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REPORTING · 31st May 2012
Walter McFarlane
For those of us who can not get enough of Kitimat History, Local residents Walter Thorn and Dirk Mendel have published a historical book on Kitimat, Kitimat Chronicles.

“I started off with the Museum Board and then I went on to the heritage board. I was chairman of the Museum Board at one point. I’m very interested in history,” said Thorn. “Somebody said: ‘you know, it’s time that we have some sort of historical features in the media.’”

Thorn started researching them for the newspaper. With the help of Mendel, the stories were reconfigured and Medal laid out the stories.

Volume One contains 20 stories including stories about Minette Bay, Reverend Raley and his artefacts, Sir James Douglas, a shipwreck at Calamity Bay and the true Mount Elizabeth story.

“It really goes down the channel,” said Thorn. “There is a fair bit down the Channel.

A book launch was done during March which was well attended. 50 books, the first printing went the night of the launch. They published another 50 books and then 100 books. They are now on the 4th printing of the book. This printing will have an ISBN number.

“Since then, we’ve done better then we thought,” said Thorn. They published the book as a service. “We have stories to tell and you go ahead and tell them.”

While supplies last, they can be found at the Kitimat Museum and Archives, Misty River Books and the art Gallery in Terrace and he hopes to get them to the Museum of Northern BC in Prince Rupert. They are also available in Smithers.

“It seems to be going better then we thought it would but we didn’t know what to expect really. A little project, we’ll put it together but people seem to like it more then we thought they would have,” said Thorn.

At the moment, the two of them have enough stories for volume 2 which they are re-working and Mendel has a good part of the lay out ready. Thorn hopes to have them out by next Spring.