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Not all ghost towns are dead. A few are kept alive by a handful of residents who refuse to quit or by entrepreneurs who have improbable dreams of resurrection. But most have been erased by decay, and some of Canada’s history is crumbling with them. Sandon, a boom town in the Kootenays, that produced more than $30-billion worth of silver, lead and zinc, had 5,000 residents by 1898, but now has only five, including Hal Wright, who has an ambitious plan to restore it.

Photographer John Lehmann spent the day with Wright on a tour of what is left of the once prosperous town.

Hal Wright, the owner and caretaker of Sandon, leans out the window of the former city hall built in 1900.

The entrance to the silver mine.

Wrightl wearing his son's miners helmet.

Sandon City Hall.

The snow is removed from an old steam train.

A number of Vancouver city buses Wright is storing in Sandon.

Wright the owner and caretaker of Sandon.

The mill manager's cabin built in late 1800's.

With the aid of a headlamp Hal makes his way into the mill manager's cabin.

Wright stands by the silver mine in Sandon.