This fascinating book is based around the 1886 diary of Scots immigrant Alexander Herkes Telfer who joined a crew led by Surveyor Alexander Niven to survey several new townships at the head of Lake Temiskaming. The diary starts at Telfer’s home in York Mills (Toronto). He travelled by rail to Mattawa to meet the rest of the crew, then by steamer and portage up the Ottawa River to Lake Temiskaming. An adventure, but tough work. Telfer writes of the work, the geography, the crew and the people they meet. But the real treasure in this book is the additional material added by his great granddaughter Lorene DiCorpo. This includes extensive sections on surveying, biographies of the survey crew, history of the Temiskaming area and biographies of the early settlers, and Telfer’s family history in Scotland and Scarborough, Ontario.