Lost Alberta: Forgotten and Abandoned History
By: Chris Doering
Publication date: Spring 2024
244 pages | Paperback | 10 x 8.5 inches
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From crumbling mansions to deserted main streets, Lost Alberta brings to life the stories behind forgotten and abandoned structures throughout the province.
At first glance, dilapidated structures and deserted townsites may seem to hold little of interest. But to Chris Doering, their discovery is just a starting point to showing through words and photos that although their glory days may be behind them, they hold an intrinsic value to Alberta’s history.
In the last century, the way people live, work, and shop has changed dramatically, creating a dramatic shift of population from rural to urban. This is especially true across the Alberta prairies, leaving empty and abandoned family homes, but also entire towns. As you’ll read in Lost Alberta, in addition to urbanization, politics, personal tragedies, and natural disasters are also reasons for the deserted buildings that litter the province.
Frequently ignored by humanity, some of the buildings highlighted in Lost Alberta are seen by thousands daily driving past on major highways, while others are tucked away on private property far from prying eyes. Whether a crumbling farmhouse or the concrete skeleton of an industrial site, one thing abandoned buildings have in common are unanswered questions: Who lived here? Why did they build at this location? Why did they leave?
Although Doering’s essays and photos depict what has been left behind, he also focuses on what remains, encouraging readers to be respectful of the sites, while encouraging us to explore and learn about these links to Alberta’s short but colourful human history.