In Fall 2016 TouchWood Editions in Victoria will publish my new book, titled Gold Rush Queen: the Extraordinary Life of Nellie Cashman.
This is the inspirational biography of an Irish-American woman prospector and miner, an early pioneer in the Klondike and Alaska gold rushes, and a tireless fundraiser for hospital, church and Irish causes. Nellie was ahead of her time in her independence and her ability to make her mark in a man’s world. From some mining ventures she made money, and at other times she didn’t, but she was permanently optimistic and when poor she fell back on running boardinghouses and restaurants to fund her next adventure.
“Nellie went about doing good,” were the words of a man who knew her. But she is one of those near-saints who remain attractive because she was feisty and rough-edged and she had a sense of humour.
If for nothing else, Nellie would be remembered for her heroic winter rescue of dozens of miners trapped in British Columbia behind the Cassiar mountains and suffering from scurvy. She had a long association with Victoria and in 1925 was buried in Ross Bay Cemetery