to make bushings for some haying equipment repairs. 

I have a copy of a book of poetry written by G.W. Winkler titled , LONELY TRAILS by THE PROSPECTOR printed by a Victoria printing and publishing company

GW Winkler was a Hedley old timer and I believe the same individual mentioned in association with Billy Dunn.

This collection of GW Winkler's poems  captures a sense of a quieter Similkameen and Okanagan gone by.

 John V.

 

(The writer replied to John as follows-)

2 June 2008

Hello John,

Thank you for your very positive comments on my book.  I wrote it with people like yourself in mind; people who wanted to know what the real story about Miner was, and who wanted to know more about that world 100 years ago.  Also, you have a way with words yourself, and your love of our back country comes through in your email to me.

I was pleased to see your references to Jack Budd and to the Reith family.  They were intriguing connections with that time in the distant past.

As for George Winkler, he is deserving of some attention himself.  He also left personal legacies behind, some of which are in his fonds in the BC Archives.  I had the privilege of going through them.  The photos in my book of the Princeton Sports Club, Hedley City and the town of Princeton are from his collection at the BC Archives.

I have never seen any of his poetry, but apparently he was well regarded by his peers.  My research tells me that this was one of his connections with Shorty Dunn, the other being prospecting, of course.  Both he and Shorty would attend "poetry salons" in Mrs. Allison's place, where they would all read their poetry to each other.  I will keep my eyes open for a copy of that little book of his that you mention.  BTW, George Winkler has a brother or other relatives in the area that create some confusion.  One was Anton Winkler.

I have attached some Winkler info from my database in case you are interested.  Some is a bit confusing, as I did not follow up on further investigation as it was not pertinent to the story.

 

"Winkler was a prospector and mine owner in the south-central interior in the early decades of the 20th Century.  By 1923 he was living in Victoria, where he was interviewed by the Victoria Daily Colonist.  In 1966 he was interviewed by Cecil Clark on a lost mine in the Okanagan country."

"Rec'd phone call from Helen Martens (Museum curator) in Hedley 3 Dec 2001.  They have a photo of Jack Budd as an old man crossing the street with a cane. With regards to George Winkler, she thinks he is related to Anton Winkler in Hedley.  (brother?)  Maureen Dirksen (Campbell) is a great niece? of George Winkler.  She lives in Cawston close to Keremeos.  She is the great grand daughter? of Anton Winkler. I called her, and she is no relation to this George Winkler."

 

 I have never visited Jack Budd's place, but perhaps I will the next time we are in Princeton.

Thanks again for your welcome email.  Keep spreading the good word about my book, as it is self-published, and all the sales are the results of the efforts of my wife Karen and I.

Regards,

Peter Grauer


(The following correspondence was from a retired RCMP member now living in the Cariboo.  The writer most likely met him when he was stationed in Revelstoke in the early '60s and the writer was returning in the summers from UBC.  Little did either of us realize at the time that the Bill Miner Affair would have our paths cross almost 50 years later.)

(Mike's grandfather played an important role in the Bill Miner affair.  He was a junior BC Provincial Police constable in Princeton at the time the Ducks robbery was being investigated.  He has passed down to us, through the BC Archives, some very detailed and valuable Bertillion descriptions of Jack Budd and Tom Arnold.  His story will be added to the "Journal" section of the website shortly.  PRG)

3 February 2008

Peter.

You have written a wonderful book!  It brings back memories for me that go back over 50 years.  I have resided or been stationed as a policeman in almost (with one exception) all of the areas you have included: Enderby, Kamloops, Penticton, Chilliwack, Abbotsford, Williams Lake, Victoria and points in between.  I have kicked most of the dust you have so aptly described, and never really thought much about the history mixed up in that dust.  It brings back memories, for me, long forgotten, of riding my bike as a kid on the old Enderby Road to Westwold and all the adventures we had in between.  I haven't heard the name "Glen Emma" for 50 years, but I remember the night that I and two hundred other Army Cadets from Vernon spent most of the night attempting to put out a grass fire at the top of Glen Emma that was started by an Officer Commanding with an errant flare gun.  He was attempting to signal our night attack on a machine gun nest and had obviously never been advised that when firing flare guns in grass country, particularly in the hot summer months, one should always point the gun in a vertical, rather than a horizontal, direction. ....

I stumbled upon the Douglas Lake ranch (and was) impressed with the beautiful little river crossing at English Bridge.  Little did I realize that I would stumble across your book some two months later in a museum in Hedley.  ...  As I read the book, I could immediately picture, in my mind's eye, those exact locations you were referring to.  I don't ever recall reading a book that I felt so connected to in terms of knowing and identifying the geographically described areas, the police investigative procedures and the court milieu and processes.  It was all extremely accurate, in my opinion.  You have certainly done your homework.

Mike H.  Williams Lake.


3 January 2008

Peter,

I enjoyed your book and became acquainted with the area around Kamloops as we moved here from North Vancouver two years ago.  We are familiar with the area around Cache creek as we have been staying at Pavilion Lake a number of years and hunted in the area.  

 I did notice in your book at the time of the Mission robbery you mentioned a name of F Hutchison.  This could have been the name of my Great Uncle Fred who owned  a Corner Grocery in Maple Ridge on Dewdney Trunk Road and one of the main cross streets.

 I also noticed that Mr. Fernie married a lady with the last name of Lyle.  This is my Grandfather's name on my mothers side.  They came from Prince Edward Island around the Summerside area.  I know that some others of his family did come West during that time frame.

 Thanks again for writing such an entertaining read.

 Tim H., Kamloops


(2 January 2008.  The following interesting email was recently received from the Wells/Bowron Lakes area.  My response and the following reply are also included below.  PRG)

30 Dec 2007

Dear Peter

Your book, “Interred With Their Bones” is as inspiring as it is a historical wonder.  Both my husband and I took great joy in reading it and learning more about the history of our Province.  I took even more joy in learning how you formatted your extensive historical research into a book.  For years I have agonized and wondered how to put all my own research together.  I have been researching the history of Bowron Lake Provincial Park for some 30 years now.  Actually in the 70’s and 80’s I didn’t realize what I was doing…. just thought I was collecting and storing a bunch of old papers and memories. But in 1990 my husband and I realized our dream of owning land at Bowron Lake, and since then my collection and research has been getting serious.  Each year I get more and more people visiting my “collection” and they keep urging me to put it together into a book.  I think now that I have an idea of how to do this, thanks to you, I should give it a start.  One of the things I agonized about was how to relate to a reader that there can be many different variations of one event, as each source has his or her own unique memory.  I am not the one to say which variation is correct and which is not and your approach of penning open and honest comments throughout your book have inspired me.  Thank you.

 Now to get down to business, you yourself mentioned Bowron Lake twice in the book.  I wonder if I may be bold enough to ask more about this.  Chapter 10, Kamloops Country, page 131; you include a poem composed by Fernie.  You wrote, “Fernie’s poem was written close to the time that Shorty Dunn penned his own Paean to the Cariboo in 1896.”  The Poem continues:

Goodbye to Cariboo

Farewell to far Chilcotin and goodbye to Tatla Lake.

The thoroughfare that Waddington was not allowed to make

And hunters out at Bowron Lake, who dares the grizzlies’ fang,

And trappers at Chilanko Forks, and Cowboys at “The Gang”.

 I am wondering about your having dated this poem, which uses the name “Bowron Lake” as being written around 1896?  The Bowron Lake country was known as “Bear Lake” and “Bear River” from approx. 1862 until a name change in 1914.  The Victoria Colonist of April 14th, 1914 reported:

 “Now Bowron River.  – By a happy combination of circumstances, the Geographical Board of Canada, acting on the advice of the Provincial Government and its representative in this province – Mr. W. Fleet Robertson, has been able to perpetuate the memory of one of British Columbia’s foremost pioneers – the late Mr. John Bowron. The Geographical Board is making constant effort to eliminate those place names that overlap in this province, and in its investigations to this end it discovered that there were a number of Bear rivers. One river so named, which runs from the head of Portland Canal, it was decided could not be otherwise than perpetuated, seeing that it became fixed in historical documents arising out of the work of the Alaskan Boundary Commission. But the Bear river, which runs from Barkerville to the line of the Grand Trunk Pacific, and is a tributary of the Fraser, will hereafter been known as Bowron river.  Old-timers in the province will recall that John Bowron was for many years, gold commissioner at Barkerville.  Beside his career while in that post he had other claims for distinction, inasmuch as he had the honor, with Mr. R. B. McMicking, of this city, of making the trip overland through the Tete Jaune Pass. The late Mr. Bowron and was known the lengths and breadth of the province, and his recognition of his place in the pioneer life in the country on the part of the Geographical Board of Canada will it elicit hearty commendation from all classes in British Columbia.”

 I know that this article refers to Bowron River and not Bowron Lake, but I have always been under the assumption that both names where changed at the same time.  After reading your book, I realized that this may be an erroneous assumption on my part, so am wondering if you have more information with regards to the date of the renaming of Bowron Lake itself.  John Bowron (1837 – 1906) first came to the Barkerville area in 1863 and remained at until 1906, when he moved Victoria and died shortly there after on September 6, 1906 at the age of 69.  Despite the name change, and although the area was officially named the Bowron Lake Game Reserve in 1925, and Bowron Lake Provincial Park in 1961, it is still affectionately referred to as Bear Lake and Bear River by many of the remaining old-timers.

 Chapter 29, Afterward, page 551, you wrote about William Fernie.  Here you wrote, “true to his love of the West, and the outdoor life he led hunting, fishing and writing, he assisted and was instrumental in getting the Bowron lakes set aside as a provincial wilderness Park. John Bowron and was one of the Fraser River Overlanders, and it was through the Fernie family’s friendship with Bowron’s daughter Lottie that he became involved in the project.”

 Would you be kind enough to disclose to me where I may find more information about William Fernie’s involvement with the formation of the Bowron provincial wilderness park.  I am going to assume that in your passage here, you meant the “Bowron Lake Game Reserve” as the Provincial Park was not established until the 1960’s, long after Fernie’s death.  I have information of other prominent Victoria officials, such as fisheries Commissioner John P. Babcock and Chief Justice Hunter, as also being instrumental in the formation of the Bowron Lake Game Reserve in 1925, and would welcome more information on this subject. 

 I thank you for your time and consideration and for any help you may be able to offer me.  My husband and I also thank you for producing such a wonderful historical document in the form of your book, “Interred With Their Bones” and look forward to any new endeavors that you may have forthcoming.

 Yours Sincerely,

 Sandy P.

Bear River Mercantile, Wells, BC

 

(I responded to Sandy as follows:)

1 Jan 2008

Hello Sandy,

What a welcome email you sent.  I am so pleased that my book might have inspired a reader to follow up on work that they are undertaking.

As you can assume, I was faced with a wealth of detail, and my quandary was how to give it to the reader without hopelessly confusing them.  I’m glad to hear that you feel I might have achieved that goal.  You see, I was convinced that what people wanted to read was what life was really like 100 years ago.

With regards to your questions about William Fernie.  Daphne Fernie (the lady in the photo with me at the back of the book, and William Fernie’s daughter) was the one who supplied me with a copy of the Chilcotin poem.  She advised that it was composed upon his leaving that area to take up his homestead just north of Kamloops.  Without doing too much research into the origins of the Bowron Lakes, I accepted the assumption that the poem must have been composed prior to the turn of the century.  However, with your additional information, I have to now assume that Fernie composed the poem sometime after he left the Cariboo, and obviously after Bowron had died and the lakes had had their name changed.  I would now date it to after Fernie returned from overseas during the First World War.  He had kept next to him throughout that conflict a book of poems by his friend Robert Service, and Fernie greatly admired Service and the other great poets.

