All posts by Mary Casanova

Larger than life historical characters

As Sadie Rose’s story began to take shape on Rainy Lake, I found her life set against the backdrop of the wealthy industrialist and timber baron, E.W. Backus and the penniless and emerging environmentalist, Ernest Oberholtzer. (For most of the past 15 years I’ve spent a week every summer on “Ober’s” island with other writers, soaking in its preserved history.) These larger than life “David and Goliath” historical characters, with their conflict over developing and preserving wilderness, threatened at times to overtake my main character’s story, which is in part why I fictionalized their names. They would have to take a back seat; this was Sadie Rose’s story.

Curious about Oberholtzer and Backus? This site gives lots of background information that I drew on for my story. You might also enjoy the website for a Boundary Waters Chronology by Stephen Wilbers. This chronology runs from prehistoric times to the present.