"...this big Ol' Cariboo acts like a powerful magnet ever drawing the heart, mind and memories of those who have had the experience of living in these big wide open spaces."
These are the words Harry Mariott, founder of Big Bar Ranch, chose to describe his first encounter in 1912 with the land that would become his lifelong passion. Sipping water from the Fraser River as he made his way along the canyons through forests of pine to his first job as a ranch hand, the young English immigrant surveyed the landscape and instantly knew he had found his spiritual home.
Cariboo Cowboy (Marriott, 1994) is a vivid autobiography, written in a sprightly frontier vernacular prose, that follows the personal journey of Harry Mariott from the pre world war 1 years to the 1950s as he struggled to make a living in the wilderness and cattle country of the Southern Cariboo of British Columbia. Droughts, freezing winters and the variable rise and fall of cattle prices were some of the challenges he faced--all with a steadfast pioneer perseverance. Through his stories of lively barn dances, boot legging, gold prospecting, cattle driving and encounters with an assortment of diverse characters he evokes the spirit and texture of the last western frontier. This is the story not only of Marriott's personal journey, but of a fleeting way of life that adapted to the relentless influx of modernity and industrialization.
Read Cariboo Cowboy to gain an appreciation of the hidden meaning behind the land--the historical context of Big Bar Guest Ranch--and a unique part of Canada's heritage.
"Our country is changing in many different ways, but the spirit of our old pioneers and their children remains unaltered, and the wide ranges will be ever changeless."