Daphne also told me of her father’s involvement in the formation of the park.  She took great pride in this fact, and was enthusiastic in her telling of it.  If Fernie had a fault, it was a great shyness and modesty.  He always remained in the background and let others gain the glory when it should have been him that was recognized.  For instance, refer to the photo in my book on page 193.  Fernie characteristically puts himself almost out of the photo frame.  This is despite the fact that of all the individuals in the photo, it was he who was most responsible for Miner’s capture.  In Daphne’s relation of her father’s involvement with the lakes, she did not elaborate too much, and I didn’t pursue it.  (Sorry.)  Below is the small portion of the transcript of the tape recording including that reference.

 

Daphne:  He was a fisherman, but I'm sure you wouldn't know what kind of gear he would use as a fisherman. 

Peter:  Was he a fly fisherman?

Daphne:  Yes.  He liked to go out on the lake in a boat and catch fish.  Fish lake … He had a pet lake up Face Lake.

Peter:  F A C E?

Daphne:  Yes, it's up behind the Corn…, the Cherry Creek.  And he used to go camping in there … quite a big lake.  Used to blaze his trail, one short, one long, one short.

Peter:  That was his blaze?

That was his blaze and for going up in the mountains …probably so we'd know the way.  He used to have a packhorse.

(Terry) Cue:  He was instrumental in protecting one of those lakes wasn't he?  (Terry Cue was the two sisters’ guardian when we first met with them.  Subsequent to this interview, we became quite close friends with Daphne, and Cue was no longer in attendance.)

Daphne:  The Bowron Lakes.  He really worked on that.  He knew Lottie Bowren.

 

So, I’m sorry, Sandy, that I don’t have more information for you on Fernie’s involvement.  But knowing him like I do through my research, I am confident that he probably did play a rather important role.

Again, I’m so pleased you both enjoyed my book.  Where did you pick it up?

As for my next endeavour, I am trying to determine whether there might be enough information out there to do a detailed book on the first years of the Cariboo Gold Rush, 1860 to 1863.  In the gold fields, it will concentrate on Van Winkle and Lightning Creek area and story (BB – Before Barkerville).  However, the story will cover much of BC’s interior at that time.  Some of the people I ran into in the Bill Miner story will also make an appearance.   I have met some very interesting characters in my research, and perhaps there is something about the gold rush that I can follow up on.  People seem to love the detail in the Miner book, and some have told me that it’s the detail that puts them right back to that time 100 years ago in BC’s southern interior.

Regards,

From Peter in Kamloops.

 

(Sandy responded to my reply as follows.)

2 January 2008

Hello Peter,

Thank you so much for your response to my e-mail and for your shared information regarding my inquires on Fernie.  A little information is certainly better then none.  Still, you have opened up many more avenues for me to look into – during my next visit to the Victoria Archives I will have to look for fonts regarding William Fernie to see if I can find anything about his involvement in the formation of the Bowron Lake Game Reserve.  I still have a lot of work to do at the Archives, they are a real treasure and invaluable to our Provinces History.  I also thank you for all your references and footnotes as listed in “Interred With Their Bones, Bill Miner in Canada, 1903 to 1907”. These also give me many more avenues to explore. From my experience it seems that many history writers, write the stories but neglect to list their sources of information.  This is unfortunate for other researches that strive to expand on works of their own, but I’m sure you are already well aware of this.

 I bought your book as a Christmas Present for my husband, at Coles Books, during a recent shopping trip to Prince George.  Your next endeavor sounds quite worthwhile.  I know there are already a lot of writings in that subject area, but a comprehensive and detailed account, such as what you provide, would really put the whole picture together.  I assume you might find yourself in the Barkerville Archives some day, and hope that while in the area you may find the time to come out to Bowron Lake to pay us a visit. I have some research pertaining to the Stanley/Van Winkle area.  Having been raised in Wells, my interests actually lie in the area from Wing Dam to Keithley Creek / Likely, the places I’ve tramped around since I was a child. So I have collected other material besides my Bowron Lake stuff and your welcome to come see what I have.  As far as posting my e-mail on your website, you are quite welcome to do so, this e-mail also, if you like.

 Sincerely

Sandy P.


3 December 2008

Is anything known about Bill Miner's family? My grandmother's maiden name was Miner. She would NEVER talk about any of her family or background. There were only these pictures of her uncles (below). A long time ago I'd heard of Bill Miner, gentleman bank robber, and always wondered if there was any connection.

After my parents’ death, I ran across these old photos. Compare pics of Bill Miner with Joe & John. Same nose, same chin, moustache, ears, deep set eyes... I think the pic of Joe in the second pic really resembles the one of Bill. The following pic from Wikipedia sure seems like a resemblance to me.

I saw on one website that the family (Bill's) was involved in mining http://outlawbillminer.com/main.html. My grandmother’s uncles were also involved in mining. (see pic below). With the family resemblance and background, it sure makes me wonder. . We are from Iowa but it seems they all did some moving around.

Owen H.

Des Moines, Iowa

 

(I responded to Owen to tell him that, while his photos were interesting, I rather doubted that any were of the Bill Miner we know.  I am reluctant to post them here as I do not have his permission to do so.  Also, I advised him that the web URL that he gave me is riddled with error, and almost useless as a source of any type of information on Bill Miner.  The site merely perpetuates the same old myths and half-truths that have been around since before Bill Miner died.  The only thing the site does have to say is that Bill Miner's spread of his own propaganda was very effective and still alive and well today.  PRG)


(On 21 November 2007, I received the following query about a Detective Scott mentioned in my book as being involved in the Mission robbery of the CPR.)

I am reading the Bill Miner book and discovered on page 47:

"The group also included Detective Scott, City Officers Hartney and Deptford,......"

 I believe this is my Grandfather who was promoted to Detective on Sept 15 1904. The Posse was constituted on Sept 11but  I think it would be quite possible that he was "acting" prior to official promotion (at the magnificent sum of $840 p/a - no raise in pay from 1st Cst.)

Det. Scott is not mentioned in the index so I assume at this point that he takes no further part in the book. Also Grauer may have only had his surname from an article and if not mentioned further, did not follow up on given name etc.

Would it be possible for you to email him regarding any further information  he may have and at the same time, asking if he would wish any background from me.

Greg Scott

(I emailed back to Greg advising him that the information I had on Detective Scott was limited to what I had included in my book.  He replied as follows:)

23 November 2007

Peter

 It is funny this story did not come down through the family as his son (my father) spent 46 years with the CPR and one of his daughters married a long serving CPR employee. I can remember as a child sitting on his knee (died 1951) and being told stories of the old days including the storming of the Komagata Maru. I have emailed out to the rest of the family to see if they know anything.

By way of background, I am a volunteer researcher at Touchstones Nelson, also a museum board member, Chairman of the City of Nelson Heritage Commission and have written the weekly history column in the Nelson Daily News for the past 5 years as well as several stories for November 11 issues etc.

 Hear from you soon

 Greg S.


27 September 2007

Hi Peter,

Greg Scott, here in Nelson, has done some research on Chief Young. (See the "Author's Journal" for more on Constable Young.)  He is away until next weekend, I believe. Young was an accomplished artist/painter, as well. I am sure there is information to be shared. I was browsing through the Provincial Police records and came across several items related to Young when he was a Constable. I will go back and write them down!
What exciting experiences you have had through your events! I am not surprized this book has touched a cord. There are far more tentacles out there then we realize.  It really is fantastic-makes readers out of non readers and arm chair historians out of those who think Canadian History is so dry.
I have to pass along a compliment to you. I loaned my copy of your book to a friend. She said "I can tell by the way he writes that he is a good, nice man." It is not often a writer can portray their own sense of self in a book and still come out with an outstanding book-you did!
I will be at the archives on Thursday and will ask Shawn about a picture of Young. There must be something there. I will also head back into the Police records and see what I can find for you and his Granddaughter.  I like that connection! I hope someone is talking to the daughter!
 As Ever,   Pat

25 September 2007

Mr. Grauer, I had the pleasure of meeting you at the Salmon Arm fair, and purchased a hardcover copy of your book there. As I live in Mission, I went to the Celebration of Community at Heritage Park September 15 to see you again. I was there at about 6:30 PM and didn’t see you. (We had left by that time.)  It may very well be that you had left by then, or hadn’t arrived yet. At any rate, I did attempt to see you again!!!.  I finished reading your book last night, and it was an intensely satisfying book. I only wish it was longer. Your research was exhaustive and the illustrations were well chosen. If I related every facet of your book I enjoyed, this would be a very lengthy e-mail. You have produced something very important and very valuable. Your book will occupy a prominent place on my shelf, and will be read many times. If you choose to write any more books on the history of BC, I will be first in line to purchase them!  After finishing your book, I was excited to see the bonus book companion section of your website, as well as the research sources. I was glad to see these because I would like to read as many of the references as I can. I just find the history of BC so interesting. I can not adequately express my appreciation of your hard work. Feel free to contact me at any time. I enjoyed our last conversation immensely.

Brandon K., Mission


(Mary Spencer was the Kamloops photographer who took the famous photos of the train robbers, the posse and the Royal North-West Mounted Police.  Karen and I were contacted by some of her relatives from Ontario and the Lower Mainland this summer.  We met them one afternoon for coffee and conversation, and they are very pleased to see the renewed interest in Mary as she takes her place as one of BC's premier early female photographers.

David G., whose email is attached below, is a long-time fan of Mary Spencer's.  He lives in Summerland where Mary and her sister settled after leaving Kamloops.  The home they built still survives and is visited by Heritage Tours on a regular basis.  Let's hope that Mary and her sister eventually have their final resting places in Summerland suitably marked.)

 

20 September 2007

RE: Mary Spencer Up-date 

Dear Peter,

 I hope your summer has been going well. There are a couple things to tell you about. In the summer I hosted a cemetery tour in Summerland. These are ALWAYS the most popular heritage tours (you figure that one out !?!)

 Anyway one of the grave sites is Mary Spencer. So I am sending you a photo.  This is Peach Orchard Cemetery in Summerland. The cemetery looks over Okanagan Lake. When people die they ALWAYS want a view lot (you figure that one out too ?!?!)  Anyway Mary is buried in a unmarked grave. Her grave is just below the three green stone/glass grave sites. One site is for Mary and one for her sister Isabelle.

 Also buried in this cemetery is her uncle George Spencer (which is a marked grave site)

 Anyway just before the tour a family member from Ontario contacted us asking where Mary Spencer was buried. Of course, without any hesitation I was able to tell the person. Anyway, the family is thinking about putting up a tomb-stone.

 That’s all I got Peter, but I figured you might like to know

Sincerely

David G.


14 September 2007

Hello Peter, missed you in Revelstoke, ... .
 I belong to the book club here, when it was my turn to recommend a book I chose yours. Not only because you were from Revelstoke, but also as a history lesson for the new comers to Revelstoke. (Some have lived here for 30 years or more.)
Must tell you it was a huge success.  We could not get enough copies from the library, some of us had to borrow from someone we knew and the others, after hearing our rave reviews, went ahead and read it from the library.
I was to go to your book signing while you were here, ...  and somehow we got our wires crossed so missed you .
What was so interesting for me is I have been to some of the range lands you mention.  My former husband's family was from Falkland & Westwold and my son lived on Rosehill.  It was interesting to learn it always was Rosehill.
Thanks for the good read and what fun the research must have been.
Hello to Karen, take care, Mary O., Revelstoke. 

