Tidemann to give program on Elk City Research
Michael Tidemann of Estherville, author of the monthly newspaper column, Writers and Writing, which reaches 99 newspapers in the Upper Midwest, will give a program on the research he did for his historical novel Letters from Elk City, 10 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 17 at the Fenton Public Library.
“Elk City, Oregon, is a real place,” said Tidemann. “The novel offers a dramatic backdrop to a story that spans more than four centuries.”
The inspiration for the novel came from a friend who discovered a piece of crockery, an 1838 French wine bottle, a porcelain doll’s face and a woman’s diamond ring in an old trash midden remaining from The Headwaters, a hunting lodge dating from the 1850s along the Yaquina River near the Central Oregon Coast. The lodge no longer exists
“Who could have owned these objects?” Tidemann pondered as he planned the novel. After he came up with the basic concept, he began his research – starting with a voyage by British explorer Sir Francis Drake to the Oregon Coast in 1579 where Drake beached his ships for repairs for six weeks in Whale Cove – now the site of a five-star inn.
“Evidence would suggest that Drake had a child with an African woman named Maria whom he freed from Spanish captors. A key question in the novel is whether Drake tried to return to Maria whom he left on an island in the Bangaii Archipelago in the Pacific, given the fact that she had his only child,” said Tidemann.
Letters from Elk City is a historical romance set in Oregon and the American South. The novel also chronicles the Davis family as they struggle to overcome the heartbreak of losing a family member along the Oregon Trail and set roots in the Yaquina Valley.
Tidemann’s program includes slides of pre-Civil War forts in the Pacific Northwest as well as battlefields in Mississippi and Tennessee.
The program is free to the public. An author signing will follow the program. Tidemann’s author page is amazon.com/author/michaeltidemann.