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Granum Historical Society opens new gazebo

Mike Sherman and John Connor cut the ribbon to officially open the new gazebo.

A group dedicated to the history of Granum is developing a facility that will serve the community in the future.

Granum Historical Society on Saturday held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for a new gazebo at the museum and veterans’ memorial park.

“This is an important day,” Livingstone-Macleod MLA Roger Reid told close to 50 people gathered for the ceremony.

Reid commended the work of the Granum Historical Society to preserve and celebrate the community’s past.

“We must not forget our history,” Reid said. “We must not forget those who came first.”

MD of Willow Creek councillor John Kroetsch said the project represents hard work and dedication by Granum citizens.

Kroetsch said Granum continues to have its own identity after residents voted to give up town status to become a hamlet in the MD of Willow Creek.

“Granum might have become a hamlet but by no means has it lost the spirit and dedication of its members,” Kroetsch said.

Historical society member Mike Sherman provided a historical look at the museum and veterans’ memorial park.

The Town of Granum in 2006 acquired the former jail building by giving the private owner land in the industrial park and $2,000 cash.

The owner of the adjacent lot agreed to sell it to the town at less than market value to support the museum project.

Development of the museum and veterans’ park languished for lack of money until former Livingstone-Macleod MLA Dave Coutts got involved.

“Dave became our champion,” Sherman said of the former MLA, who helped the historical society acquire provincial grants for $16,000 and $17,000.

With the province’s financial support the historical society began development of the museum and veterans’ park.

That led to the community holding its first Remembrance Day ceremony in 2006.

A long-term goal was to add washroom facilities to the museum, which had never been hooked up to Granum’s sewer and water systems.

It became apparent, however, the high cost of that project couldn’t be justified for a museum that was only open from May to September.

The historical society settled on Plan B when the Granum Recreation Society received funding to renovate its building — including new washroom facilities.

The colour guard from the Legion in Fort Macleod.

A deal was worked to allow the museum use of the washrooms at the nearby recreation centre.

That allowed the historical society to divert the money it had raised to construction of the gazebo, as well as a pathway. 

Grant money came from a variety of sources, including Granum, $5,000, MD of Willow Creek, $3,000 and the Lethbridge Community Foundation, $4,000.

Sherman noted the MD of Willow Creek provided strong support for the gazebo and path project.

“The MD has been most generous with their time and equipment,” Sherman said. “The help and support we got from the MD was absolutely amazing.”

The 12 foot by 16 foot gazebo was built by local handymen Calvin Scott and Herb Hahn.

The next project for the historical society is to add the names of more Granum veterans to the memorial plaque.

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