There’s a little truth, a little rumor and a whole lot of history in Art Schatz’ new book “Raising Kane in Kane.” Schatz, who was born in Lovell and raised in Kane by his parents Chris and Lois Schatz, wrote the book based on his boyhood recollections and historical accounts of the Kane area. His mother Lois was a third generation descendant from the area. Her grandfather Henry Gifford came to the area with one of Henry Lovell’s cow herds.
Schatz said he grew up in a world “filled with all the simple pleasures.” Those pleasures included reading, hunting, fishing and other boyhood adventures. His book includes stories
about many of those adventures, along with the stories he loved hearing repeatedly as a child from old-timers in the area. He said he heard many of these stories from neighbors who would stop by the family farm or while he and his brother hung out at the Kane store.
“The more I dug into the past, I found that not everyone remembered the same tale the same way,” he wrote. “One big thing for sure, most of us were from pioneer stock that built on what our forefathers had started.”
The book includes stories about the railroads, the dam that eventually shut the town down, Schatz’ own family, the farmers and other people in the area.
“Some of the stories are happy, some are sad and some are just stories,” he chuckled.
Though Schatz claims the book is a work of fiction, with names, descriptions, entities and incidents that are based on history, readers will immediately recognize a lot of his musings ring true. The book is interwoven with personal first hand accounts, stories passed down through families, old photos and illustrations depicting local folklore by artist Denney NeVille.
Schatz said he spent years collecting the information and photos and gathered personal accounts through countless interviews. He also used information from newspapers and from interviews conducted by Brian Allred for an Eagle Scout project from October 1996 to February 1997. He noted that more than half of the people interviewed have died and that their depositions are, in some cases, the only historical account of an incident or time period.
“I’ve been wanting to write this book all my life,” said Schatz. “I grew up there and my grandfather came out here with old man Lovell. I heard these stories over and over.”
The book is a fascinating read for anyone interested in local history or anyone who enjoys a colorful, mostly true story. It can be purchased at the Lovell Drug Store, the North Big Horn Senior Center and through Schatz.
By Patti Carpenter