Karl Tuira originally wrote a book on his idyllic childhood in Sylvan Valley for the benefit of his children and grandchildren - but now, he hopes to share those stories with a broader audience.
The author recently published his third book, How Beautiful Was My Valley: My Magnificent North in which Tuira gives readers a glimpse into what life was like growing up alongside his brother, George, in Sylvan Valley and Wabos during the 50s and 60s.
The book also includes family photos from that time period, in addition to 27 images of paintings by the late Robert-Ralph Carmichael, designer of the loonie and former resident of Sylvan Valley.
“It has all sorts of stories about myself and my brother growing up - hunting and fishing and fighting with each other, and all the rest of that good stuff,” Tuira said, speaking to SooToday Sunday from his home in Oakville, Ont. “I talk about nature in the valley, and I talk about the wildlife. And I even have a fair number of pages just on the tomfoolery escapades of myself and my brother.”
Tuira originally wrote How Beautiful My Valley for family members back in 2009, but didn’t end up publishing it.
“Then I was talking to some of my public school friends in Echo Bay and Sylvan Valley, and I decided that I would publish it,” he said.
The book is augmented with a section on the early pioneering history of Sylvan Valley. It draws from a number of sources, including the Sylvan Valley centennial book For Old Times Sake, census records, to memories of early settlers in the area. There’s also a map of the locations and names of the original settlers contained in the author’s latest work.
“The real reason for it? I just wanted to share a happy boyhood and history of Sylvan Valley, rather than just keeping it for the family,” Tuira said.
Tuira says he usually visits Sylvan Valley and the Sault Ste. Marie area once or twice each year, but hasn’t been around for the past couple years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“My nephew still has a home there and a farm in the valley, and I stay with him,” he said.
Tuira hopes that his latest book leaves readers with a “good feeling of a wonderful area.”
“It was a great life and I remember it fondly - very fondly still,” he said.