About Forgotten Alberta
“150 years ago Captain John Palliser said this region was unsuitable for agricultural settlement. Whether the captain would be honoured or embarrassed that the Palliser Triangle bears his name today is anyone’s guess. One thing I do know: Although the region owes its name to Palliser; it’s the pioneers who gave us our identity.”
In 2009, Jonathan Koch launched the Forgotten Alberta Project in an effort to raise awareness about the disappearing history of southeastern Alberta. Using a website (www.forgottenalberta.com), social media, and a monthly newspaper column within the Prairie Post (2012-14), the Forgotten Alberta Project has spearheaded preservation efforts at two heritage sites within eastern Vulcan County. In 2014, the Forgotten Alberta project received the 2014 Heritage Awareness Award from the Government of Alberta for outstanding achievement in promoting and interpreting Alberta’s heritage.
About Jonathan Koch
Jonathan Koch has over a decade of experience in professional communication, both as a newspaper reporter and editor, and as a corporate communications specialist.
As a freelance writer and columnist, Jonathan’s work has been published in several Alberta weekly newspapers, including the Prairie Post East and West editions, Brooks Bulletin, Calgary Herald, and Medicine Hat News. He has also contributed to the Western Standard, Alberta Views, and Alberta History Journal.
This is a shameless plug, but I also do communications consulting. Check out my work page for more information.
Jason Sailer is a self-taught photographer based out of Lethbridge, Alberta with his wife and daughter. Born in Medicine Hat in 1984, he was raised on a family farm on the northern slopes of the Cypress Hills. After college, he moved to Lethbridge in 2006 to be employed as a senior architectural technologist, a job he is still involved with and enjoying immensely.
Growing up on the family farm, Jason discovered his interest for photography from seeing the abandoned farmsteads in the area and the appreciation of the history and often the struggles many of these pioneers (including his own relatives) in their quest to settle on the raw prairie at the turn of the century. Their accomplishments, often as abandoned farmsteads or rusting machinery still stand as testaments to hard work and determination.
Some of his favorite subjects are prairie landscapes, grain elevators, architecture, abandoned farmsteads, and rusty trucks. Working with the landowner and doing research on the places he visits enables him to tell a thorough and interesting story – one people look for when seeing his photographs. The story behind the subject is often sought out and is one of the reasons that drives Jason to go above and beyond in recording these fleeting moments in time.
More of Jason’s work can be found here.
Forgotten Alberta in the news
Believe it or not, reporters contact me on occasion to ask me what I think about things. That’s a scary thought. Here are a few examples (links provided when available):
- “Rural Way of life holds a special place for Koch”, By Rose Sanchez, September 2015, Prairie Post, Meet our Prairie People Special Supplement
- “Citizens of Burdett fought hard in First World War”, By Gillian Slade, 31 October 2014, Medicine Hat News, A3
“Ghost towns reveal forgotten past”, By Mark Hume, 28 February 2015, The Globe and Mail, Alberta Edition, S1
- “Former Bow City site to get a heritage marker”, By Rose Sanchez, 01 August 2014, Prairiepost.com
- “Bow City getting village status historical marker”, By Rob Brown, October 2013, BrooksBulletin.com
- “Special marker makes note of prairie cemetery near Lomond”, By Rose Sanchez, 17 October 2013, Prairiepost.com
- “Pioneer cemetery consecrated”, By Sandra M. Stanway, 13 October 2013, BrooksBulletin.com
- “Writer tries to help people remember Forgotten Alberta”, By Rose Sanchez, 18 November 2011, Prairie Post East edition, p.9
- Listen: Forgotten Alberta with Joe McFarland on CHQR770, Oct. 31, 2018
Contact Forgotten Alberta
You don’t have to be a reporter to give me a shout. Since 2009, hundreds of people from across Canada and the United States have contacted me with questions about Forgotten Alberta, the places I write about, and the people who once lived there. If you have a question, or two, or ten, or you just want to say “hi”, feel free to drop me a line! I would also be grateful for any stories, photos or video you might want to share and submit as well.
You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org