Sesquicentennial celebration

Credit: Photo Courtesy of Dwight A. Hurst
Credit: Photo Courtesy of Dwight A. Hurst
Credit: Photo Courtesy of Dwight A. Hurst
Credit: Photo Courtesy of Dwight A. Hurst


Members of the Church were front and center for the “Kane’s 150th” celebration, marking the sesquicentennial anniversary of the northwestern Pennsylvania town founded by Thomas L. Kane, personal friend of Brigham Young and defender of the Latter-day Saints.

The Ridgway Branch, whose members include several residents of Kane, Pennsylvania, carried out a Mormon Helping Hands service project on Saturday, July 19. They painted a pavilion in the local park and cleared brush and debris from vacant lots.

“We had 60 members come out and work,” said John Cooper, second counselor in the branch presidency. “The response was really great.”

Richard Bly, chairman of the Kane Historic Preservation Society, said he is grateful for the project.

“They got so much done in a short period of time,” he said, noting that Brother Cooper is continuing efforts to complete some of the painting in his spare time.

On Saturday, Aug. 2, the Ridgway Branch marched as one of more than 70 entries in the town’s sesquicentennial parade. The branch’s entry was led by a congratulatory banner identifying Thomas L. Kane as “Your founder. Our faithful friend.” Members pulled a handcart while Primary children dressed in pioneer outfits rode on a float towed by the branch president, Philip Walton.

Matthew J. Grow, author of the award winning biography Liberty to the Downtrodden: Thomas L. Kane, Romantic Reformer, was a featured guest of the Kane Historic Preservation Society. He met with local residents for a book signing at The Depot, the preservation society’s headquarters, then spoke about Thomas L. Kane and his relationship with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in a public forum held in the Kane Memorial Chapel.

Prior to his remarks, Brother Grow, who is director of publications at the Church History Department and a general editor of the Joseph Smith Papers, represented the Church in a ceremony officially transferring ownership of the Kane Memorial Chapel to the Kane Historic Preservation Society. The historic chapel, built in 1877, was home to the Kane Branch from its purchase and renovation by the Church in 1970 until the Kane congregation was consolidated with the Ridgway Branch in 2010. Since then, the building had been vacant.

Subscribe for free and get daily or weekly updates straight to your inbox
The three things you need to know everyday
Highlights from the last week to keep you informed