Visible Bones: Journeys Across Time in the Columbia River Country

by Jack Nisbet

Paperback, 2007

Call number

NWC 979.7 NIS



Sasquatch Books (2007), 256 pages


"How can you know a place? Historian and naturalist Jack Nisbet-author of Sources of the River- Tracking David Thompson Across Western North America-looks to the relics of a region to connect the present moment to the distant past. In the vast Western territory defined by the Columbia River, Nisbet tracks the stories and meaning of relics such as a trilobite fossil that points to a tropical prehistoric ecology; the nearly extinct California condor, once the largest thing in the skies, described with amazement by Meriwether Lewis; the indelible stain of the smallpox pandemic that overcame the native peoples of the West; a rare and socially potent strain of indigenous wild tobacco that reveals the presence of vestigial Indian practices; and the remains of one Jaco Finlay, a mixed-blood trapper and scout who seems to have been everywhere in the region two hundred years ago. All of these relics are the visible bones that show how past is present in the Columbia River Country. Together the stories these bones tell lays out a wholly original, hybrid history that connects nature with human endeavor, geography with the passage of time-all contribut… (more)


Washington State Book Award (Winner — 2004)




1570615241 / 9781570615245

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