Capturing the French River
Images Along One of Canada's Most Famous Waterways, 1910-1927
by Wayne Kelly
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Capturing the French River introduces a rare collection of exceptional photographs taken along the river between 1910 and 1927 by Doctors J. Ernest Rushbrook and Frank Sherman, whose lifelong friendship was based in part around their mutual love of photography, of nature, of the Canadian wilderness and of the canoe. The collection was a serendipitous discovery by author Wayne Kelly, who immediately recognized the uniqueness of these incredible images. The two Rushbrook sisters, Ida and Bertha, also photographers, play a significant role in this book on the amazing, historically significant French River and the once-thriving original village of French River, which ceased to exist circa 1924. The sisters are remembered as well for their fearless running of whitewater rapids and remote camping adventures, often including Bertha’s son, Max, who was still a babe in arms.
The author’s historical research on this area and the era has led to an informative text that will delight history buffs and also serve as the ideal companion for those interested canoeists and travellers venturing into French River country. Present-day photographers will also be intrigued by the many images selected from a collection of 634 photographs. Capturing the French River is destined to become a Canadian treasure in print.
- Dundurn, May 2007
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