My wife and I were at this year’s cowboy festival on Feb. 16, when Mark McMillan announced the passing of Anna Granberg and there was a gasp that went through the audience. Lone Butte has truly lost a pioneer legend.
Anna was born in 1927 when Lone Butte was just beginning to prosper with the arrival of the Pacific Great Eastern (PGE) railroad, in April of 1919. She lived in the Lone Butte area all her life and was a wealth of local historical information. Anna was an avid director of the Lone Butte Historical Association (LBHA).
In fact, Anna can be seen on one of the four Lone Butte murals located on the 100 Mile House movie theatre. Anna is the young girl with her father loading supplies in old Lone Butte. Can you imagine the surprise of the artist, whom, as he was painting the mural, was approached by Anna, who informed him, he had painted the horse the wrong colour. Anna was concerned with historical accuracy and if you knew Anna, you won’t be surprised that the horse was repainted the correct colour.
Anna was the motivating factor in the upkeep of the Lone Butte Pioneer Cemetery and was at every work bee. One year, when she was unable to attend, while the LBHA replaced and extended the old fence, she came and spent the next few days painting the entire fence herself, and she was in her eighties at the time.
When Water Tower Park was designated as a provincial heritage attraction, the LBHA was asked to put up a historical information sign. As we drafted the information, for brevity, we had stated the railroad was an economic lifeline to the surrounding area. Something was bothering Anna and finally on our third and final reading, just before printing, Anna explained that more should be added to explain how important the PGE was as it brought all the much-needed supplies, mail, passengers etc. and the sign got a little more information, in a slightly smaller font.
As a final story, I’d like to share, at one of the Lone Butte Rocks community celebrations in Water Tower Park, I was approached by three gentlemen from Kamloops who were all dressed in expensive-looking suits.
The spokesman asked if I was the boss. I said no and stated, she is sitting in the bake sale tent and I sent them over to speak with Anna.
After they had bought several homemade pies, they returned and the spokesman asked me if I was the President? I smiled and said, “only because Anna doesn’t want the job.”
Anna will be greatly missed.