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About the Author: James Oliver Curwood

Born in Owosso, Michigan he left high school without graduating but was able to pass the entrance exams to the University of Michigan where he studied journalism. In 1900, Curwood sold his first story while working for the Detroit News-Tribune. By 1909 he had saved enough money to travel to the Canadian northwest, a trip that provided the inspiration for his wilderness adventure stories. The success of his novels afforded him the opportunity to return to the Yukon and Alaska for several months each year that allowed him to write more than thirty such books.

By 1922, Curwood's writings had made him a very wealthy man and he fulfilled a childhood fantasy by building Curwood Castle in Owosso. Constructed in the style of an 18th century French chateau, the estate overlooked the Shiawassee River. In one of the home's two large turrets, Curwood set up his writing studio. Curwood also owned a camp in a remote area in Baraga County, Michigan, near the Huron Mountains.

An advocate of environmentalism, Curwood was appointed to the Michigan Conservation Commission in 1926. The following year, while on a Florida fishing trip, Curwood was bitten on the thigh by what was believed to have been a spider and had an immediate allergic reaction. Health problems related to the bite escalated over the next few months and infection set in that led to his death from blood poisoning.

Interred in the Oak Hill Cemetery in Owosso, his Curwood Castle is now a museum. During the first full weekend in June of each year, the city of Owosso holds the Curwood Festival to celebrate the city's heritage . Also in his honor, a mountain in L'Anse Township, Michigan was given the name Mount Curwood, and the L'Anse Township Park was renamed Curwood Park.


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ISBN10: 1445559579 | ISBN13: 9781445559575

Before the railroad's thin lines of steel bit their way up through the wilderness, Athabasca Landing was the picturesque threshold over which one must step who would enter into the mystery and adventure of the great white North. It is still Iskwatam - the "door" which opens to the lower reaches of the Athabasca, the Slave, and the Mackenzie. It is somewhat difficult to find on the map, yet it is there, because its history is written in more than a hundred and forty years of romance and tragedy and adventure in the lives of men, and is not easily forgotten. Over the old trail it was about a hundred and fifty miles north of Edmonton. The railroad has brought it nearer to that base of civilization, but beyond it the wilderness still howls as it has howled for a thousand years, and the waters of a continent flow north and into the Arctic Ocean. It is possible that the beautiful dream of the real-estate dealers may come true, for the most avid of all the sportsmen of the earth, the money-hunters, have come up on the bumpy railroad that sometimes lights its sleeping cars with lanterns, and with them have come typewriters, and stenographers, and the art of printing advertisements, and the Golden Rule of those who sell handfuls of earth to hopeful purchasers thousands of miles away - "Do others as they would do you." And with it, too, has come the legitimate business of barter and trade, with eyes on all that treasure of the North which lies between the Grand Rapids of the Athabasca and the edge of the polar sea.

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