Born in Norway on September 26, 1860, Johnson was christened Carl Johan Johnsen. He sailed into Burrard Inlet from China, towed by the Beaver, in 1880. His parents joined him in 1889. He was inspired to write his memoirs following the the death of his mother in 1906. He self-published Childhood, Travel and British Columbia in 1907.

[BCBW 2004] "1900-1950" "Biography"