What kind of stories are likely to be told in "official" histories of a place, and what kind will likely not be told?
Usually, the official version has a particular narrative - often one of struggle over insurmountable odds, or one of vision and foresight.
What tends not show up? Stories like these:
- Camrose used to have mines, under the town. The ski hill is built from mine tailings. There are also mines in the west part of town - it is the reason that there are large parks in some places. It was not deemed to be safe to build houses in certain areas.
- The area used to be a major rail centre. Several railways converged here. Close to town there was the longest wooden railway bridge in North America.
- The area used to be a hotbed of social(ist) organization. There were co-ops in the rural areas, when co-ops were illegal.
- The house I used to live in (4712 53 St.) had more stories connected with it than I could believe. Apparently it had served as a hospital, or clinic, early on. It had been the site of many wild parties in decades past. Everyone had a tale about it, and it was easy to imagine tales about the place - a labyrinthine basement, everything creaked.
- Most histories point out that the name of Camrose changed from Sparling. Most put this down to the confusion of the name with other towns, like Sterling and Spirling. Were there other reasons for the change? And why change it to the name of a Welsh town? And isn't it ironic that people now mistake Camrose for Canmore, and Kamloops?
- And on the topic of name changes, Augustana was once Camrose Lutheran College (CLC), and then Camrose Lutheran University College (CLUC). The name changed about 13 or so years ago, and was not well received by the town (the name of "Camrose" was taken out, and that was seen as evidence that the college was trying to obscure its local attachments). "Augustana" was not anyone's first choice, partly because there are two other colleges in the US called Augustana.
It is not that no one knows these things, or wouldn't tell you if you asked, but that they don't necessarily fit the narrative.