Sea Winter Salmon – Chronicles of the St. John River

by Mari Hill Harpur with Eileen Regan McCormack

Author and photographer Mari Hill Harpur, great-granddaughter of James J. Hill, grew up in an agricultural culture in the American Midwest, driving a tractor before she drove a car. She studied at Bishop’s University in Lennoxville, Quebec, graduating with a BA in 1971. Her professional life has been divided between business and photography with a special interest in land management and iconic landscapes. She has had over thirty photographic exhibits internationally, and her recent work portrays large landscapes and deer in their habitats in Minnesota, Canada, and New Zealand. She is a Director of the World Forestry Center since 1997, serving as Chair 2003-2006. She and her husband have managed the family fishing camp on the St. John River in the Gulf of the St. Lawrence for the past twenty-five years.

You can see her photographic work at

Some of her more recent projects can be viewed in the linkes PDF document by clicking HERE.

Her path has taken her through boardrooms to store rooms of the various enterprises that she and her husband, Doug, have managed jointly over forty years. For over twenty-five of those years, the Harpurs have also managed the family's fishing camp. They have led their river’s transition from recreation to effective resource management. It is not surprising that Mari has turned her skills to telling the story of this river and how its inhabitants, the Atlantic salmon (Salmon salar) have survived the pressures of modernity. She has relied on her background as a photographer to display many family photographs which support the historical documentation of co-author Eileen McCormack. As a result, we have a scrapbook of penetrating insight. If fish could speak, take photographs, sing songs, and write stories; this book would be their retrospective. Like a salmon returning to its birth place after three sea winters, a river’s story has that sense of place that holds the heart to task.

Salmon fishing on the Lower St. Lawrence. James J. Hill fishing Camp. Sea Winter Salmon

Sea Winter Salmon is published by Linda Leith Publishing.

© 2014 – Mari Hill Harpur

Design: Studio Lézard