by Joy Howe
Lately I’ve been volunteering at the museum on Mondays. When people come into the Museum office in the afternoon with questions, I feel like I should know the answers. Naturally, I want to be able to tell them where things are, what their significance is. Recently I have been asked “Where is Kane?” I generally get out a map and try to locate it exactly, but there really aren’t any maps that are that specific. Plus, Kane is no longer identified. It is rare to find it on any map. In the absence of something better, I grab a piece of paper and draw a very simple map to the causeway, with a line to the right indicating where to turn to find Kane–a most rudimentary map.
The sad thing is that people who have been out to the area which was once Kane do not know they are there. They look around for anything–any sign, any indication that they are standing in the place where Kane once was. There is nothing. One woman I spoke to told me, after I drew the aforementioned map for her, that she had taken that road and had read the sign about the wildlife habitat. She was actually standing in the vicinity. “Was that Kane? There should be a sign,” she said.
I spent this morning looking for a map I could cut and paste. But I was unsuccessful. If you were to draw a short line from the east set of railroad tracks over to and across to the west railroad tracks, this is approximately where the town buildings of Kane once were. The train depot sat to the left of the original railroad tracks. And across from the depot sat the commercial buildings of Kane, i.e. the hotel, the store, the bank, the post office, the community center, etc. Of course, there was more to Kane than the depot and the several buildings. The property farmed and the land upon which the homes of the farming families sat is mostly underwater now. A few farms and homes to the west of the lake were not actually flooded.
I never lived there. I never saw any of the buildings myself. The best indication that Kane was ever even there is a sign on the new railroad tracks to the west. This sign is south of the townsite by several hundred yards and was erected after the demise of Kane for railroad purposes. I took a picture of my husband and my daughter standing there to remind us that Kane even existed.