Loggers of the BC Coast
by Hans Knapp
A fascinating first-hand account of living and working at logging camps after the Second World War.
Hans Knapp moved from Austria in 1951 and began work as a logger at the North end of Vancouver Island. The glossary of logging terms at the back of the book is a required reference for some of the more dense sections covering the older logging roles and terms.
Working in extreme weather conditions and faced with the drudgery of working long days in the wilderness, quirky personalities clash and tensions fray. Much of the book describes a range of characters with memorable names such as “Slippery”, “Jolly Good”, “Terrible Ted” and “The Garlic Twins.”
There are countless depictions of various accidents that befall the loggers. These include freak events, near misses and depressing fatalities.
In one tonal shift, Knapp recounts stumbling upon an old abandoned prospector’s cabin on a Sunday afternoon hike. The eerily preserved home sits hidden amongst a lush wilderness tamed by the long-absent owners. The gold rush has been and gone but Knapp belongs to a new breed of opportunists extracting from the land.