Abe Bourdon’s books at display at the Nuthatch in 100 Mile House. Brendan Kyle Jure photo.

Writer of 15 books about the history of B.C. prospecting coming to 100 Mile House for book signing

Five of his books are about the Cariboo

People who always dreamt of laying a land claim in hopes of digging up some gold will be able to get some tips from Abe Bourdon when he comes into town on April 14.

“When I was young, the oldtimers who did all this stuff were still alive. Now, most of them are dead. The history they had wasn’t written down, it was vocal. So you talk to the oldtimers, you listen to them, you take notes because the experience is worth money,” said Bourdon, who has written 15 books on prospecting and rock hounding (the amateur collection of rocks and minerals) including five in the Cariboo.

Bourdon got his start in the mining and prospecting world in 1964, when a father’s friend was granted a Keene Engineering, Inc. franchise in Red Rock, a small community 40 kilometres south of Prince George. Bourdon worked the dredges before moving to a mine in Coquihalla a year later.

At the time, the Fraser River still had a lot of prospecting opportunities and Bourdon eventually became a staking agent, helping people claim a certain area if they couldn’t be there themselves in a time when a prospector had to actually physically be there to stake a claim and put up the post and lay out the lines.

“I kept running into people that didn’t know where to go or what to do,” said the author on why he decided to write the books.

The first one is focused on Clinton, where he now lives.

Bourdon got the idea when he stopped for a cup of coffee on his way south at his sister’s, who drew up plans for homes. She was with a client and the client wondered what he could do to keep tourists in Clinton longer.

So the former stake agent piped up and mentioned the various types of rocks ranging from granite to opal in Clinton could draw in rock hounders and prospectors.

It gave Bourdon the idea to start writing books on the subject, detailing locations and the history of the activities in the area and some how-to tips. The books were printed by his father-in-law who suggested the budding author look into doing a book on the Northwest Coast. Then someone asked about Prince George and people kept on asking about other locations.

“I got talking with different tourism stops and they were saying ‘we get people asking where we can go pan that’s open,’ so I did some research and found a whole number of areas set aside by councils or our provincial government that you couldn’t stake a claim on but they were in gold producing areas,” said Bourdon about why he decided to do the books on the Cariboo series. “I think they’re a good deal for the B.C. tourism industry and it’s good exercise.”

Panning Along the Cariboo Trail is the first book in the series and has locations from Lillooet to McLeod Lake where readers can pan without interfering with someone else’s claim to avoid any hard feelings.

Bourdon says people can get a little territorial over their claim and can try to keep people off their claim if they catch them, however, they don’t actually have the right to do that. Bourdon advised avoiding causing any trouble though.

Two more books are in the works but will not be about rock hounding and prospecting, instead, they will focus on provincial politics. Bourdon, now in his 70s, said it is unlikely he’ll write more books afterwards.

“These things are operated as they go because I print them myself and I put them together and I bind them,” he said. In total, he has bound and sold over 5,000 copies of his books.

The signing at Nuthatch Books is on April 14 between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Hwy 24 closed west of Bridge lake due to motor vehicle incident

No further information is available at this time.

F350 stolen and smashed into 108 Mile Esso

The weekly police report for the South Cariboo area

What are you hoping for in the upcoming municipal election?

The weekly web poll for the 100 Mile Free Press

Paranormal conference coming to 100 Mile House

Paracon will be a celebration of everything weird and strange

100 Mile House preparing for another Orange Shirt Day

People of non-First Nations ancestry should listen to the stories of First Nations people for reconciliation

VIDEO: Rare close encounter with whale pod spotted off B.C. waters

Pod of southern resident orca whales breach within arms length of whale watchers

Veterans Affairs ordered to take second look before supporting vets’ relatives

Liberal government ordered officials to adopt a more critical eye

Dead B.C. motorcyclist was member of group that raced down mountain road

Some group members record their rides on Strathcona Parkway and post times to page

Indigenous athletes in spotlight at BC Sports Hall of Fame

New gallery to feature Carey Price, Kaila Mussel and Richard Peter

B.C. couple who went missing on flight from Edmonton named by family

Family released a statement Wednesday saying they’re still intent on finding the two-seater plane

VIDEO: A close look at what you were breathing during the B.C. wildfire season

Electron microscope images show soot and tar particles generated by worst B.C. fire season

B.C. woman donates $250,000 to ovarian cancer research for friends

Two of Patty Pitts’s friends passed away from the disease within a year

B.C. could provide clues as to how New Brunswick electoral results shake out

Premier Christy Clark faced a strikingly similar scenario following the province’s 2017 election

Ottawa working to iron out kinks in public alert system

The alerts are being credit with saving lives during last week’s tornadoes

Most Read