Writing and researching local history
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Audio recording of Jan Peterson's February 1998 presentation to the Nanaimo Historical Society about her experience with researching, writing, and publishing local history books about the Alberni Valley. Peterson begins her talk with an outline of how her first book, “The Albernis: 1860-1922” was published by Oolichan Books in 1992. She discusses how immersed she became in her research and also gives a brief overview of the challenges she faced as a new author attempting to publish a local history book in British Columbia. Peterson then goes on to summarize the topics covered in her second book, “Twin Cities: Alberni - Port Alberni” which covers the years 1922 to 1967 in the Alberni Valley and was published in 1994. Next, Peterson discusses her third book, “Cathedral Grove: MacMillan Park” which was published in 1996. She introduces several of the people who were instrumental in the campaign to preserve the forest around Cameron Lake, including: Dr. James Fletcher, James Robert Anderson, H.R. MacMillan, and Wells Gray, and she also explains the timeline of how the giant trees came to be preserved as a provincial park in 1944.