Sea Winter Salmon – Chronicles of the St. John River

by Mari Hill Harpur with Eileen Regan McCormack

Eileen Regan McCormack

"In order to provide an adequate retrospective, I turned to the only person who could guarantee the manuscript would be a proper historical account, Eileen Regan McCormack. Eileen has always lived in Minnesota where she has spent 15 years working in the archives of the James J. Hill Reference Library in St. Paul. This is where the Hill Family Papers were housed until 2007. Because of this background, she was well positioned to provide the primary research we needed to embellish our narrative. She expertly shuffled through an enormous amount of historical data, much of which had been cloistered for several generations and bringing it to light, once again.”

– Mari Hill Harpur

Eileen has been a tireless promoter of historic preservation and the presentation of true and unaltered data. She submitted her first proposal for this book on July 1, 2010.  “History is what has been left behind and has survived” she affirms. Since then, the joint manuscript has evolved into a stunning documentary of the many aspects that comprise a fishing camp located in a pristine and remote environment. Eileen’s first visit to Hill Camp was in 2012 and she felt eerily as if she had been there before. She recognized all its features, from the lodge with its porches, the formal dining room, the huge stone fireplace and so many other aspects which seemed oddly familiar. She felt history come alive as she approached the camp in the same type of canoes that Hill had used during his visits. The subjects of all those archives and images she had studied were still to be seen, preserved in the original. Eileen stood before a history that was physical. She knew then that her dream was alive, as alive as when James J. Hill first came to his home in 1900 and every year after that until his death in 1916.  It was a remarkable emotion for Eileen and a memorable occasion for both Mari and herself. As the authors of Sea Winter Salmon, their hope is that the reader will experience a similar feeling as they travel the St. John River with its people and its salmon in the pages of this book.


Linda Leith

Originally from Belfast, Northern Ireland, Linda Leith lives in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. She founded the Blue Metropolis International Literary Festival, of which she was President and Artistic Director for fourteen years until 2010.

An accomplished author of both fiction and non-fiction, she founded Linda Leith Publishing in 2011.

She and her team have helped to polish Sea Winter Salmon in innumerable ways, adding vitality and cohesion to the finished book.


Steve Louis

Steve has been designing professionally since 1976. He founded Studio Lézard in 1990. He has worked in many aspects of design from advertising to packaging, logos, annual reports and generally all things printed. In the last decade, he has also been designing for electronic media and the film industry, creating props and elements of set design with a particular affinity for period films where research is necessary to achieve a convincing result.

Steve has worked with the Harpurs on many projects since the mid 1990s. A genuine rapport of friendship has evolved from that relationship which gives Steve an edge. He frequently demonstrates an innate understanding of what is needed and offers options which may not have occured to us. In this case, Sea Winter Salmon: Chronicles of the Saint John River is no exception.

Many others have contributed and they are acknowledged in the book.

Sea Winter Salmon is published by Linda Leith Publishing.

© 2014 – Mari Hill Harpur

Design: Studio Lézard