George Lane recognized as a Great Westerner at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum

On Saturday, April 16 George Lane was inducted into the Hall of Great Westerners of the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City. One the original stockmen of southern Alberta, Lane’s biggest impact was in the importation of Percheron horses from France. Settlers needed the massive horses as they established farms. Lane’s Bar U Ranch quickly became known as having the best Percheron stock in the West. The rest, as they say, is history.

Here are some highlights from the 2016 Western Heritage Awards weekend!

1. Lane is the first Canadian to be inducted to the Hall of Great Westerners at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum. Let’s just say that the level of Canadian content at this year’s ceremony far surpassed Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) regulations. More than three dozen Canadians were in attendance, including many members of the Lane family in addition to members of the Friends of the Bar U and Stampede family

Western Heritage Awards

George Lane’s great-grandson (also named George) accepting the Wrangler Award on behalf of the Lane family at the 2016 Western Heritage Awards.

2. John Barlow, MP for Foothills, also attended the event. But before he flew to Oklahoma City, he spoke in Parliament about the ceremony and the significance of Lane’s induction into the Hall of Great Westerners. The National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum was ecstatic to hear about MP Barlow’s speech and played this clip of him at the event (which was met with a rousing standing ovation).

3. AMC’s Hell on Wheels also received an award for best fictional drama. It was shot in beautiful southern Alberta and when the executive producers were on stage they were singing this province’s praises.

Oaklahoma

John Wirth, a writer and producer for “Hell on Wheels” shows off the Wrangler. (pic via @WirthwhileTV on Twitter)

4. One of the most impressive elements of the National Cowboy and Western Museum is its dedication to the West, regardless of borders. On this special night, both inductees to the Hall of Great Westerners came from outside of the United States. Joining Lane was Enrique E. Guerra of the San Vincente Ranch whose family has a 400-year legacy of ranching in what would become the borderlands of Mexico and the United States.

National Cowboy Museum

In one of the Museum’s galleries, the floor is a giant map showing historic ranches and trails from south of the Rio Grande to north of the 49th. Two of the Big Four – A.E. Cross’s a7 and Lane’s Bar U – are represented.

We experienced first-class western hospitality throughout the weekend and we are truly thrilled to have one of our very own Big Four in the Hall of Great Westerners.

(L-R) Mike Nicola, board of director for National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum, MP John Barlow, George S. Lane, Shannon Murray, historical specialist, Bob Thompson, immediate past president. Photo courtesy of the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum

(L-R) Mike Nicola, board of director for National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum, MP John Barlow, George S. Lane, Shannon Murray, historical specialist, Bob Thompson, immediate past president. Photo courtesy of the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum