John A.  “Snowshoe”  Thompson
  • ISBN No. 978-1-941052-10-5 | $$24.95
  • 304 Pages Pages | Trade Paper

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John A. “Snowshoe” Thompson

Pioneer Mail Carrier of the Sierra

by Frank Tortorich

John A. Thompson was born in Norway in 1827. His family emigrated to the U.S. just ten years later and by 1851 John was a young man, ready to try his luck in the gold fields of California. While he undoubtedly brought enthusiasm and determination with him to his new home, he also brought with him something the people of that region had never seen before: skis! Unfamiliar with the long thin strips of wood he strapped to his feet, people called them “snow-shoes” and Thompson acquired a nickname. Of the many interests he pursued in the years that followed—as a farmer, rancher, guide trader, Indian agent and politician—the thing Thompson is remembered most for was his service as a dependable mail carrier, who made record time traversing the Sierra Nevada on those “snow-shoes,” carrying the winter mail and keeping the lines of communication open for those who lived in the region. This is his story. Frank Tortorich captures the fortitude and stamina of this legendary Norwegian American whose strength and perseverance serve as a role model for today’s youth.“Snowshoe” and the historic  town of Genoa are grateful! —Sue Knight, Friends of Snowshoe Thompson