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The old buildings and historic places of British Columbia form a kind of roadside memory, a tangible link with stories of settlement, change, and abandonment that reflect the great themes of Western history. More than a decade ago, Michael Kluckner began painting these dots on his personal map of the province in a watercolor sketchbook. With small towns declining and old rural properties changing, so little of the history of these places has been recorded in museums or archives, and so much of it may disappear within a heartbeat as families disperse and memories dim.
After he put a few of the sketches onto his web site, a network of correspondents emerged that eventually led him to the family letters, photo albums, and memories from a disappearing era. Vanishing British Columbia is a record of these places and the stories they tell, and an argument for stewardship of regional history in the face of urbanization and globalization.