(Mary O. was a former classmate of mine from Revelstoke High School, graduating class of 1959.)


11 September 2007

Hello Peter,

Let me begin by offering my apologies if this is the umpteenth time someone has asked about touring around the Bill Miner related spots of interest.  I have always had an intense interest in ‘re-tracing’ the steps of events I consider of interest.  This may be mundane and uninteresting to most people, especially when the locations/buildings/etc. have changed or disappeared.  Like many other people you have probably encountered, I have a strong interest in seeing the events unfold as if I was looking through the eyes of the person who originally created the events (like Bill Miner). 

Some years ago, I retraced the steps (literally the steps) that my father and my uncle took to escape Nazi Germany into Switzerland.  A few years later, that same uncle and I retraced the routes that my grandfather took as a door to door salesman in the period 1920-1939.  He had a specific route for each day of the week and the route never varied.  My uncle had to accompany him during summer vacation so he was able to describe houses along the route, who lived there, what they encountered, etc.  Needless to say, my uncle had a great memory.  In retracing those steps, we had to deal with streets now intersected by highways, rerouted parts and the sprawl of urban highrises into the rural countryside.   Those five days were fantastic.  I recorded my uncle’s entire commentary enroute onto cassette for future use, as well as some intermittent video. 

Which brings me to your book.  I purchased a copy at the Quilchena Store on September 1, 2007 while staying at the hotel with my wife.  I was immediately drawn to the possibility of learning what the area was like 100 year ago and what it would have been like for Bill Miner and other notables you wrote about.  I am only 33 pages in and can see that you are going to give me some great insight.  I have driven through many of these places like Quilchena and Aspen Grove not knowing the colourful history, but now I am intrigued.  I am very interested in the October 13 bus tour mentioned on the web site.  However, I think you will probably tell me that taking such a tour after I complete the book will be much more rewarding than before.  Any thoughts on whether such a tour may be repeated in the future?  Regardless, I can already say with certainty that I will spend some time over the coming years poking along back roads and various towns re-tracing some of the events that I will read about in your book. 

 Thanks in advance for the enjoyment that will give me.

Lee Z., Edmonton, AB.

 

(My reply to Lee is as follows:)  Hello Lee,  Certainly no apologies are necessary.  I like to hear from readers regardless of the reasons.  Your story is especially poignant.  The ability to see in your mind’s eye what happened in certain locations and with people that are no longer with us is a characteristic of a discerning reader and observer with a keen sense of what our mutual past holds for us.  This ability has seen many of the readers of my book contact me to tell me how they are travelling the roads of southern BC and the Fraser Valley re-tracing the steps taken by that inept American bandit over 100 years ago.  Their emails and phone calls are always exciting to receive.

With regards to the bus tour, I really would recommend that you take it after you have read the book.  So much happened in the places that we will visit that it would substantially limit the experience not having read the book.  Preliminary interest in the tour tells me we will have to run another one in the spring with a bigger bus.  I have attached a scan of the recreation program advertising.  For your interest, the building I am standing in front of is the old Pratt homestead where Paul Stevens climbed into bed the night of the train robbery.  Let me know your thoughts upon completion of the book.

Peter Grauer in Kamloops


6 September 2007

Hi Peter, Hope you remember me; I met you and Karen at Government House this spring. I just wanted to let you know I just finished reading your book.  I found it very informative and interesting.  I look forward to reading more updates on your website.  On page 552 you talk about the Fernie family-Mary and daughter having a tea house in Metchosin. Do you know if it still exists today under different owners?  I would be interested from a history point of view to go look at it.  Hope all is well with you and Karen.   Suzan L.

(No, unfortunately I never did get to see Daphne and Mary's famous tea house at Metchosin.  If any readers have  photo or comments, please let me know.)


(Our new-found friend in South Africa, Cor van der Merwe, has continued his correspondence with us.  He has completed my book, and has the following comments to make.  I have added my comments in italics.)

28 August 2007

Dear Peter, 
Good morning, I trust you are well on that side of the world.  You will remember that I contacted you recently while I was halfway through Interred...
 Just to say that I finished your fascinating book last night, and what a wonderful experience it was!  Thank you so much for creating this marvelous read with all that interesting and almost-long-forgotten information. 
 A few things about the book:
1)    I think your title is very apt - the secrets of Bill Miner and co., and I am sure that of many other people went to their graves without anyone ever finding out.  It is lamentable but simultaneously adds to the stuff that legends are made of.
2)    I really enjoyed the fact that you were able to include so many bits and pieces of information from the old timers and local collectors/museums etc.  The photographs I particularly enjoyed - as you know, a picture is worth a thousand words...  We are fortunate that so many of those people like Daphne Fernie and others lived on into their 90's or even 100 years old.  It is always sad when those old people die because they are our last link with a world long gone, and the last connection with people who lived in those times.  I felt the same when my formidable grandfather died in 2001 - he was born in 1909, and my last link with the old timers of the previous century (19th Cent).  After having read the book, I wonder if my grandfather, for example, was ever aware of Bill Miner, and who knows - maybe he even saw that WANTED poster that was also sent to SA?

(Yes, it was a little known and obscure fact that Miner's wanted posters were distributed throughout the British Empire of that day, and South Africa was then part of the Empire.  So, Cor's grandfather may very well have seen a copy of an old Miner wanted poster.)

 The people who lived from the middle of the 1800's well into the 1900's particularly went through interesting times as they came from the midst of the Victorian era into the modern era, from basically "nothing" to electricity, cars, telephones etc.
3)    I now realize how fortunate I have been to have passed through B.C. only in September 2006, and not earlier, since it seems that your book was still about to be printed only a few months earlier (in April?).  In other words, I almost missed out on the whole affair!
4)    On the other hand, I would love to have read your book before I travelled through that area, in order to be informed of all these events about Bill Miner, and to have had a better understanding of the lives there a 100 years ago.  I think I would have looked with different eyes to towns like Kamloops etc., and made a more concerted effort to visit the museum and the area associated with Miner.  The best will be to visit again!  I grabbed my photo album and looked at my pictures of those areas again, this time in a much different light.  (One picture was of a street in Merritt with sign boards overhead, showing the directions to Quilchena, Kamloops, Kelowna etc), as well as the old hotel.
5)    Interesting that Fernie's (?) estate in later years was called "the Kloof".  Do you know where that name comes from?  I wonder if he didn't perhaps pick that up during his time in South Africa, since "Kloof" is an Afrikaans word meaning something like "ravine" or "valley".  In fact, there are some streets in Cape Town called "Kloof Road" or "Kloof Street" - the one just around the corner of where I live.    Do you perhaps know? 

(Indeed the Kloof that Fernie named his ranch house after was named after that Afrikaans word for valley, as his family's home then overlooked the whole of the Thompson Valley just west of Kamloops.  Boer War veterans of those days formed a lasting attachment to southern Africa, as is borne out by Col. Sam Steele's "Forty Years in Canada," which details his service with the South African Constabulary.)

6)    Without splitting hairs, there was one or two occasions where a possible mistake (I think??) in the book attracted my attention:  e.g. at the beginning of the prison sentence of Bill Miner in the B.C. Penitentiary in New Westminster you refer that "before the month was out" he would have escaped.  But Bill only escaped some year and a half later on?  Or did I miss something?   Also, a reference to "Burke" where surely it must be "Bourke"?  Anyway, I thought I just mention it, the overall enjoyment of the book, your way of writing and making it easy to read, the huge amount of research, etc more than outweigh a possible slip here or there. 

(Cor's sharp eye has, indeed, picked out a few inconsistencies in my book.  Before a year was out, Miner would have escaped from the penitentiary, and the Burke referred to is indeed Bourke.  Other readers have also pointed out some typo errors, but none of them really interfere with the historical integrity of the book.  That remains as close to historical fact as I could make it at that time.  Perhaps when I was writing the book, I was struck by the observation that Miner had started plotting his eventual escape from the BC Pen before he had even been placed behind the prison walls.)

7)    As a matter of interest - why was Miner branded/wanted as a "sodomite" as described by the police at one stage (only one reference to it in the book)?  Surely he was heterosexual as proved by his patronage of the prostitutes?

(Without any reliable primary sources to answer this question, I have to suppose that the Pinkerton's, whose poster contains the "sodomite" reference, were expressing their frustration at their inability to catch Miner.  He seemed to be able to slip through their fingers, and to re-appear in the most unlikely of places.  Also, any man that spends the years he did in San Quentin, 20 years at the last stretch, would probably be sexually compromised under those conditions.  The Pinkertons would have picked up on this and put it on the poster just to irk and humiliate him.  His affection for women and prostitutes is well documented, and I have encountered only one reference to his possible homosexuality outside of prison.  Not being a sociologist familiar with the trauma suffered by ex-cons, I am only assuming it would have a permanent effect on their psyche.  Perhaps bi-sexuality would be a logical outcome, but I have no background enabling me to deduce this possibility. )

8)    I am sure with the second and third and more prints of your book in future you will include the other interesting bits that have surfaced as a result of this first print - e.g. the picture that's on the web of Bill's grave, and I hope that Ottawa will be more cooperative with their archives this time! 

(Further printings will undoubtedly take place, but whether another edition is forthcoming is somewhat doubtful.  However, I will say that if enough additional information comes to my attention on any aspects of the Bill Miner Story, I will add them to this web site as well as trying to get them into select publications.)

 Sorry for the long email, I hope you have time to read it all.  Thank you again for a most fascinating book!
 Regards
Cor van der Merwe, Capetown, South Africa

24 August 2007

Dear Sir: 

This summer my husband and I had occasion to ride the Armstrong Explorer - due simply to our interest in old steam engines and railroads.  However, it turned out to be a trip into genealogy for myself.  I am a direct descendent of the Ducks.
 I did pick up your book "Interred With Their Bones" after our trip and have just finished it. I had no idea that Albert and Edith had any knowledge of Bill Miner so it sure made for some interesting reading.  With your permission I would like to copy off from your site some of the information you have in regards to statements etc from the Ducks to add to the family genealogy book. 
This past weekend I had occasion to be in Vernon to pick up my daughter from Cadet Camp. On the way back I took her to Holmwood. I had been there many times before. She found it very interesting to compare the picture of Holmwood in your book to what is existing today. Not much for changes.
Kind Regards,
Tracey F.

14 August 2007

(I had to post the following email to my site as soon as I received it.  It was a great thrill to find it in my email basket this morning, amid numerous solicitations for stocks, sexual aids and drugs.  It is humbling to me that something that I created should gives such pleasure to someone half-way around the world.)

