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B.C. Author brings Canadian Rockies gold rush to life

Living in the Shadow of Fisher Peak is now being promoted in Chapters stores throughout Calgary, Alberta

Gold rushes have played an important role in the development of the Canadian Rockies. Much is known about the Yukon and Cariboo gold rushes, but the Wild Horse Creek gold rush in the Canadian Rockies is in many ways one of the forgotten gold rushes of the west.

Buried in the Conrad Memorial Cemetery in Kalispell, Montana, pioneer and prospector Jack Fisher has long been forgotten too. That is until now—because a new historical novel, Living in the Shadow of Fisher Peak by Keith G. Powell, explores the Kootenay gold rush of 1864. This event spurred the extension of the Dewdney Trail beyond Hope through the West Kootenay to the banks of Wild Horse Creek near Fort Steele, B.C. Fisher Peak, one of the tallest peaks in the lower half of the Canadian Rockies—standing at 9,336 feet—was named after Jack Fisher.

Living in the Shadow of Fisher Peak, which has proven to be a Kootenay bestseller, tells the true-to-life story of Jack Fisher who was one of the west’s most colourful (and long forgotten) characters. The story of his adventurous life is captured vividly in this historical novel. The book is 176 pages and contains more than twenty historical photos.

One reviewer writes about Living in the Shadow of Fisher Peak:

“This engaging historical novel was written by local publisher and author Keith Powell. It tells a story of the riveting adventures had by Jack Fisher, the prospector for whom Fisher Peak was named. In his quest for gold, 16-year-old Fisher (originally from Philadelphia) set off across the Midwest to improve his quality of life and find wealth in California. His tireless drive to emerge from a life of poverty led him eventually to Wild Horse Creek in Kootenay country, attesting to the motivation and courage of this young man. Readers will empathize with the ups and downs endured throughout Fisher’s extensive trek, where his triumphant success later took a tragic turn for the worse. In reading a novel such as this, one gets a sense of the hardships endured in the 1800s by those who were struck with “gold fever,” and refused to give up on their dreams. It is a truly inspiring read, and it's clear that there was significant historical research put into its creation. The tale is woven in an entertaining manner, one which any reader can relate to and enjoy.”

Through his own publishing company, Wild Horse Creek Press, author Keith G. Powell’s new historical novel is now available at Chapters in Calgary. The author will be doing a book signing on Friday, August 13, from 1 to 4 p.m. at Chapters in Crowfoot Shopping Centre, 6 to 9 p.m. at Chapters in Chinook Centre, and Saturday, August 14, from 1 to 4 p.m. at Chapters in Shawnessy.

A sample of the book is available for review. The author is also available for questions or an interview. For more information, call 250-417-4711.

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