Tales from Hidden Basin
by Dick Hammond
"Written with uncommon power and vitality, these tales transcend their homestead and logging camp settings in much the same way as do Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn their Mississippi environs" -Vancouver Sun
Book DescriptionA sea serpent silently appears on a sunny spring day; a shrieking "devil thing" wreaks havoc in a logging camp cookhouse; a wandering blind priest travels miles by boat, accompanied only by a young mute companion with an unearthly talent for throwing stones. These are the stories of a lost civilization. Its ruins peek out from alder thickets around ruined homesteads, or wash up as beached wreckage on the shores of deserted inlets.
Not too many years ago, almost every nook and cranny along the BC coast was dotted with cabins, market gardens, rough-hewn floats and handloggers booms. Settlers came from all over the bright lights of Vancouver. They eked out bare livelihoods by farming, fishing and logging, and at rare get-togethers, visiting via woodland trail or clinker-built row boat, they told each other stories about this rugged and beautiful place. Stories of marauding cougars, enormous fish and mysterious winds that could reach down from the sky to rip a mighty fir to shreds.
Author Dick Hammond draws extensively on the stories of his father Hal, who grew up on the shores of Nelson Island's Hidden Basin. He writes of an intriguing community peopled with renegade bandits, master craftsmen, handloggers, Natives, farmers and crooked land agents' But these are also stories about a family hidden away in the wilderness, survival and the relationship between father and son. Tales from Hidden Basin is rich in west coast lore and resonates with the ring of truth and the power of myth.