Dear Peter, 
I traveled through Canada in Sept last year, spending some time in Vancouver and visiting those exciting and beautiful places like Banff, Lake Louise and Penticton.  En route from Vancouver to Banff, with a lovely 4x4, we passed through Sycamous etc., and made stops at Merritt, Kamloops as well as Revelstoke.  And what wonderful countryside it is!  I particularly enjoyed the old type "Wild West" country of Merritt, Revelstoke etc.
 Anyway, it was on our way back, again through Revelstoke that we decided to stop for lunch.  My friend wanted to cut his hair so he went off searching for a barber while I browsed through a small bookstore (Grizzly Book Store) next to the "pasta" parlour we ate at.  And my eye fell on a black book with the captivating title "Interred with their Bones".  Now me being a history freak and even more so when it comes to unsolved mysteries and graves of the past, I was immediately drawn to your fantastic book.  The shop lady told me a little about it, and that you grew up/lives in Revelstoke and hence very involved in the area.  I paid with a smile and couldn't wait to start reading it.  However, it was only until now, in August 2007, that I finally got through my other books that I had to read and started reading yours.  And WHAT A PLEASURE IT IS!!  Having visited that area personally last year and having a very vivid imagination I can fully identify with and picture the happening in my mind as they unfold. 
 I am not done with the book yet (only at page 220 now), sometime after the Ducks Robbery, and look forward to finished it asap, although I always hate finishing a good book because it means I'm done with it (for now).  So for now, thank you SO much for an outstanding book sofar - it is truly a gem and I am enjoying it thoroughly.
 Of particular interest to me, and possibly to you, are your references to the Boer War, and places like Potchefstroom, Losberg etc.  That being because I am South African, living in Cape Town, and hence very familiar with the Anglo-Boer War.  It was surprising and fascinating to read and see this "connection" between your book and where I come from!  To think that Constable Fernie and some others in your book may have seen the same things (e.g. towns) and have experienced SA like me, a 100 years ago...
I mean, the chances of picking up YOUR book in a small Canadian town like Revelstoke and bringing it back to SA!?  I wonder if there is anybody else in this country who also has your book?
 One last question - do you perhaps know a Tante Thea and Uncle Carl in Penticton? Unfortunately I don't know their surname, but they used to run a German restaurant in town for many many years. 
 All the best, and once again thank you for a most marvellous book sofar!
 Regards
Cor van der Merwe
Cape Town

(9 Aug 2007.  Needless to say, the following email, which arrived last month, generated some excitement on my part and with my wife, Karen.  Michael's grandfather in Kamloops would have known some of the participants in the Miner affair personally, and one can only imagine some of the primary, first-hand information he may have acquired.  This is another example of the connections this story and the myths associated with it have generated amongst ordinary British Columbians.  The story of Miner, generating as it does an interest in the people, places and events of 100 years ago, is such an integral part of the family history of so many of us in this province.  The book seems to have generated a modest renewal of interest in our provincial history and served as a vehicle to bring forward all those stories, memorabilia and photographs associated with those events of long ago.  Stories such as Michael's bring a fresh look at those simpler days beyond the memory of any of us living today.

I will keep everyone informed if anything further develops with Michael's story as he tells it below. -PG)

4 July 2007

Dear Mr. Grauer,

I am most grateful for your e-mail message of ..., and apologize for the absurd length of time it has taken me to respond in kind.  June ended up being a horrendously busy month, with a whirlwind trip to California and the purchase of a new computer (along with the consequent transfer of all old e-mails and to-do items!).
I am greatly interested in acquiring one of the hardcover copies of "Interred With Their Bones", and will gladly send a cheque for $65 ($55 plus $10 shipping).  To what address shall I mail my payment?
... I have followed the success of your book with great interest, and convey my congratulations for the honour you received from Lt.-Gov. Campagnolo.  Bill Miner has been a subject of particular fascination for me since I discovered that my grandfather, a high school principal and later a provincial inspector of schools, was the author of an unfinished manuscript about Bill Miner's years in Canada.  He completed the majority of the book in the 1940s, assembling sheaves of interviews and primary documents, before laying the project aside.  I suspect that his work as principal of Kamloops High School, combined with the birth of his third son (my father), left little time for the undertaking.  Some fifty years later, in the early 1990s, I discovered his work and completed the volume, distributing it among family members.
Since then, fascinating connections have arisen.  For example, several of my great-uncles (on my mother's side) were apparently bathing in the lands around the BC Penitentiary when Miner escaped.  They heard the bell ringing just before he came crashing out the woods, shared a few choice words, then disappeared into the brush.
I look forward to receiving your mailing address so that I may submit my cheque to you promptly.  My mailing address is below.
Yours sincerely,
Michael G.

29 June 2007

Peter, I enjoyed meeting you ... in P(rince) G(eorge) recently and more to the point, immensely enjoyed the read.
Great background and detail- Having lived here in BC these past 37 years, it gives me a different perspective on the area's we have camped and traveled through over the years.
Many thanks for that.
regards frank d

(I continue to embarrass myself and forget people who I meet at book affairs, as shown below.)

23 May 2007

Hi Peter- an aside to you regarding Bill Miner- went on the website for the Register of Canadian Heritage places [not sure if my name is correct]. When I did a place name search using Billy Miner, only one hit- the old Bank of Montreal Building in Maple Ridge, and it only came up because its a heritage building that now houses the Billy Miner Pub. I wonder, should the culvert you mentioned be nominated? A second aside- my Grandpa Garney liked to tell of a day when he held Bill Miner's horse for him and was given a dime [big money!] for doing so. He kept a photograph of Miner in the house. Funny how one man can touch such a large area and yet be relatively unknown outside of the history books. Jeremy W., Kamloops.

25 May 2007.

Hi Peter- apologies, I should have re-introduced myself- I am one of the people involved with this BC heritage ride, and we met at Forsters at our first meeting.  Grandpa Garney grew up in the area now Chilliwack, the family homesteaded there and then branched to Princeton- I think he also had what is now the Rocking Chair Ranch in Cawston, among other ranches. Had a large sheep ranch too with Charlie [?] Taylor as well. The Willis family was one of the pioneering families during the Gold Rush. Abraham Willis ran an ox train on the Cariboo Road- he was Garney's dad. Grandpa was an older man, was in the army for WW1- I'll have to get the details from the family album and my father. I believe the picture is in the book- full front face picture in black and white. I don't have the book here, I think it went with an in-law, but I'll see if I can get a copy and give you the page number. W... E... is my music business- I sing, DJ, MC, and songwrite- my current focus is songs on BC history, right now on the Gold Rush days where both my familial lines started in Canada. My great great grandfather was Sgt Mjr John McMurphy of the Royal Engineers. I have most of his old documents available to me, so trying to write about that, Abraham, and some of the other characters of the Rush.  Jeremy W.,   Kamloops.


One month after his last email of the 16th of May, Bruce W. had finished the Bill Miner book, and had these comments to make.

13 June 2007

Peter 

Just a short note to say that I just finished Interred With Their Bones, Bill Miner In Canada, 1903-1907 and thoroughly enjoyed it.  Nice even writing and I am glad that you published it on your own as an editor may have cut out some of the necessary and interesting detail in the name of economy.  
Some thoughts.  The book certainly helped to discredit the CPR-assisted-escape-in-return-for-the-stolen-bonds theory.  I also hadn't realized that Lewis Colquhoun was, in fact, not guilty and the third man may have been someone else.  A sad end for Colquhoun.  It certainly was a coup for you getting into the privately held Anthony Martin collection. 
Is Frederick Fulton a progenitor of E. Davie Fulton for there is a strong family resemblance?
 Glad to see that you also have disdain for political correctness.
 Bruce  W.

When Karen and I were in Victoria to accept the award from the BC Historical Federation 11 May, we made many interesting and knowledgeable contacts.  An exchange of emails with one of them, Bruce W., follows.

16 May 2007

Peter

For what it is worth for the record, I thought I would clarify which relatives encountered Bill Miner, something which I talked to you about on Saturday at the Victoria conference of the BCHF.  There is no reason that any of them warrant any mention in a work like yours as their association was peripheral at best.
The person that I mentioned that you thought may have been Calgarian W. A. McFoy, was Alexander Galbraith McPhee (1865-1942) who was born in Ontario and spent much of his life in Vancouver.  In 1904, after coming down from the Klondike gold rush he joined the CPR's Investigations Department, then in its formative days.  In his 28 years with the CPR he served as constable, then as a "plain clothes" investigator, then as Assistant Inspector, the rank he held on his retirement in July 1932.  He worked on a variety of criminal cases including the pursuit in 1909 of Bill Miner.  (This is probably a reference to Miner's escape from the BC Penitentiary in August of 1907.  PG)
At an early age, Victoria born William Robert Strachan (1885-1962) became interested in racehorses, and developed into a highly knowledgeable expert on horses.  In his late teens he worked as a cowpuncher on the Douglas Lake Ranch in the Nicola area, alongside Bill Miner.  He later drove a stagecoach but, because he froze his hands in particular cold weather, he had a variety of careers after that.  He died in Vancouver.
Ontario born James Archibald Galbraith (1878-1962) worked for the Vancouver Hardware Company and his job took him all over British Columbia via stagecoach, sternwheeler, and railway.  It was while he was in Kamloops that he spotted Bill Miner on the street.  They never spoke.
My own father, who never saw or met Bill Miner but was 10 years old at the time when Miner was captured, remarked that Miner had garnered a huge amount of public sympathy, probably because he had scored against the CPR. 
There you are.  None of these people deserve to be part of a book on Bill Miner you can see the influence that the "gentleman bandit" really had.
Good luck with the sales of your book.  I am enjoying it.
Bruce W., Vancouver

(Of course, as always, I rarely, if ever, remember the people I meet, even on the best of occasions.  For this, I am eternally condemned by my wife as being on unfeeling wretch.  The stimuli that happens during these book sales events, meetings and conventions are always overwhelming, and blank out my memory processes.  At least, that is my excuse.  So I had to ask Bruce who he was.)

17 May 2007

Thanks for your interesting email, Bruce.  I appreciate your following up on our initial contact.  We are continually being overwhelmed with how the story of this relatively inept and flawed petty criminal has entered into the unconscious mythology of BC.  Everywhere we go, someone comes forward with family anecdotes from 100 years ago about Bill Miner.  It never ceases to amaze us. ...  BTW, please refresh my memory as to what position you are in to be at the BCHF conference in Victoria.  Regards, Peter

So, Bruce graciously responded..

17 May 2007   

Peter 

Yes it is amazing how this flawed soul pushed all the right buttons to enter the unconscious mythology of BC.  I think a big factor is that he did one up on the CPR, a "home grown" relief from trying to make interesting history out of being part of a relatively uncaring Central Canada and English Empire.  He obviously touched a nerve and gave voice to a certain element in society.
 As for me, I was one of the Vancouver Historical Society gang at the conference with no role in the BCHF. ... . 
My most recent publication is something jointly written with Jean Barman:  Leaving Paradise:  Indigenous Hawaiians in the Pacific Northwest, 1787-1898 (Honolulu:  University of Hawaii Press, 2006).
 
Bruce W.

(Jean Barman's "The West Beyond The West" was at my elbow when I researched and wrote my book.)


Amazingly, after receiving the emails of the 14th and 15th of May regarding Maisie Hurley (Campbell Johnston), the following showed up in my IN basket.

23 May 2007

Hi Peter!

I am looking to purchase a book, as I am fascinated with all the extra tidbits on my
Great Grandmother Maisie Hurley.  I have a picture of Bill Miner that she had painted that was amazing.
I had heard on her way to BC on the train, she ran into Bill and wasn't the least bit frightened
of him or his 6 shooter.  They became close friends after that, as I have been told.

Have a Great Day!  Kerrie H.

