May 19th, 2024

History book presents city’s past in pictures

By Alejandra Pulido-Guzman - LETHBRIDGE HERALD on October 26, 2021.

Lethbridge: a History in Pictures

“Knowing a community’s history is like knowing a superhero’s origin story.”
Four local authors and historians, in partnership with MacIntyre Purcell Publishing, have attempted to lay out that origin story in their new book “Lethbridge: a History in Pictures.”
“You don’t understand the community, its quirks and the way it does things unless you know how it got to where it is today,” said Belinda Crowson, author and president of the Lethbridge Historical Society.
MacIntyre Purcell’s publisher approached the Lethbridge Historical Society after finding their Facebook page to ask if they would like to do a book in partnership with them, as they do this across Canada.
“We are very honoured that they approached the LHS. What they were looking for was a history of Lethbridge but told through pictures and so four of us agreed, George (Kuhl), Lorien (Johansen), Bobbie (Fox) and myself agreed to be the group that would work on it,” said Crowson.
Crowson explained that they had the most amazing conversations to try to come up with 50 events that tell Lethbridge’s history, and about 130 photographs that would cover the entire history of Lethbridge since photography was invented.
“It was interesting. I know as a historian, I often after the 1980’s I don’t pay any attention, but these guys were reminding me there is 40 years of history we are missing,” said Crowson.
They had conversations over the past year about what the most important recent events were to decide which to include, and it all went into the creation of the book.
“We tried to put all that into a book that will give you a complete oversight of Lethbridge history,” added Crowson.
There are photographs from various archives, but co-author George Kuhl took some photographs of modern things as well. He believes that when readers dive into the book, they will find many very interesting images.
“To have people on the ground with a camera at the time some of these things were happening, was quite interesting to see that so much was actually captured,” said Kuhl.
Kuhl explained that having to make the decision to leave some things out was challenging.
“I think one of the interesting things about a book like this is that I think every picture does tell a story, but I think that if people are really interested in the history of Lethbridge or anywhere else when it comes to that, the pictures are the stepping off point for some of that stuff,” added Kuhl.
The authors are hoping that by making this book available, it will prompt others to become more interested in local history.
Every picture has an explanation of what it is and approximately when it was taken. Some of the photos, especially the older ones were a little harder to nail down specific times, but people get the idea of when they were taken. A lot of effort was put into capturing the essence of what the picture is.
Those interested in more information from the photographs can contact the Galt Museum and Archives or the Lethbridge Historical Society.
“We couldn’t put every piece of knowledge that we have into this book, so they can always reach out to us,” said Crowson.
Crowson added that we are very fortunate in Lethbridge, as there are plenty of places to find information about our history. There is the Galt Museum and Archives and the Lethbridge Military Museum, among others. And if people are looking specifically for coal mining, they can reach out to Galt #8 Mine Historic Site Society.
The book can be purchased online directly from MacIntyre Purcell, or in many places across the city.
“If you like shopping locally, and we always love you shopping locally, Analog Books has it, Club Cigar Store, LC Bookstore will be getting it very soon, you can get it at the Galt Museum and Archives, Stubbs Pharmacy, UofL Bookstore, Lethbridge Chapters and Tourism Lethbridge will also be carrying it very soon and we are hoping to add to that list, so check your favourite local place and chances are they have it for sale,” said Crowson.

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