A witty, brightly-written memoir of childhood in the Yukon, The Cinnamon Mine traces the adventures of the Porsild family from Denmark to Greenland, through Arctic Canada, and finally to remote Johnson’s Crossing , where they operated one of the first tourist lodges on the Alaska Highway.

Author Ellen Davignon recalls the early years when three kids under ten could handle the dinner crowd (slinging stew and eggs, because that’s all they knew how to make) to the later years when the trickle of cars passing through became a torrent, and the lodge offered comfortable rooms with innerspring mattresses and running water.

While catering to the demands of the travelling public was a life of long, grinding hours, with little in the bank as recompense, the Porsild children enjoyed lives rich in fantasy and outdoor adventure in such settings as their “cinnamon mine”–really just a bank of rust-stained sand. Davignon lovingly recounts the good times and hard times as the Porsild clan carved out a business and a life on the banks of the Teslin River.