Monday, August 4, 2014

Caves and Missionaries, 1884 edition

While reading through a missionary journal I found this entry.

Yellow Creek. Dixon Co. January 26, 1884

Saturday. Weather, pleasant overhead. Snow on the ground. We payed Mrs Wright 25 cts each this morning and started down the creek. And as the weather was so bad, and my cold rendering me incapable of preaching even if an opertunity (sic) presented its self. We conclude to pay a visit to a famous cave Just below. known as the cave mills. situated on Yellow Creek Dixon Co Tenn according we succeeded after experiencing some dificulty on accont of the creek which we could not cross without wading in reaching the cave. We made our business known, and asked permission to visit the inside which was cheerfully granted us. And we were furnished candles and matches by the gentleman who sold goods at the mill, and after being cautioned against losing ourselves we went in the cave. The first and about the only thing striking about the cave at first sight is the immensity of it. being as near as we could Judge about thirty feet wide at the entrance which widens to about sixty feet when once inside, and about thirty feet in hight. runing backward in the hill about one hundred and fifty feet Thus making a large room arched over the top with solid limestone rock. At the farther end of the cave is a large spring sending forth sufficient water to run a mill This spring is generaly suposed to be like the Ocean with out any bottom. But we were creditably informed that Seventy two feet was its depth and about sixty by Eighty feet its approximate width and length. large barn dances are frequently held here in the summer the temperature of the cave not being variable renders it cool in summer and warm in winter. Thus far we could see by the light from the entrance. But as the cave narrowed down and also turned sudenly Just back of the spring the light from the entrance could not reach back so we lit our candles and continued There being a fork in the cave we took the right or largest one and by alternately stooping and crawling went about two hundred yards where we were abruptly stoped by a hole of water and a narrowness of the cave.. We here found thousands of names written on the cieling and sides. And with pride added our humble Cognomen and place of residence that perchance in days to come some of our friends might see it and if not that Utah might be represented therein. After tiring ourselves and satisfying our curiousity we went back to the entrance.

Today this cave is known as Ruskin Cave, named for a commune that set up operation in the cave itself in 1894. It was called the Ruskin Cooperative Association. I had thought I might be able to visit the cave and if I were lucky be able to find the "humble Cognomen" of Elders Willis Robison of Scipio, Utah and Lyman A. Shepherd of Beaver, