The freshly painted water tower. (Al Jones photo)

100-year-old Lone Butte Water Tower painted

Al Jones’ regular correspondence for the Lone Butte area

It is hard to believe, with all the rain we have received this summer, that the Student Works Painting crew under Caily Mellot’s supervision was able to find two consecutive dry days at the end of June, to paint Lone Butte’s water tower on its centennial anniversary.

The crew of five girls submitted the lowest bid and worked overtime to get the tower and the speeder shed painted with two coats of paint. They used a scissor lift, two spray guns and a hybrid paint, to cover the oil-based stain that has been used for the last 100 years. They did a great job, in record-setting time, and completed the job before the next rainstorm arrived.

The Lone Butte Historical Association (LBHA) still requires additional painting of the washrooms and picnic tables in Water Tower Park and the Alice Singleton Heritage House. The LBHA also acknowledges and thanks the Cariboo Regional District (CRD) for assistance in the form of a $5,000 grant, which made this centennial project possible.

The LBHA was able to get a copy of water license #6231 that the Pacific Great Eastern Railway (PGE) applied for from the BC Archives in Victoria. A few interesting facts for history buffs that the documents contained were that the PGE was able to take and use up to 85,000 gallons of water per day, and up to a maximum of 31,025,000 gallons per year, from 93 Mile Creek, which flows northeast and drains into Horse Lake, about three miles from the west end of the lake (near the end of McMillan Road).

Read More: Helen Horn climbs the Lone Butte at 96 with help from friends and family

The main purpose of water use was for the locomotive steam engines. The water would be stored in the water tower, which had a capacity of 40,000 gallons. Construction of the tower began in 1919 and was completed in 1920.

The directors of the LBHA are currently working on opening the washrooms located in Water Tower Park for the remainder of the summer, although the park itself will remain closed due to the COVID-19 situation. The washrooms have been modernized to be hands-free, with automatic lights and automatic flushing toilets and a urinal.

New soap dispensers have been installed, and the washrooms will be fenced off from the rest of the park and disinfected twice a day. As all the usual fundraisers had to be cancelled this year, this has been made possible because of a $2,500 grant from the South Cariboo Enhancement Foundation, to help the association with the extra expenses.

Lone Butte, Horse Lake Community Association (LBHLCA) and Lone Butte 4-H news

The LBHLCA reports a successful drive-in movie night featuring the movie Onward, which was held on July 11 at the Lone Butte Community Hall. Over 30 carloads of people enjoyed the show using social distancing, and the rain held off for the entire movie.

The Lone Butte 4-H club has a bottle drop-off at the gate at the Lone Butte community hall and is having its Achievement day at the hall on July 26. The 4-H club also got the Lone Butte Pioneer Cemetery fence painted this year on June 22, between rainstorms as well.

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