Kane - Town History
History of Kane
Kane was an important transport center. The Kane Ferry was the only crossing of the Bighorn River north of Greybull. This ferry was used by sheepherders to move sheep from Cowley, Byron and Garland to the Bighorn Mountains. It also became the trading center for farmers and ranchers of the Dryhead and Crooked Creek country.
On Saturday nights, ranchers and farmers came from all over the Northern Basin to attend dances and hear D.E. Bassett play his fiddle. On these nights, the store stayed open late just in case some young woman might need a pair of shoes for the occasion.
The Rising Tide
In 1965 with the Yellowtail Dam nearing completion, the Bureau of Reclamation knew that a full capacity Bighorn Lake would flood Kane. They condemned the land and bought it from the community. Unlike many towns destroyed by construction of dams, no effort was made to re-establish Kane at a new site. In 1967 the rising lake waters silenced the hum of Kane forever.
All That Remains
Sources: Bill Scott, Pioneers of the Big Horn; Bighorn Canyon Historic Resource Study; Information, on-site historic markers and maps from Friends of Bighorn Lake in cooperation with Northwest College and Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area.
Did You Know?
Long before the Bighorn River was tamed by the Yellowtail Dam, the roiling waters through the canyon were feared. During spring snowmelt, the water turned into a raging torrent, a combination of whirlpools, rapids, and eddies. Conversely, the river through the canyon had a reputation for being placid by late summer, when dry heat and lack of rainfall turned it into a sedate stream. More...