LORANE, PA, to Rededicate KMT-Restored Keystone Marker--A Good Sign for the Future! (original press release follows)
EXETER TOWNSHIP, PA -- On May 12, 2011, the Exeter Township Historical Commission will host an unveiling and re-dedication of the century-old Keystone Marker town sign and pole in Lorane recently refurbished by the Keystone Marker Trust. All members of the public are invited to join the Commission and invited guests at 6:30 p.m. at the marker site at the corner of E. Lorane Road and Neversink St. in Exeter Township.
The choice of the May 12th date to re-dedicate the Keystone Marker is in recognition of the date of the horrific train wreck which gave Lorane—formerly “Exeter”—its name. On May 12, 1899, a special Norristown-bound Reading Railroad train rear-ended a parked train at the Exeter Station, killing 29 and injuring many more. The train was returning from Harrisburg, where passengers participated in the dedication of a monument to Civil War General (and later Pennsylvania governor) John Hartranft.
The now-demolished station—within view of the Keystone Marker—became a makeshift hospital. The memory of the event was so painful that the railroad renamed the town Lorane. The Lorane Keystone Marker makes a nod to the town’s former identity, and to the fact that the area was home to the ancestors of both Abraham Lincoln and Daniel Boone.
The marker was restored by the Keystone Marker Trust, (www.keystonemarkertrust.org), a statewide non-profit dedicated to restoring and re-installing the markers. Originally a program of PennDOT, predecessor the Pennsylvania Department of Highways, the markers were once found at multiple entrances to all Pennsylvania towns, as well as marking trails, rivers, creeks, etc.
A list of known makers can be found at www.keystonemarkertrust.org.
“Products of a time when Pennsylvania led the nation in technological innovation and transportation, these now century-old cast iron markers celebrated Pennsylvania and helped forge its identity as the Keystone in the arch of American progress,” said Nathaniel Guest, president of the Keystone Marker Trust. “Lorane is lucky to still have its marker and even luckier to have folks living there who appreciate it.”
The Keystone Marker Trust is looking for additional volunteers to help it in its mission to bolster community pride and re-investment through its work to restore these uniquely-Pennsylvania symbols. "We're working to make new patterns and castings, as well as to help marker-adopting organization use their markers to teach local history and civic engagement," said Guest.
A local resident paid for the materials to restore the marker, and the Keystone Marker Trust volunteered the labor.