O'CALLAGHAN, Shelley




Author Tags: Local History

Shelley O'Callaghan's How Deep is the Lake: A Century at Chilliwack Lake (Caitlin 2017) is a history of her family’s nearly one hundred years of summers at Chilliwack Lake at a summer retreat. Largely a memoir, it takes the reader through a summer at the lake, from the opening of the cabin in the spring to its close-up at Thanksgiving, with reflections on idigenous settlements. Similar to the structure of The Curve of Time, in which M. Wylie Blanchet telescopes her family's coastal cruising adventures into one summer, How Deep is the Lake features expeditions taken by O’Callaghan and six grandchildren as they investigate the headstone of an American scout with the 1858 International Boundary Commission Survey, a 1916 silver mine set up by Chief Sepass, and remnants of an indigenous trail. An important historical character is trapper and prospector Charlie Lindeman who introduced O'Callaghan's grandfather to the lake in the early 1920s, and rescued her mother and grandmother from a fire that engulfed the lake in the 1930s. Featured on the cover in a b&w photo of a little girl holding a fish, O'Callaghan practiced environmental law for twenty-five years.

[BCBW 2017]