Pete's June 1999 Article.

A Trip to Kane, PA by Pete Bennett
One of the thing I like to do is discover and this month I set my sights on discovering information about the Borough of Kane, PA. That beautiful town nestled at the edge of the Allegheny National Forest in northwestern Pennsylvania, Kane has a rich history and is very much alive and vibrant today.
It was named for the Civil War leader of Pennsylvania's Bucktail Regiment, Thomas Leiper Kane, who founded the town in 1863. Let me tell you about him. Thomas’s father was John Kane, a well known Philadelphia lawyer and later Federal Court judge. As a young Attorney Thomas Kane moved to northwestern PA with his young wife, Dr. Elizabeth Kane, and first called the area "Clarion Summit," later it became "Kane Summit," and then finally just "Kane."
During the Civil War, General Kane serving with his famous “Bucktails”, was wounded in battle and was taken as a prisoner of war as well. He also fought with his men at the Battle of Gettysburg, and is revered by the Mormons for single-handedly helping avert an all-out war between the Mormons and the U.S. government in the late1800s. A county in Utah is named for him, and a full-size statue of Kane occupies a central position in the rotunda of the Utah State Capital building in Salt Lake City, UT. Although not a Mormon himself, General Kane was repulsed by the persecution of the Mormons and fought for their human rights. He also was a friend of several U.S. Presidents, including Grant, Buchanan, and Polk.
General Kane is buried between the two sets of steps of the Thomas L. Kane Memorial Chapel at 30 Chestnut Street, which is now on the National Register of Historic Places. The stone chapel was built between 1876-1878 to serve as the First Presbyterian Church of Kane. It is now owned by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and is the oldest church building in the borough. Small in scale yet elegant, the chapel retains its original stained glass windows. The vaulted ceiling is constructed of black cherry wood and a grand pipe organ adorns the front of the church.
General Kane’s wife Dr. Elizabeth Kane and many other Kane family members are buried in the Kane Family Mausoleum in Forest Hill Cemetery just off Route 66 south of Kane.
His brother, Elisha Kent Kane who was himself, a famous Arctic explorer and painter whose death celebration rivaled that of President Lincoln. A crater on the moon , a US naval ship, and an Arctic waterway are all named for him.
Some call Kane “the Icebox of Pennsylvania” due to an average of 107+ inches of snowfall per year and historically Kane has been known as a haven for allergy sufferers because of the naturally low pollen count and fresh mountain air. Dr. Evan O'Neill Kane ,son of the Thomas L. made medical surgical history in 1921. As Chief Surgeon at Kane Summit Hospital he removing his own appendix demonstrating that major surgery could be performed with local anesthesia as well as with ether.
Holgate Toy Company, world famous for its wooden toys designed by Jarvis Rockwell, brother of noted painter Norman Rockwell, was founded in 1929 and still operates in Kane today. Holgate Toys are now shipped all around the world. Kane has many favorite sons and here are just a few. Chuck Daly, who was the coach of the two time World Champion Detroit Pistons and coach of the 1992 Olympics Dream Team was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1994.
Kane is a favorite tourism site of summer and winter visitors alike. The Kane Area School District has a population of about 5000, and the schools' mascot is a wolf because, in 1921, Kane's Dr. E. H. McCleery started a wolf farm in a successful effort to save the world's remaining population of lobo wolves from extinction.
Born in Kane in 1896, Clayton Bissell earned a law degree. In 1917, he enlisted in the United States Air Service, and thus began a distinguished, heroic military career. As an ace pilot with the Sopwith Camel, he shot down 6 or 7 enemy planes. He also made the first successful night flight from Washington to New York in 1922. In 1950, he retired from the service as a Major General having earned many honors along the way.
In 1949 Kane High won the Class B state championship basketball title. From the outlying area of Kane known as "Jo Jo," came world champion pool table trick shot artist, Clarence "Sunshine" Anderson. Kane native Amy Rudolph is one of two women who represented the USA in the 5000 meter race in the Olympics in the summer of 1996. Kane Middle School's Science Olympiad Team placed second at the Pennsylvania state competition in April 1996 and competed in Atlanta in the National competition.
