Thora Kerr Illing Thora Kerr Illing is a former journalist and librarian. She immigrated to Canada as a young woman and fell in love with the space, the fjords, and the forests of the west. Now retired, she lives in Sidney, BC, and loves travel, books, nature and animals.


Gold Rush Queen is short, lively, and highly readable. The author offers good insight into the life and work of a fascinating working class, single, Irish immigrant woman who chose a life of adventure and business under harsh and unusual conditions.

CBC Books

At a time when well-bred women wore tight corsets and entertained each other at tea, Nellie Cashman (1845-1925) was trekking for hundreds of miles through blizzard conditions to deliver food and supplies to trapped miners in northern B.C.

Great Historicals

The novel is authentic, well-written, and accurately researched, with real secondary characters, and political experiences of the time. I continued reading it with interest to the very end because Adele was such an intriguing heroine.

Times Colonist

Victoria can claim Nellie Cashman as one of its own, and this biography will make her accomplishments known to a wider range of readers. Her life is one we should celebrate. Gold Rush Queen helps to make that possible.


Times Colonist: Victoria can claim Nellie Cashman, a great pioneer

Nellie Cashman was a century ahead of her time, a woman determined to make a success of herself in business, and without a man by her side.She was str

  Read More

BC BOOKLOOK: Cassiar’s grubstake angel

Gold Rush Queen recalls a beautiful, Irish-born entrepreneur, philanthropist and champion dog musher who is buried in Victoria’s Ross Bay C

  Read More

Gold Rush Queen. The Extraordinary Life of Nellie Cashman

To say that Nellie Cashman led an extraordinary life is putt

  Read More