Known as the “chronicler of the Kootenays,” Elsie Turnbull was born in St. Mary’s, a town in southwestern Ontario. She graduated from University of Toronto with a B.A. in English and history. She moved to BC upon her marriage to Douglas Turnbull, a metallurgical engineer working for Cominco at Trail, where she lived for four decades. She wrote for her local newspaper and for such magazines as B.C. Outdoors, Western Living, Canada West, Pacific Northwesterner, Westworld and The Beaver. After organizing the West Kootenay Historical Society (later the Trail Historical Society) in 1952, she served on the Council of the BC Historical Association, becoming its president in 1955. She retired in 1966 and spent several years on the executive of the Victoria branch of the BCHA. In 1983 she received a Regional Certificate of Merit from the Canadian Historical Association.