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. Thomass 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
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,
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 Kanes 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
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
http://petesallamericanhomepage.com/nov97gaz.htm on the internet.
I hope you have enjoyed reading about what Ive
discovered in my quest for this months article. Have a great
month of June and dont forget to pick up a copy of the
Eagle Hill Word next month. You can discover it yourself
Till then, visit my home page at:
you can read all my articles online. So long for now.
COPYRIGHT © 2017 Pete Bennett
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