The Golden Spruce: A True Story of Myth, Madness and Greed
John Vaillant

Winner of the Governor General’s literary award and a National Best Seller;
it’s a true story about Canada’s west coast logging history.
It’s a well-rounded true story mixing: historical fact, logging camps, and
old black and white photographs; with coastal to inland native tribes and
their first encounters with foreign explorers and their trade agreements –
and disagreements!  It’s a read full of passion and mystery, and takes place
in a magical land.

“It seemed to pause in the air for a moment like an eagle in slow motion
before starting down the mountainside, cart-wheeling, end over end and
disappearing into the water at a 45-degree angle.  After what seemed to be a
five-minute lapse, it suddenly emerged on the surface like a giant whale
breaching from the depths.  It was completely devoid of branches and most of
its bark had been stripped away by the 1000-foot passage over rocks and
windfall .”  ~ Gordon Gibson a legendary old time west-coast logger in the

Grant Hadwin was a third generation logger.  His grandfather moved the
family to the west coast in the late 1800’s to pursue his dream. Raised a
family and made an honest hard living.  During the 1960’s he dropped out of
high school to work for his uncle at the camp.  He was a timber scout and
layout engineer.  Decided where the roads would be built to access the wood.
Vast clear-cut slopes and valleys brought a realization to Hadwin.  The
industry would soon be forced to make critical decisions, so in
environmental protest he took matters into his own hands.

The Golden Spruce – regarded by the Haida people as a Goddess, biologists
and botanists a genetic mystery, and everyone else a wonder to be seen!  The
300 year old sitka spruce shook the ground when it fell in 1997.
The author’s descriptive writing style makes you feel as if you are right
there deep in the forest of the Queen Charlotte Islands.  A must-read for
anyone who cherishes the trees we breath and some good old Canadian history.

Vaillant, John.  The Golden Spruce:A True Story of Myth, Madness and Greed.   Toronto, Vintage Canada, 2005.