A Lost Cane Reunion became a reality on Oct. 20 with 252 people attending. The event was held at the Manila Depot Center.
Boyd Estes, a former Lost Cane resident, said for 30 years every time he ran into a former Lost Cane friend and neighbor, they would agree they needed to have a Lost Cane Reunion.
After 30 years of talking, one day a few former residents, including Estes, Harry Parks and Glenda Towles, decided to set a date. The reunion talk went from "we need to" to real planning stages.
"Lost Cane was, and is, a unique community. You hear of the one-room country schools -- not at Lost Cane. We had a large building for its time containing at least seven classrooms, a full size gymnasium a first-class stage with red velvet curtains. All of the classrooms were well equipped and maintained. From 1943 to 1956 enrollment was about 360 students per year and our education was second to none," Estes said.
Most, if not all, of the families of the early settlers of Lost Cane were represented at the 2002 reunion. Some of the early family names include Veach, Parks, Towles, Stutts, Bourland, McCann, Statler, Guley, Powers, Boren, Morgan, Lewis, Baugher, Fincher, Lorren, Owens and McCallie.
The reunion was not only for those that attended school there, but for anyone that had ever lived in or around the community.
The potluck lunch filled several tables with a variety of food to feed more than everyone.
"The dishes were outstanding and everyone appreciated the cooks," Estes said.
The three oldest in attendance included B.A. McCann, Letha Veach and J.B. Lorren.
The day passed quickly as friends visited and caught up on family history.
One of the highlights of the day was the picture table where old class pictures from Lost Cane School Days were exhibited.
Janice Veach donated two history books from the Little River Baptist Church to be auctioned by Jerry Stutts. The high bidders were Freida Fincher Caldwell of St. Louis and Sandra Hicks of Manila. The money was donated to the church.
The love for Lost Cane School and community was evident at the reunion and not "let's do it again" but concrete plans are in the making for the second annual Lost Cane Reunion in 2003.
Plans are to move the date a little earlier in the year Estes said.
The reunion served to remind the former residents that Lost Cane was a great place to live with great friends and neighbors.