Tuesday, July 06, 2010

One of the amazing maps now online

This is a map from 1861 of my old stomping grounds.   I lived in this part of the world from the fall of 1995 to the spring of 2004.  

One aspect of my work was doing research into the history of the area around Pavilion.   I spent many hours in the BC Archives piecing together the era from 1820 to 1920.  All the preemption records, all the HBC letters about Pavilion, the history of the creation of the Indian Reserves and more.  

One of the big things was to find maps to show what was where and in what years.   I remember in 1998 coming into Joyce Williams Prints and finding an early map of the area and immediately buying it for the band.  Don and I were admiring it when Bill Barlee walked in and saw it and offered to buy it on the spot, Don had to tell him that I had beat him to it.  Bill offered me money for it, but once he knew it was for research for a First Nation he relented.  We all then sat down to tea and lament the bad play of the Canucks.

I remember the event so well not because of the great hospitality of Don, but because finding a map like I did was such a god send.  Now the number of scans of maps that are available online is astonishing, the data is out there and easily accessible.   I no longer have the time to be impressed and excited by the maps I can find.

I also miss having the maps in front of me, seeing the marks and creases on the sheet sitting on the table.   Enjoyable but no longer necessary for my work.

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