I replied to her as follows:

Hello Kerrie,

Nice to hear from you, especially from a descendant of Maisie Hurley.  She must have been a very special lady, and from the research I have done, could very well have a book done on her.  I know some things about her life, including the magazine “Native Voice,” her boxing promotions and the heart of her ancestor.  Would love to talk to you about her sometime, and to look at the painting of Bill Miner. ... So pleased to hear from you.  Maisie has been somewhat of a mystery in some ways.  A woman ahead of her time, but also very complex.  PG

Kerrie replied on 24 May 2007.

Hi Peter!
Thanks for the reply.  A story was told that I was actually playing with the heart of Montrose and thought that I had broken it when it broke in two.  Apparently I was quite upset but found out that a bullet apparently had split it in half in its travels to Vancouver.  Yes she was way ahead of her time.  My mother Moira has a book that my great-great grandmother Amy wrote over the years  that goes into extensive stories of their adventures, with great concern for Maisie who would break wild horses in the Nicola  Valley.  Anyways, fascinating really.  have a great day, Kerrie H.

One of the intriguing characters I ran into in my research, and who also made it into my book, is Maisie Campbell-Johnston.  She was the young girl in Aspen Grove that Bill Miner built a skating rink for.  In her later years she married a lawyer in Vancouver by the name of Hurley, and, among other things, was the editor of "The Native Voice."  Further information on her is available in the web site database.

I received the following interesting series of emails regarding her family.

14 May 2007

Hello Peter 

I would like to buy two copies of your book.  I have been fascinated with the Campbell-Johnston family since finding an old Prospectus for a mining company about 1969, written by Ronald Campbell Campbell- Johnston.  I think it was the double barreled name that hooked me although the man himself had to have been a character.  You seem to have a lot of information on his daughter Maisie, who was also a wild one.  There is quite a display at the North Vancouver museum here, which has a lot of her things. 
I have collected quite a bit of information about RCCJ and have made contact with a great grandson. 
.........
Thanks and Cheers
Barry P.

The same day I replied to him as follows:

Hello Barry,  Nice to hear from you.  How did you hear about my book, and that it had Mazie Hurley and the Campbell-Johnstons in it?  I too was intrigued by the Campbell-Johnstons.  There is more info on them in the Vancouver Archives as well as the BC Archives.  I was not aware of the North Van display.  I hope I can get to see it.  I always thought there was a good story behind them somewhere.  I would appreciate hearing more about the information you have accumulated.  It seems that geologists are enjoying my book.  You are not the first who has contacted me to share stories and comment on aspects of my book.  I did do some research on mining at the turn of the last century for my book, as it was such an integral part of life in BC at that time.  It seems that everyone had a mine or was doing some prospecting at that time.  PG.

Barry replied to my email as follows:

15 May 2007

Hi Peter, 

Thanks for the note.  I came across your site in a search for "Campbell-Johnston".  I had been aware of the Bill Miner connection with Maisie, various versions in different accounts.  My first encounter with RCCJ was when I drilled the Taltapin silver or Silver Fox property on Pinkut Creek near Babine Lake about 1970.  Our client was N... C... who had in her files a prospectus written by RC, which was fabulous in all senses of the word.  Wish I had taken a copy.
 RC was also one of the first "engineers" into the G... Coal field.  I have several thick reports on his exploration there.  His wife was a game old gal, accompanying him into very isolated country.  She may have had connections with the owners of the S... smelter.
 I also have a little book "Tales of the Totems" written by RCCJ from accounts written down by his wife.
 I look forward to reading your book. 
 Cheers
Barry P.

26 April 2007

Hi Peter – hope to meet you someday soon. Great book!

I am an environmental consultant working most of BC. My work has some archive and heritage elements to it.  I recently found a title to land in Kamloops in the name of William Lewis Fernie, of Kamloops BC . Land Title # 57831F was issued May 20th 1931 for the SW ¼ of Section One, Twp 20 Range 18 West of the 6th Meridian. This is near the corner of Dalhousie and Notre Dame in Kamloops. There is a tax sale notice on the Fernie title. It was transferred in 1945 to the Gov’t of Canada as part of the military camp holdings in Kamloops.  Also you should note the anecdote in the menu of the Coldwater Hotel in Merritt. It purports Miner stayed there and stashed things in the dome.

Eric G.

(The author replied to the above email as follows:)

Thanks, Eric, for the interesting information on the Fernie property.   I remember Daphne Fernie telling me about how her father used this part of his holdings for grazing his imported thoroughbreds.  As far as the tax sale information goes, William Fernie had passed away many years before this event, and his daughters and wife had moved to Victoria in the early 1940s.  They probably couldn’t find a sale for this property at that time, so left it to be picked up for a tax sale.  Thank you for this information, which I wasn’t aware of.  Any information that people send me that relates to my book is most appreciated.  It adds to our store of knowledge of this period and the people who were around at the time.

As far as the anecdote in the Coldwater Hotel goes, I am familiar with the story.  However, Merritt was not yet a town in the days that Miner was in BC, and the dates given were long after Miner had died.  But I suppose it does add some romance to the hotel itself.  Thanks for your positive comment on my book.

Peter Grauer

(In a second email, John comments further: )

Peter -- Thanx for the personal reply. In my work (I am a geologist with strong landform/map bias) the scenery and geography of each of the locations in your book always impress me. I have been driving across BC – all directions, air, road, coast and rail since I was a kid – in the 1960 window. Now I write physical reports on properties including the history of ownership. This has allowed me to write about Campbell Creek, Merritt, and Kamloops. Living here near ... allows a wondrous connection between your book and where I have rubber-necked for the last 20 odd – they have been odd – years.  I know you are aware of the Merritt museum. They have the data on this next point. Merritt did not exist under that name in the period you describe but the town was there under several other names. (Forksdale & Midvale.) So… the inference is that Merritt by another name was there and thriving – parallel to Quilchena but not on the main route from Kamloops to Princeton which I believe is on the hill side to the east of Merritt and was used for a rough road auto rally last year. The best proof of the montage of these towns is the legal surveys of that era. You might want to speak with legal surveyor John Graham in Merritt. And there is always the knowledge of the affable author Murphy Shewchuk. I defer to your previous work however. The command of dates you show is exceptional. We certainly understand why a hotel would grasp any story that might add to its marketable mystique, fact, conjecture, folklore or otherwise.

Eric G.


April 1, 2007

Peter,

Congratulations on doing such a good job of assimilating so much  research. I have just completed reading your book. You have given me renewed interest in getting back to work on my family history.  My great-grandfather, John S., arrived in Victoria in 1862,  spent time in the Cariboo, then settled in Victoria.  There has been a John S. there ever since - my father resides a  few blocks from the family plot in Ross Bay Cemetery. I have done some research in both Victoria and the Provincial Archives, but have a long way to go.  I have just retired from a career as a high school English teacher (Armstrong) and live in Vernon. I don't know if I have any material of interest to you, but I sure appreciate your references in the back of your book.

Thanks again for the well-researched book!  Cheers,

John S.

(In a second email, John comments further: )

My only comment to improve the book - more maps would be useful as most readers won't be familiar with our area. I found myself bookmarking the map on page 20 and used this for a continual reference. My next task is pulling the Backroad Mapbook off my shelf and finding all these places to explore once the weather improves.

John S.


March 28, 2007

Hello Peter,

I am currently reading your book with much interest and fascination.  A couple of years ago we purchased acreage in the ......... area for recreational use (we live in Vancouver). I have been doing some research and found it is the old .............. ranch, just off ........... Forest Service Road. It was originally 320 acres but now is 141 acres. The property has an old road through it and signs of an old cabin or structure near the lake (rusty stove and an old bed). In addition, I found that the 'Similkameen Trail' used to go through the property as shown on the back the original preempt document from 1891 (which I got a copy from the Merritt Archives). I think it is this old road we see today and may be the 'pack trail' you refer to in your book. Not sure though.

We would like to preserve some historical elements of the property and would appreciate any information you have. My wife and I are both very interested in the historic nature of the area.

All the best, E. P.  Vancouver

(Note - Place and proper names have been removed to protect privacy.  PRG)

(The author replied to the above email as follows:)

Hello E.,

Thanks for your intriguing email. I am aware of a number of cabins around your area that may be associated with Miner, Allen, Budd, Chisholm et al. However, the ........... property in my research has only referred to the Miner/Budd cabin.  It is rather special to think that your cabin could have been the one in which Miner spent the winter of 1905/06.  I will have to refer to my research documents again and see whether more information is contained in them.  By all means give me a call sometime. Evenings after 7 and before 10 would be best.  ........... has always been of interest to me, and I am presently pursuing more information through his descendants.

Peter Grauer


March 17, 2007

Hi,  I  liked the book.  I really liked the detail.    I have over 700 Canadian and Alaska books, many of them like yours.  I have always  been interested in Bill Miner since I have been going to Quesnel Lake for the last 30 years.  Something has puzzled me for a long time. There is a creek named Bill Miner  on the most remote  arm (east arm) of the lake between Kill Dog and Bouldery creeks.  I know why Kill Dog and Bouldery got it's name . I  have talked with a friend whose father trapped on the lake in the 30's and Bill Miner creek was named as far back as he could remember.  I have been to the Billy Miner Saloon in Williams Lake and understand why a saloon  would be named after a colorful character, but why a remote creek? Bill Miner was not in the area. Can you shed any light on this ???

On page 559, I found it  interesting that Jack Budd's daughter , B.L. Barron,  lived in Chico, California (my home town).  I have looked in the Chico phone book and cannot find any connection today for the mail routes are not the same.   
Thanks for writing the book.  I really did enjoy it.  The photos, maps and  research you have done is appreciated by this reader.
Walt R.

(The author replied as follows:)

Hello Walt,
The only explanation I could come up with for the name Bill Miner Creek would be that it must have been named by a miner in the first decade of the 20th C.  Many of the Princeton/Nicola/Kamloops miners and prospectors headed up into that country when the mining exploration petered out in the south part of the province.  Bill Miner was even then a figure of some interest to ordinary people in the southern part of BC.  I found not one iota of indication that he went any further north than Kamloops, Ashcroft or Spence’s Bridge.  However, I should say that there were rumours passed down in families that he had been up in that country, but absolutely no primary source data.  As readers of my book know, people were great travellers in those days, both on foot and on a good through-bred.  New information on Miner that put him in the Cariboo would never surprise me.  He was an interesting individual.
The trail of Jack Budd is still warm, and information is still continuing to come in on him.  Descendants have been trying to trace his trail up here in Canada, and I hope to be able to post some of the information on my website in the future.
Thank you for your positive comments on my book.  I tried to use the detail to put the reader back in that time 100 years ago.
Regards,
 
Peter Grauer

March 4, 2007

Dear Peter: 
I finished reading your book a couple of weeks ago.  I found it quite interesting and enjoyed learning a little more local history. You mentioned that Shorty Dunn had worked for Jack Hanna after serving his time.  Jack Hanna was my step grandfather and the original owner of this painting.  I would assume it is the same Jack Hanna.  I was delighted to see his name mentioned.  Giving someone a break would be in character with how I remember him.  He was quite an interesting person and always had some story to tell. 
Thanks
John F., Kamloops.

(John came up to Karen and I during "Art in the Park" in Kamloops in the summer of '06, and told us he had a contemporary oil painting done of Bill Miner that had been in his family for many years.  The name of Jack Hanna did not come up at that time, and this incident just confirms again how connections have kept happening since the book was first published last summer.  The interest of BC residents in their own history, and the connections so many had with the Bill Miner story continues to amaze us. PG)


March 2, 2007

Hi Peter,
I have just finished reading your book and the best
descriptions I can use are:   superb, excellent, fascinating, terrific,
etc.  Other friends who have read your book share similar comments.
Thanks very much!!!!!
Ron P., Kamloops.

