HELM, Charles

Author Tags: Local History, Outdoors

Charles Helm is a medical doctor originally from South Africa. He is the author of four books on the Tumbler Ridge area including Beyond Rock and Coal: The History of the Tumbler Ridge Area (Tumbler Ridge: MCA Publishing, 2000).

With Mike Murtha, a planner for Banff National Park, he edited The Forgotten Explorer: Samuel Prescott Fay's 1914 Expedition to the Northern Rockies (Rocky Mountain Books, 2009). Samuel Prescott Fay was born in Boston on May 27, 1884. Fay was an early member of the American Alpine Club and visited the Rockies to climb in the Lake Louise and Lake O’Hara areas starting in 1906, making numerous trips with outfitter Fred Brewster. With journal and camera, Samuel Prescott Fay and his party set out from Jasper, Alberta on June 26, 1914. With five saddle horses and 16 pack horses, after a treacherous, slogging journey of 1,200 kilometres through wild, uncharted country, the group reached their destination on October 15, 1914, with the outfit completely intact. The Forgotten Explorer: Samuel Prescott Fay's 1914 Expedition to the Northern Rockies is based on Fay's detailed journal that is held at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC. Fay provided information he gathered to the US Biological Survey (now known as the US Fish & Wildlife Service) and to various Canadian government authorities. Fay's was first expedition to travel through this wilderness area in one continuous trip. While Fay managed to publish several magazine articles about his discoveries, his maps, photographs and wildlife records have been preserved in various Canadian and US archives but never exhibited to a wider audience.

Review of the author's work by BC Studies:
The Forgotten Explorer: Samuel Prescott Fay's 1914 Expedition to the Northern Rockies

[BCBW 2009] "Local History" "Mining"

Daniel’s Dinosaurs (Maple Tree Press $9.95)

Imagine being eight years old and discovering six dinosaur footprints that lead to even more startling finds, opening an entire new geographic area for dinosaur research. Daniel’s Dinosaurs (Maple Tree Press $9.95) is the true story of how Daniel Helm and his friend Mark went tubing one summer’s day in 2000 and chanced upon—and recognized—six shallow hand-span-sized indents in a large flat rock along a Tumbler Ridge creek bed. In his first book for children, Charles Helm, a medical doctor, outdoorsman and Daniel’s father, tells the story of how the boys’ discovery brought not only Rich McCrea, one of North America’s top dinosaur footprint experts, to the remote and wildly beautiful northeastern British Columbia community, but also Philip Currie, the Royal Tyrrell Museum’s Curator of Dinosaurs. Many more footprints were discovered, including one with a broken toe, as well as BC’s first ever dinosaur skeleton which, at 93 million years old, is the oldest dinosaur ever found in Western Canada. The author’s proceeds from book sales support paleontological projects of the Tumbler Ridge Museum Foundation.1-897066-07-4
--by Louise Donnelly

[BCBW 2004] "Kidlit"