Galena Bay Odyssey wins BC Historical Federation’s Community History Award 2024

Ellen Schwartz has received a 2024 Historical Writing Award, presented by the British Columbia Historical Federation, for her memoir, Galena Bay Odyssey: Reflections from a Hippie Homesteader

On Saturday, May 4, 2024, the recipients were announced and acknowledged at the BC Historical Federation’s annual conference and awards dinner, held this year in Chilliwack. Galena Bay Odyssey: Reflections from a Hippie Homesteader by Ellen Schwartz was awarded the Community History Award.

Galena Bay Odyssey traces Ellen’s journey from a born-and-raised urbanite who was terrified of the woods to a self-determined logger, cabin-builder, gardener, chicken farmer, apiarist, and woodstove cook living on a communal farm in the Kootenays. Throughout the memoir, Ellen reflects on what her homesteader experience taught her about living more fully, honestly, and ecologically.

The annual Historical Writing Competition presented by the BC Historical Federation recognizes the authors whose books have made the most significant contributions to the historical literature of British Columbia. The Community History Award is presented to a book that provides sought-after historical information about a specific community or locality within British Columbia. This award recognizes the importance of preserving local histories, as well as broader provincial histories. The award recipients are announced annually at the BCHF conference. A three-member panel of judges chose the recipients from 25 books submitted for the competition, published in 2023. For more information about the awards, visit