February 16, 2007

Hi Peter.
I just wanted to commend you on your book. I know the research involved in a project like that and it's easy to see your passion for the subject. To say I devoured it is probably an understatement. It was all very easy to read. And the statements you found from the three men seem very telling. I always had my suspicions about Colquhoun and never bought his portrayal when I first saw The Grey Fox. It didn't make sense to me that a young, respected and consumptive school teacher would leave his home and family (presumably for both his own sake and the health of others) only to use explosives and guns to jeopardize the lives of strangers.
But there are still a lot of unanswered questions and I'm going to see what digging I can do at this end.
But maybe you can offer your thoughts/speculations on one.
The three statements are fascinating. Were they taken at the same time in the regular course of activities at the prison? Both Dunn and Edwards say they make the statements of their own free will. Colquhoun doesn't. Hmmm. As well, Dunn's statement suggests it was written by someone else. Was he playing the illiterate just as he had played the mute in the store?
My guess is that Miner (probably in agreement with Dunn) made the unusual(?) request in a humanitarian effort to free the sickly Colquhoun without it actually costing them anything (increased sentence, legal fees, #3's wrath, etc.). And it is possibly the only reason Dunn might talk to Miner at all in prison. If it was Miner's first and only recorded confession, he would have been well aware of that fact, reinforcing the idea he indeed was a con man with a conscience. So it also seems the only acceptable con for him was tricking men into thinking he'd shoot them if they didn't help unload the express car or open a lock box.
Anyway, I won't ramble on any longer, though I know I could. My thanks. I always like reading books that make me want to find out more.
All the best
Richard T.

(Richard Turtle is a playwright from Ontario.  He devoured the 600 plus pages of "Interred With Their Bones" in just a few days.  A listing of some of his plays can be seen at http://www.doollee.com/PlaywrightsT/TurtleRichard.htm and a brief bio can be seen at https://www.brookpub.com/richard-turtle-and-peter-moore-m-214.html?osCsid=06c583542)


February 16, 2007

Hello Peter. 
I recently finished your book, which I enjoyed so very much !
It was obviously written after extensive research, and with a dedication to "getting it right".
 I am a Kamloops resident, having lived here for 35 years, and been to so many of the locations described in your book, in my pursuit of outdoor activities and explorations. Knowing these locations just adds to my pleasure of reading your book.
Thanks for an excellent book.
I will be recommending it to my friends and family.
 Garry G.

February 8, 2007

Hi Peter, Just wanted you to know that I finally finished "Interred With Their Bones" and enjoyed it very much. I am not a fast reader and I do most of my reading in bed, before I go to sleep.  Usually the sleep-bug gets me before I get about half a chapter read, so I was the better part of a month reading it. I'm no expert, but I feel the story would make a great movie---better than "The Grey Fox." The book really brought a lot of B.C. heartland history out, with reference to many places and  people to which we [natives] can relate. You've put a great deal of time, effort and hard work into the book, and you must be very proud! I had occasion to speak with Brenda T. a few days ago, after finding out about her connection to Ducks. She spoke very highly of "Interred." Good luck in your marketing of the book.
I'm sure you are very busy selling the book, so I was wondering if you've had time to read "An Okanagan History," (The Diaries of Roger John Sugars, 1905 to 1919 Sandhill Book Marketing.  PG) and as it falls into the same time frame as Roger's diary, what your feeling is for the book. Incidentally, my first 1800 copies just sold out and I have my second edition of 500 more. ... I am being given the opportunity of presenting the books to each (Okanagan school) library and doing a short reading in front of the students.
 All the best to you and your wife, Karen. May you have a best seller!!   John Sugars.

(John Sugars is the son of Roger John Sugars, and he edited his father's diaries to create a poignant vignette of life on Okanagan Lake 100 years ago, as well as an enduring legacy detailing our local interior heritage. PG)

 


February 3, 2007

I've just finished reading your very excellent book about Bill Miner . I have a great interest in the stories as I remember my grandfather Victor S. talking about him.  In your book on page 108 the picture of William Dodd's roadhouse is, I am very sure, a picture that I have of my Grandfathers ranch house. The front porch has been removed in my photo, but you can see the lighter area that it was attached to the house with. I would guess I'm about 2yrs old ..muddy pants and all ..looks like spring time.  I'm not sure when he bought the ranch or from who...I do know from Don Blake's book Blakeburn,..Dust to Dust ...they were in Blakeburn in the 20's as they are mentioned as residents and my uncle Bill's picture is in the school photo.  Vic was looking after the mine mules and just going in when it blew up. He was only slightly injured. Bill S. had the Missezula Lake ranch that you talked about ..but later. ( He passed away last month in Princeton at 90 yrs.)
    I remember up above the ranch at Aspen Grove an old mine site with a short tailings ramp ...could it be some of their old diggings ? I used to ride from Aspen Grove to Missezula a couple of times a year.
 
Bill B.  Westbank B.C.

(The author and Bill B. are working together to determine the provenance of this photo from the Nicola Valley Museum and Archives.)


January 30, 2007

Dear Peter.  I have just completed reading the book that my wife bought from you at Coles Book Store ... before Christmas.  I found the story of Bill Miner, Shorty Dunn. Lewis Colquhoun and all the others absolutely fascinating and captivating.  I have barely put your book down since I received it on Christmas Day.  There is so much information and detail that really brings out the character of the many people who you wrote about.  Many of the names have stood the test of time and are part of the cities and regions today.  I am quite familiar with many of the areas that were spoken about, both in the interior of BC and at the coast.  My Dad's family pioneered in the Mission area and there is a street there named after us. ... Some of my ancestors are in the Mission Museum and the New Westminster Museum.

It was sad that Lewis Colquhoun may have gotten convicted for a robbery that he apparently knew nothing about.  He should have had independent legal representation, and their defence lawyer, Alexander Duntroon Mcintyre, appears to be as unscrupulous as many a lawyer today.  I was especially sad to read that Shorty Dunn drowned whilst guiding on the river and that his grave is now below water.

Further, Bill Miner ... mostly stole from corporations who were also considered as stealing from their customers, given the exorbitant rates that were being levied.  ... He must have been quite the challenge for the authorities and railways alike. ...

Terrific book, Peter.  I look forward to reading the next one.  There will be others, I hope.

Bob W., Kamloops.


January 21, 2007

Dear Peter.  Just before Christmas you were signing books at Aberdeen Mall, and I had a brief conversation with you about my Dad's interest in B.C. history. My Dad, Dinty M., is thoroughly enjoying your book, and has constantly remarked on the similarities between William Grell, aka Shorty Dunn, and his 'Old Bill', William Henry Dunbar. Thank you for writing such a fascinating story: it's been worth every penny, just for the hours of wonder it has provided my father, William 'Dinty' M. And I promise to read it myself!

Regards, Linda F.


January 16, 2007. 

Good morning Peter.  I can’t tell you how much my wife and I enjoyed this book.  What a wonderful, informative and amazing story.  We both enjoyed it very much.  In fact we can not keep it in the house, because we keep lending it out.  Is it still possible to order another copy of it from you directly; and would it be possible to have you autograph it for the people we want to give it to?  Could you please let me know by return e-mail when you get a chance?

Thanks very much, Craig and Judy R., Vernon, BC.


January 16, 2007.

Hi Peter,  
 Well, I must say your book is the best one I've read in, I don't know how long!  Of course, Bill Miner's story has always been my favourite.  I first read about Bill when I was 13 and bought the book Bill Miner Train Robber. That book started me on a 30 year adventure into B.C.'s history, and of course I just have to have every book written on Bill Miner!  The irony of it is though, and I just realized it after reading your book, I moved to Princeton 15 years ago, and every morning upon opening my curtains I look at Baldy (Miner) mountain!  Thanks for the hours of happiness! 

Sylvia H., Princeton, BC.


January 15, 2007.

just wanted to let you know how much I have enjoyed this book. I received as a gift and the fact it was signed made it even more special. I am curious about some of the places you mention, grande prairie rd. Where is that today and are any of the homesteads still standing? I live in Mclure and I often travel up the Barnhartvale Rd. I love the old place at the end close to the junction. Is that part of any of this history? 
Peggy Y.

11 January 2006. 

Thanks Peter for all your research and the detail you put into writing Interred With Their Bones.  My brother-in-law, Mark H. from Kamloops picked up a copy for me, which you were kind enough to autograph.  I enjoyed the book and look forward to reading any additional books you may have in the works - Follow the Tracks,

Phillip N., Mission, BC


December 24, 2006

HELLO Peter, I AM so excited to hear from you!!!! I have a lots of information I know we could trade and your just the person I NEED TO HELP ME TO CONFIRM WHAT I THINK I ALREADY KNOW! ''BILLY MINER IS MY GREAT-GRANDFATHER!!!!

EVERYTHING WE HAVE IN OUR FAMILY GE NEOLOGY POINTS IN THIS DIRECTION............I WOULD BE PLEASED IF WE COULD FIND SOMETIME... TO CHAT ABOUT IT!

I am only sorry I do not have copy of your book yet, "Interred with their bones", I would be very pleased to be able to purchase it, if you could tell me where I can do so?

At the present time I am not too well,  In "Hospice Care" ... , I AM NOT SURE HOW MUCH TIME I WILL HAVE LEFT TO GET MY STORY TOLD, SO I would like to get at it as soon as I possibly can.  I CAN GO BACK QUITE A FEW GENERATIONS IN HIS LIFE TO CONFIRM.

ALMOST Everything KNOW, since I am his oldest living great granddaughter. He also still has one grand-daughter alive living in the Kamloops area!!!!

Please contact me at your earliest convenience, it would be very much appreciated!!!! Wow, I can hardly believe this! And a very Merry Christmas and Holiday Season to you!

Yours in success

MRS. DOLORES J.

 


December 19, 2006

Hi............just found your site recently..........wow!!!! I AM SO EXCITED............BILLY miner you see is my Great Grandfather...........I am so interested in doing more research into the "Gentle man Bandit", your help will be greatly appreciated. I would be nice if we could get together and compare some notes and history! Please consider getting in touch with me!

Your truly

Mrs. Dolores J.

 


November 30, 2006

Hi Peter,
Just a note to say that I really enjoyed your book.  You certainly achieved a great level of detail, proving that not only is the book an impressive work of scholarship but also that the news media of the day must have really gone to town following the story, providing you with a wealth of source material.   I was surprised, from what is revealed of his character, that Dunn went along with concealing the name of the Third Man, which made Colquhoun a suspect in the actual robbery.  We can suppose Dunn was completely under Miner's evil influence, and anyway he probably didn't have much confidence in altering the big justice machine.  Thanks again for recreating the past, and congratulations.  Jim N.
(From 1941 to 44 and 1949 to 55, I lived at 129 Seymour St., near the Court House where all the excitement climaxed.)
 


November 29, 2006

Peter, Karen and Kirsten
This is a great book, detailed, interesting, historical and a must read book. The research you have done is amazing. What makes it most interesting to me is that the places in Kamloops and New Westminster are all familiar. I must commend you on your accomplishment I know there must have been times when you wondered if you would ever finish! Thanks so much for doing so. Orest M.


