RMS Segwun: Queen of Muskoka
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Reluctant Pioneer

by Thomas Osborne

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Reluctant Pioneer
How I Survived Five Years in the Canadian Bush

The view 16-year-old Thomas Osborne first had of Muskoka was at night, trudging alone with his even younger brother along unmarked primitive roads to find their luckless father who, in 1875, had decided to make a new start for his beleaguered family on some "free land" in the bush east of the pioneer village of Huntsville, Ontario. The miracle is that Thomas lived to tell the tale.

For the next five years Thomas endured starvation, falling through the ice and freezing, accidents with axes and boats, and narrow escapes from wolves and bears. Many years later, after returning to the United States, Osborne wrote down all his adventures in a graphic memoir that has become, in the words of author and journalist Roy MacGregor, "an undiscovered Canadian classic."

Reluctant Pioneer provides a brooding sense of adventure and unsentimental realism to deliver a powerful account of pioneer life where tragedies arrive as naturally as rain and where humour resides in irony.

AUTHOR

Thomas Osborne came as a teen in the 1870s from the United States to homestead with his father in Ontario's Muskoka. After five dramatic years he returned to the United States to live and work in Pennsylvania and New York. In 1938 he was killed by an automobile in San Diego, California.

DETAILS

Publisher: Dundurn, 2013
Category: Biography & Memoir / History
ISBN: 978-1-926577-16-6 9781926577166
Price: $24.99 CDN/USA paperback
Format: 264 pages, 6 x 9 in
Features: 37 sketches