Jasper: a New History

Posted by Daniel on May 19, 2009

Baby boomers like myself may remember Jasper the Bear from the old Maclean's Magazine. Jasper, who was a cartoon character, the creation of James Simpkins, first appeared in the pages of Maclean's in 1948 where he was a fixture for the next twenty-four years. Jasper came to symbolize Jasper National Park, where a statue of him stood for many years, and was a Canadian cartoon counterpart to Yogi Bear.

I learn this, and much more, from a new book, Jasper: A History of the Place and Its People (Fifth House), by former Parks Canada historian C. James Taylor. Full disclosure: Jim is a pal of mine, which shouldn't mean I can't admire his book which is a full history of Jasper National Park from prehistory to modern times.

I know, I know, Jasper is not in British Columbia. But it is just across the border and many British Columbians holiday there. For those who do, Jasper: A History of the Place and Its People is an invaluable guide.