November 07, 2006

Hi Peter.  Just a short note to Thank You ! for the book of Summerland and the CD.  Great pictures... Mom has nearly finished the book (Interred With Their Bones) so then it will be our turns.  She raves when she comes in for dinner, and dinner goes a little bit slower, stopping to hear of the chapter she is involved in. (Many cold dinners lately) So we really appreciated your kindness and we look forward to seeing you and your wife in beautiful Summerland.  Our very best regards to you, Michael


November 03, 2006

Peter: I have just finished your book and it is excellent. The detail you have given makes you feel that in reading this book, you are living in that time period. Top marks to ya. Cheers Calum


November 02, 2006

Hi: Well as you say once I read the book I get to check out this web site and write to you. I just this Oct. finished my 9th season of work on the Rocky Mountaineer Train. Somehow I don't think I need to explain what that is to you. I knew nothing of BC & Canadian history when I started but now have two book cases full of history and train books and I'm dangerous in a book store, like the one in Kamloops. Thank-you for writing this book, the only problem is I'll have to change my three minute story about Miner that I do on the train because now I know "The rest of the story". Actually maybe I'll stay with the story as written in newspapers and one page articles as it's funnier and more Robin Hood'ish. But the nice thing is When asked for more detail by a guest I will be able to recommend your book as the final authority. I will stay in touch with this site. Alex D.


November 01, 2006

Hello Peter & Karen; I've just finished your book and loved it!  It's a 10/10!  You have a way with words and it's wonderful that you were able to have so much history and mystery included.  You and Karen are very special people and I know your daughter is too because of the web site she has created.  I really enjoyed meeting you at Westwold and it made reading the book that much more meaningful.  - Burnie


October 30, 2006

Hello Peter, I can't wait to start reading "Interred With Their Bones"-- love the title btw, and the jacket design is perfect--my mum bought a copy and said it's great and that you are a very talented writer. I have mid-terms this week but I am planning to reward myself with your book as soon as I can actually start reading for pleasure again and not for credit. I've seen your book all over town! Fiona O.


October 30, 2006

Dear Peter, Loved your book! One of those books that gets better and better the further along the story you get. Tks Don E.


October 18, 2006

Hi Peter, I used to have a room in the old Portland stage stop in a room upstairs. At that time Verna Sledge used to cook for the crew downstairs, in a pretty rough kitchen. The pack rat smell never left that place. The old road went right in front. The barn below is original to that era too, I understand. When I was manager I pushed to keep the roof sound to keep the historic old barn sound. I dont know that I could find the Smoky Chism cabin, but we might do it in conjunction with a Douglas Lake cowboy who is familiar with the area, like the Portland cowboy foreman. As for Dhad Allen (spelling?) all I know of him is that the road east of the Merrit Princeton leading to the Crater Lake/Bluey Lake chain is named after him. I don't remember much else, except that Joe Sledge, now long since deceased, did talk about him. Sincerely, Neil W.


October 18, 2006

Hi Peter, Douglas Lake Cattle Co Ltd took catte down to Westwold for many many years: anywhere from 1000 to 1500 yearling heifers (unbred) would go down some time just before Christmas and stay there until there was open bunchgrass country at Douglas Lake to turn them out on probably in March. Initially, I guess Toddy (was this his name) Clemitson bought the hay; when I was first at Douglas Lake Robert Clemitson Sr looked after buying the hay, always at a fairly low price, as open yearling heifers did not need top quality hay. Robert would be in charge of the cattle while they wintered at Westwold. In those days Douglas Lake bred the heifers as two year olds, a practice long since abandonded once ample feed sources were locally grown and the calves could be grown out to be large enough to be bred as yearlings. One winter Robert Clemitson was short-handed, so he contacted Brian Chance the Manager at Douglas Lake, and asked him if he could spare anyone from the ranch. He sent down a young fellow- his name escapes me for the moment- but he never came home: he married Robert's daughter, and they eventually moved back to Alberta, where he came from. Anyway, I digress. What I wanted to tell you is that I remember the cowboys telling me that "The Company" used to put them up at the Westwold Hotel, and "then it burned down" they said. They were sorry, as after that we always stayed at Bobby Talbot's place up the Salmon Lake road. All the best with your book and its promotion. Sincerely, Neil W.


October 18, 2006

Kirsten, I’m at home and listening to the Bill Good Show on Radio NL. They were talking about books and one caller provided a glowing report on your dad’s Billy Miner book. The caller is so enamored with it, he is taking a holiday to retrace the steps of the first robbery near Mission. Just thought you’d want to know. Kirk F.


October 18, 2006

Hello Peter My Dad finally got here to visit me this week, he has been very busy with a new job. The funny thing was that he brought his girlfriend who is from Saskatchewan, and she had never really been to BC>So on the trip my Dad was telling her stories about BC,and when they drove through Monte Lake he told her about Bill Miner. Anyways he truly loves the book, he said if it wasn't for me he would of ignored us and read the whole book. He was half way through when we left, he visited for 5 days. I told him that I promised you we would contact him when his finishes the book and let you know, so you will be hearing from Old Man Green soon. It was one of the best presents that my Dad had ever got, so Thanks for that. Hope all is well with you, your Wife, and your book sales. Take it easy Kerri G.


October 10, 2006

Good Morning Peter I met you during my visit of the Spencer Home in Summerland during the Heritage Home tour. It was my family's home during the years I grew up. I enjoyed meeting you. I am so glad that I purchase your book Interred With Their Bones. I enjoyed it immensely. In fact I could hardly put it down until it was finished. I, as many I suppose had heard little bits about Bill Miner over the years. What a fascinating character he was. Growing up in Summerland during the fifties and sixties gave me the opportunity to meet many pioneers and early residents of our area. I found them and their description of the early years in Summerland to be very interesting. Your story sheds a lot of light onto what life was like in those times. Anyone who thinks that Canada has a dull past would do well to read your book. Thank you Sandy B.


October 03, 2006

Hi Peter, I really enjoyed your book - I am familiar with so much of the area you describe. Where is Furrer siding? I haven't been able to see a sign for it along the tracks. I've given several copies for gifts - it's what I'm giving for Christmas and birthdays this year. I checked with all the high schools ... and only S.(had one) on order - the others are going to purchase one or more copies for their school libraries.  It should be in every high school library in BC!  Regards, Holly C.


October 03, 2006

Dear Peter, A most interesting book, well researched. Congratulations on a terrific job. Gordon Lloyd, Kamloops. I am interested in learning more about Chief Constable Pearse, as I think his son is recognized in the Kamloops High School Hall of Fame see www.kamhigh.com.  Thanks again for your terrific research and a well written book.


October 03, 2006

Dear Peter: I very much enjoyed reading your book...as a third generation Kamloopsian I particularly appreciated the details about life in Kamloops in the early 20th C. My grandmother used to tell us stories about going to the trial. One specific bit of information I would appreciate you comments on are Chief Constable Pearse.  I was the principal of Kamloops High School for many years and have written the story of Kam High which is on www.kamhigh.com website. Under the banned alumni; special recognition, hall of fame Walter Pearse is recognized as a Kam High Grad., Rhode scholar and killed during World War I. I would appreciate and further information you have about Ernest Pearse and his family. I was recently contacted by a gentleman who is writing a book about young men who played hockey for Oxford University just before WWI. He is anxious to learn more about Walter and his background.


September 07, 2006

I doubt you remember me, but we met one Saturday morning in Merritt, in July (the weekend of the country music festival). You were just setting up outside a book store, and I bought a copy of the book. I just wanted to let you know I have just finished reading it, and enjoyed it completely. It reminded me of the Pierre Berton style of writing - address and cover a particular series of events and time period in careful detail and from a number of different angles, but still able to avoid falling into the dry recitation of mere history. I will look forward to reading anything else you write and publish! As a criminal defence lawyer, I found your review of the proceedings in Kamloops particularly interesting - especially the speed with which things happened 100 years ago. These days, a similarly serious robbery trial would likely take place months (if not a year or more) after the event, and would likely take two or three weeks! And was the speaking to sentence really as brief as your book suggests? I was particularly shocked that defence counsel seems to have said nothing at all about the proper penalty to be imposed, etc. Best wishes with everything. Charles D.


September 02, 2006

Hi Peter Just got back from holidays at my cabin up on Powell lake, had great time and weather. Completed reading the book and I think it is excellent, well done. Did you miss the part where the posse passed right by Jacks (Montieth) folks home and his mother tried to pet the dogs but cst. Fernie told her not to as they were not to be petted. Jack said he was there when this happened . The dogs were tied on long chains at the time. Jacks dad had a sawmill on the property at the time. When we visited there the ranch was called the Fox ranch. maybe you have been there on your search for information. All the best for now. Don K.


September 02, 2006

Hello Peter When I was visiting my daughter, Jen Fretz, in Kamloops, she loaned me your book. It was fascinating and I really enjoyed it. I was intrigued with the pictures taken by Mary Spencer and wanted to know more about her. Thanks very much, Isabel H.


September 02, 2006

Hello Peter, I have just finished reading your book. It is truly wonderful. My brother Anthony came over here to England in June and gave me the book to read. I found it really interesting because in 1965 I was lucky enough to visit BC with my Mother and Father. My Dad had won over £1,000 in a draw and we sailed from Salford to east Canada to visit relatives before boarding the CPR for three days to Burnaby, New Westminster. As I was only 1 year old when my eldest sister Mary emigrated to Canada, and 5 years old when Anthony went it was very exciting for me to visit them. As I had travelled through Kamloops, Kicking Horse Pass, Revelstoke etc I could picture the storey of the robbery very easily. When we were in New Westminster my brother took us for a visit to the BC Penitentiary and so I was also familiar with the Warden's office and the Prison Yard where the escape took place. I work for Salford City Council as Conservation Officer maintaining the records for Protected Buildings (Listed Buildings) and Protected areas (Conservation Areas) and have a special interest in history. Thank you once again for such an interesting adventure that reminded me so much about my visit to Canada 41 years ago. Best wishes, Joe M.


September 02, 2006

Hello Peter, I would like to order a copy of your book Interred With Their Bones. We met on Aug. 12 at the Second Glance bookstore during the car show on Victoria Street. I am the granddaughter of Thomas Kilpatrick , the C.P.R. Superintendent who was with the posse who apprehended Bill Miner. It was great to meet and talk with you that day, ... . Thanks so much, Heather B.


August 29, 2006

Hi Peter I had trouble putting your book down once I started reading it. I couldn't wait to get back to it. I found it to be a superb blend of history and mystery. Congratulations !!! Harvey E


August 28, 2006

Hi Peter: Just finished reading " Interred with their bones" - congratulations on a great book. I was fortunate to have visited beautiful Kamloops and area in October 2005 and April 2006 and now again 100 years ago. Thank you so much for the signed copy and personal message. Francis & Kathleen B., Kippens, Newfoundland


August 27, 2006

Hi Peter, I just finished you book and enjoyed it very much. Thanks Dave Lands End Studios Ltd.