Kane is the home of Mr. Robert Carson, a distinguished retired biology-psychology instructor, historian, author, speaker, inventor, photographer, and philosopher. He is a fine gentleman through and through. Kane is also home of Edgar "Jesse " James, the mayor, and Mr. Glennis Rickert, the 104 year-old former teacher, principal, and superintendent. Doug Marrero of Kane is a "musher" who with a sled dog team of 17 huskies races them in competitions world wide. On May 31, 1985 a tornado hit Kane. This was the worst natural disaster in its history.
More recently, on February 20, 1999, at 4:15 am, a well-liked Kane Borough Police officer stopped a car that was apparently weaving and tailgating. Officer Steve Jerman was shot to death, but not before firing and wounding the assailant. Officer Jerman's death was mourned though out the community and country, as approximately one thousand law enforcement officers from states as far away as Texas showed up for the funeral service.
Many of you I am sure are still following the details of this story as the assailant has not been brought to trial yet in this case.
The Lumber industry is big in the Kane area where large amounts of black cherry trees are harvested for lumber and furniture and likewise it has been nicknamed the Black Cherry Capital of the World. A “Black Cherry Festival” is held in Kane every July. The3-day fest includes stage shows, an art exhibit, music, food, game and craft booths, a variety of vendors, tournaments, antique car show and more! This years dates for those of you who plan on attending are July 16, 17, and 18th. Hope you got your Eagle Hills Word in time that you wont miss this GREAT event happening in Kane, PA.
Historic U.S. Route 6 the “Grand Army of the Republic Highway” runs through Kane and the town merchants cater to visitors as only a small town can. Kane has a daily newspaper, the Kane Republican, FM radio station, WLMI (103.9),hospital, churches, fine dining restaurants, a variety of shops, motels, area campgrounds, and is a prime site for industrial expansion.
The Allegheny National Forest is within minutes of Kane was recently selected as one of the top six vacation spots in the United States. People flock here to camp, hike on segments of the Appalachian Trail, boat and fish in the beautiful mountains of Pennsylvania. Summer is also a time to enjoy the Kinzua Dam and Allegheny Reservoir 8 miles away. It offers boating, swimming, fishing (walleye, bass, muskies, northern pike, trout), camping, hiking and picnicking.
The Knox & Kane Railroad Steam Train Excursion carries many visitors to the historic and scenic Kinzua Bridge and back. The Bridge extends 2,038 feet from hillside to hillside, is 301 feet high and is a marvel of engineering.
I myself even have several connections to Kane, PA. My grandmother Ida Mae Gore SNYDER who lived in Sinnemahoning, PA was seriously ill with typhoid fever at the age of 35 in 1908. While being transported by train to the Warren Hospital on April 29th, her condition worsened and she was taken from the train to the Kane Summit Hospital, where she died.
Also the Senior Pastor at Trinity Lutheran Church in Butler, PA of which I am a member is a native of Kane.  His name is Tom Pierotti, a wonderful Pastor and friend.
For those of you interested in the Civil War as I am, John D. Imhof, a staff writer for the St. Marys Daily Press and local historian has authored a book on the 1863 Battle of Gettysburg that tell of many the exploits of General Thomas Leiper Kane and the 13th Pennsylvania Reserves otherwise known as the Bucktail Regiment. It is titled “Two Roads to Gettysburg" and is now in print.
You can also read my article entitled “Those Famous Bucktails” which I wrote in November 1997. You can find it at: on the internet.
I hope you have enjoyed reading about what I’ve discovered in my quest for this months article. Have a great month of June and don’t forget to pick up a copy of the Eagle Hill Word next month. You can discover it yourself there.
Till then, visit my home page at: where you can read all my articles online. So long for now.

COPYRIGHT 2018  Pete Bennett

All rights Reserved.

 Comments:  or Return to Pete's "All American" Home Page. or sign my Guest Book.