Tales of an Unsung Sourdough book front cover

Tales of an Unsung Sourdough

The Extraordinary Klondike Adventures of Johnny Lind

Phil Lind and Robert Brehl

In the mid-1880s, Johnny Lind, a teenager from Pond Mills, Ontario, struck out for adventure and wealth. After a decade working as a railroader in the United States, Johnny headed north, to Yukon and Alaska, and he was mining gold nearby when the Klondike Gold Rush began.

As a “sourdough,” albeit an unsung one—the nickname for miners who had survived an entire winter in the North—Lind’s story goes largely unrecognized in the lore of the era, his understated demeanor overshadowed by the larger-than-life characters that dominate the history books. But he kept journals recording his adventures in the Klondike, and these form an invaluable personal record. His stories shed light on the people and events of the gold rush, from the perspective of an everyman who wound up striking it rich.

Here, Johnny Lind’s grandson Phil Lind shares his grandfather’s fascinating story, along with his love of the Klondike, the history of the gold rush, the colourful players in that famed period, and the peoples and land affected by the legendary stampede for wealth.


“I blazed through this terrific book in one sitting. Lively and well designed, with previously unseen archival photos, it is both an affectionate family memoir and a well-researched history of the Yukon Gold Rush, including the crucial role played by Indigenous Peoples.”

 Tales of an Unsung Sourdough is a well-informed account about Johnny Lind, one of the less-well-known Klondike Gold Rush kings, and his legacy. Based upon the extensive Phil Lind Klondike Gold Rush Collection held at the University of British Columbia, this story is an enjoyable read with fabulous photos.”

 Tales of an Unsung Sourdough is simply epic! Readers will love this book for its stories, history, and photos—and they will love Johnny Lind. Through his eyes, we see the people, places, and history of the Klondike Gold Rush. Hollywood producers need to read this book for their next motion picture opportunity.”

Phil Lind is the vice-chairman of Rogers Communications Inc. and for forty years was the right-hand man of the company founder, the late Ted Rogers. Lind co-authored Right Hand Man: How Phil Lind Guided the Genius of Ted Rogers, Canada’s Foremost Entrepreneur. Lind is a long-time supporter and advocate of the University of British Columbia, where he has invested in many areas of scholarship, including the Phil Lind Initiative, which invites leading US thinkers to UBC for open, thought-provoking dialogue on a range of urgent issues. Lind has been inducted into the Order of Canada and the Cable Hall of Fame in Denver, Colorado.

Robert Brehl is an award-winning journalist, formerly at the Toronto Star and Globe and Mail, who operates his own consulting, communications, and writing firm called abc2 communications inc. He is the co-author of bestselling books, including Relentless: The True Story of the Man Behind Rogers Communications, with Ted Rogers; Right Hand Man: How Phil Lind Guided the Genius of Ted Rogers, Canada’s Foremost Entrepreneur, with Phil Lind; and Hurricane Hazel: A Life with Purpose, with Mississauga’s famed former mayor Hazel McCallion. Right Hand Man and Relentless (2009) were finalists for the National Business Book Award.

ISBN 978-1-77458-293-0
$39.95 CAD $34.95 USD
Published May 2, 2023
9.5 x 10.5 120 Pages
Hardcover, ebook