August 27, 2006

HI Peter, I have been enjoying your book immensely. So often when a researcher uses quotations in a book or research project he strings them together emphasizing the fact he cannot write. You can write! The details are a pleasure to read as you do it in such an easy manner. As Ever, Pat


August 27, 2006

Hi Peter: I finished this wonderful book a few days ago. WOW!!! You sure do know how to keep a persons interest from start to finish. It helped a lot to have lived in Princeton for three years, and have traveled to almost every place that is mentioned. It made reading real easy and very interesting. When we lived in Princeton, 62-65, I was a scout leader and we took the boys up to Shorty Dunn's ranch several times. Of course during that time it didn't mean too much to me. The boys being local new a lot more than I did. You sure have a way with words Peter, All the little extra expressions just lay everything out to be enjoyed to the fullest. Thank you again for the book. It will be a real addition to my library of BC history. Herb A.


August 16, 2006

Dear Peter, I wanted to pass on to you my feeling of satisfaction in the reading of your book " Interred With Their Bones".  The in-depth research along with the paraphrasing to put it all together makes it a most enjoyable read. Thank you. Bert J.


August 14, 2006

Hello Peter, I took advantage of my time off to start your book. I am enjoying it. I also decided to rent Grey Fox and found, after reading some of your book, that this is completely inaccurate! It's funny what Hollywood does to make movies work. Heather T.


August 14, 2006

Hi Peter, My name is Neil W. and I have just finished your book, which I have found fascinating. Your book is of particular interest to me, because I know pretty well all of the country you refer to, and many of the names in one way or another. I spent the years 1960 through 1980 at Douglas Lake, and before that spent time at the Guichon Ranch at Quilchena in the time of Dr Laurance Guichon and Gerard Guichon. When I first started cowboying at Douglas Lake, I worked at the Portland Ranch at Aspen Grove rounding up stock. My foreman at that time was Joe Sledge, who had jumped a square rigger (illegally) at the outbreak of WW Two in Montreal, and ended up at Douglas Lake for many years. He showed me Jack Budd's cabin at Aspen Grove, and told me about the man, his ways with horses, and his questionable dealings. He told me that when he first went to the Aspen Grove country, it was thought of as a robbers roost, and had the feel to go with it. When I first became manager at Douglas Lake I hired a retired RCMP to patrol that country, as we were still suffering above average stock losses over there. We talked about Jack Budd's friend George Edwards, and how he would go to the Sunday school picnics in Princeton, and give candy to the children. We looked at Smoky Chism's cabin as we rode by. When I was irrigating the haylands at Douglas Lake Home Ranch in 1960, I irrigated the land where Bill Miner, Shorty Dunn and Lewis Colquhoun were caught. Many names in your story have special meaning to me. I learned a lot when I was cowboying from Slim Cammpbell (Campbell Creek). I have riden into Stephens Meadows, but did not know how infamous this man was! Toddie Clemitson, Jerry Mellin, Joseph B. & Joe Greaves Jr, Susan Allison, Franci Basil, Dr. Burris, Lewis Campbell, Joe Coutlee, F. J Fulton: these are all people whose family I know! I could go on and on. A lot of the Douglas Lake story came alive for me ... I have some idea of the tremendous research job you have done. I am sorry to be finished reading (every word of) your book; it has made a lasting impression on me. Thank you for writing such a great history of this era, and making it come alive for me! Once a cowboy always a cowboy I guess. I hope our paths cross. Sincerely, Neil W.


August 06, 2006

Hi Peter, I am enjoying your book! I was wondering if it would be possible to put a present day map of the area up on your site marking in the "Miner spots?" I have a rough idea of most of the places, but I am sure others, not familiar with Kamloops and area, are lost. If you could also use the previous names of present day communities it would also help. Just a thought! Pat R


August 03, 2006

Peter: I am now reading and enjoying your book. I have ties to the McKay family of Rose Hill so am finding lots of interesting reading.. Virginia S. Toronto


August 01, 2006

Hello Peter, I have just finished reading your book and found it be extremely interesting . It was a real pleasure to read a well written and detailed account of Canadian history. Congratulations!! Also Kirsten, the website you created is awesome. Louise S.


July 30, 2006

Great book. Have tried to enter the bonus site but no luck. My father in his early teens worked for Jack Bud, but said he seldom spoke of Bill Miner CW


July 29, 2006

Dear Peter, I have just finished the book and really enjoyed it. I really liked the idea of the Afterword, where you told us what happened to the major characters. I also liked the extensive use of the old photos. The only quibble I have (and I'm not familiar with the legal requirements of footnotes) was with the many footnotes. However, I solved that by using a second bookmark and as I came to each chapter I quickly scanned down the footnotes and then ignored them when I came upon them in the chapter. I don't know if just listing a full bibliography would fulfill the legal requirements--probably not. I think you did a magnificent job. When do you think you will find the energy to tackle another one???!!!! All the best, Barb E.


July 29, 2006

Hi Peter, I ... was surprised to learn that Chilliwack played a very important roll in Bill Miner's life and times in BC. I really enjoyed the book. I must say, things haven't changed much in law enforcement over the years with respect to "Taking claim" or embellishing one's roll in an arrest etc. I can really relate to many of the incidents you so aptly describe. Hope all is well in the heat of Kamloops.. Cheers, Brian K.


July 29, 2006

Hi Peter, Your book arrived and I now have my nose in it! It is an easy read for which I thank you. A lot of historical writers just string quotations together which makes for a very difficult read and showcases the fact they cannot write! Thank you for such a splendid job! Patricia R.


July 23, 2006

Hey Peter, Enjoying your book very much. The detail you've included is amazing. Even more amazing is how well travelled some of these characters were, given the mode of transportation of the day. This is really my first foray into any kind of history in B.C. and specifically the Kamloops area. Quite enlightening. John S.


July 21, 2006

Hi Peter, Just read the Saturday, June 24, 2006, John Mackie's review of your book in the Vancouver Sun. I am also doing research for a book that takes place during that same period of time on Vancouver Island, and have come across interesting articles on Bill Miner. I noticed that you self-published which is also my intent. If you have a few minutes to spare, please Email me my name is Robert Janning. Cheers.


July 12, 2006

Hi Peter, I'm about 2/3 of the way through your book and am enjoying it hugely. Your reconstructions of the time and the events -- very masterful. It gives me such a vivid sense of that landscape too ... Anyway, thanks so much for a fascinating read. Theresa K.


July 12, 2006

Hello Peter, I am half way through the book and will finish it before the weekend, It is wonderful and should be mandatory reading in BC High Schools. Cheers, Brian Kingman


July 03, 2006

Hi Peter, I'm a slow reader, but I savoured every word of your book. Finished it, loved it, any more in the works? Did you notice that even though Bill Miner was noted for his very blue eyes that the $500 reward poster listed him as having brown eyes! Hmmm. As I said, loved the book. Am in awe of Bill Miner as a traveller (all by horseback); the area he covered astounds me. Did you by any chance trail-ride the same routes? Would love to hear you talk about your book. - Heather Murdoch


July 03, 2006

Hi Peter Just wanted to let you know that I have read the book Although I am no critic I want you to know that I think you have a very powerful story with an exceptional way of relating the facts and making the story very interesting Your understanding of the horses and riders is most interesting and having some knowledge of them (Horses) myself , your explanation is quite factual Perhaps this is because I have an interest in the area and the history of the Province --- I was born in the Royal Columbian Hospital in New Westminster,which was located above the B.C Penitentiary--- Back to your book I think in time it will become required reading for the school children to learn about the history of the Province Best Regards Ken W Miller


June 19, 2006

Hi Peter, Almost finished your book..............congratulations you did a superb job, am taking a copy to England with me on thursday for one of my brothers. Thought you may be interested in the attached correspondence in the Vancouver Sun. I won't see Saturdays copy until I return Tony (Tony Martin was the retired BC Penitentiary guard who saved all the records and glass plate negatives from the dumpster when the Pen was closing in 1980. PRG)


June 19, 2006

Hi Karen and Peter, Hope this finds you both relaxed and enjoying the 'book' interest. Anyways, after the second read of the 'book', I am very impressed with it. You have done a great job and I surely look forward to your next book, Peter. I have talked to several locals that have read the book, people are very impressed with it. It is a very easy read, most history books are more difficult to stay with for most people. Congratulations on a great job. Sandi


June 14, 2006

Hi Peter, Thank you so much for taking the time to be a part of our TV series for the Bill Miner segment. We really appreciate it. I hope you enjoyed your time with our hosts and crew. Sincerely, Jessie Kergan Kergan Big Red Barn Entertainment 6556 60th Ave Delta, BC V4K 4E2


June 11, 2006

Dear Peter and Family....the book has arrived and I have spent most of the afternoon boasting and showing it to friends....this of course comes with my I know the author so well ...Peter what can I say....It has been a long journey for you from the start to the publishing and you did it like a pro. I loved the dedication which of course is so well deserved. I am not a voracious reader but I will read it and I know Ann will as she is a voracious reader. Thank you for the wonderfull words and the signing it is more than I could ever hope for....you are the best....Thanks to Karen and Kirsten.....So my dear friend .....thank you so much.....I am still coming down from the high I got from getting the opportunity to talk to you .....best to all the family.....Love Terry


May 31, 2006

Hi Peter, WOW you did a fantastic job. Your writing is so good, you write so descriptively I could almost see what was happening. Everyone will enjoy this book!! I will be re-reading it just to be sure I did not miss anything. I really enjoyed that actual robbery at Ducks. Not the most suave robbers were they? Thank you again for all your efforts to tell the true story and at the same time you have captured a lot of history for the world to see. Poor Lewis, he really did get set up didn't he? Thanks again for sharing this book with us. Enjoy the rest of the ride, it is going to be a great time for you and Karen and Kirsten. Sandi p.s. we are getting rave reviews on the book launch.


May 30, 2006

I was lucky enough to receive an invitation to your official launch in Westwold. What a well-organized and enjoyable event. I especially enjoyed your reading - you are definitely a natural speaker and story-teller. Thank you for signing my book, I am already half way through and can't put it down! RB


May 28, 2006

Hi, Peter and Karen, As soon as I got home from school, I went over to show your book to my Dad. He is 92 now and remembers you and your wife very well. Dad is very anxious to read your book. I thnk that I will be lending him the book to read during the day when I am working, and I can read it in the evenings. I don't know if you realise it, but my wife and I live in the log house built by Robert Pratt. I have only read as far as the Mission robbery at this point, but I already see that it is a very impressive work. You are skilled in your use of words. I cannot begin to conceive of what a massive undertaking it must have been to write such an extensive history. From reading even this far into the book I already see that you very skillfully portray Bill Miner for what he was. I think that is important. I am very interested in history and try to pass it on to my students. I put together my little history of Barnhartvale when I realised that very few people living here now know the history of Barnhartvale and that the history that was known was not always very accurate. You probably know that a group of people are working to put together a book on Barnhartvale history. I have sent them all the information I have. My interest is in getting the history known. I think I will be teaching my Barnhartvale history with a little extra enthusiasm this week because of you. Gary and Lynda Kershaw


May 28, 2006

Bravo Peter! The book looks great. Love the cover and the format and the liberal use of photographs makes it so appealing! You've managed to make an historically-accurate publication that will appeal to the non-academic readers. Thanks for using a type-set that's large enough to actually read without a magnifying glass. Nicely done, and most importantly, very handsome author's photo on the book flap. ;-) Thank you for the Archives' copies. I'll be sneaking a copy home with me this weekend. Very impressive! Take care, Susan


May 17, 2006

Looking forward to the release! Saw you on the History Channel a few years ago...hope to be able to go to some of your readings. LG


May 07, 2006

Beautiful site! I read the chapter excerpt on this site - I am craving more! Am really looking forward to reading the book. -NR

 

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