In March of this year, I wrote that I had been surprised to find a beautiful mansion on a side street of Kane that had been the scene of some of the action in the fictional book “Tonight in the Rivers of Pittsburgh ”by Brian Lee Weakland. Located on the edge of the Allegheny National Forest, it had recently been purchased by innkeepers Ben and Debra Miller and had previously been operated as a historic bed and breakfast for some time. After telling the innkeeper about the book, I told him I would like to bring my book club there for lunch and a visit later in the summer.
What started as an outing for my St. Marys Book Club and our guests, grew to include the DuBois Book Club I belong to, and I was contacted by a member of the Brookville Book Club who had read the March column and had also expressed interest in joining us. Everyone I spoke to were more than up for a fun outing, and we met up with a group of 48 book lovers and their guests at Kane Manor on a hot day in mid-August! The group was too large to have the buffet lunch in the mansion so we were in the permanent tent on the grounds which is also used for weddings.
We enjoyed a variety of hot sliders, sautéed salads, cheese, crackers, and meat platters, plus fruit and veg platters, all perfect for a summer lunch. Assorted cookies and chocolates were served with coffee later in the mansion. After the meal we met the author of “Tonight in the Rivers of Pittsburgh” via Zoom. Amy Fehrenbach of the St. Marys Book Club said: “I was certainly impressed when Innkeeper Debra reached out to our featured author, Brian Lee Weakland to set up a Zoom Q&A meeting. This special act made the day even more beautiful and enjoyable.
From the author we learned that he stayed at the Kane Manor Inn when he was in the area researching for the book and decided to incorporate the mansion into the action of the book which took place near the Kinzua Bridge. He noted that there were two other books in the Rivers of Pittsburgh mystery trilogy, “Woods on Fire” and “Zelienople Road”. He was impressed with the size of our group and the renewed interest in his book.
After the Zoom meeting, we split into 3 groups for the tours narrated by our innkeepers. Janet Neeper of DuBois Book Club said: “… The innkeepers were very knowledgeable about the history of the Inn and made the Inn visit very special. It made a very pleasant afternoon. I look forward to visiting and staying at this hostel in the future. I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a special getaway. ”
Brookville Book Club member Melody Haring said: “We had a lovely afternoon with the Millers, owners of Kane Manor, an energetic and creative couple who showed us around the mansion and explained their connection. with the community.
Many necessary renovations have already been carried out and scaffolding is currently being installed around the iconic columns of the portico as they undergo reinforcement and reinforcement. During all of the renovations, it is evident that the Millers have gone out of their way to maintain as much of the inn’s original look and feel as possible. The impressive structure of Georgian and neo-colonial architectural styles is listed in the National Register of Historic Inns. For more information, visit www.KaneManorInn.com.
What I find interesting is that Ben and Debra didn’t know their mansion was in this book until I arrived at their door on that snowy February day, with many questions about the possibility that the inn be the Leigh Rose mansion mentioned in the book. After the Zoom session, I presented them with a copy of the book for their guest library located in the living room. Participants also got to participate in a book exchange, an ever popular activity for bookworms!
I was delighted that so many bibliophiles, united by their common love for reading, were able to discover a beautiful part of Kane’s history while enjoying a great meal and having fun in the afternoon! Stay tuned for possible book club gatherings at other historic inns next summer.
Marilyn Secco is a retired teacher and author of the book “Front Porch Tales”. She has 2 children and 5 grandchildren and lives in Kersey with a wayward cat named Tidder. Contact her at [email protected]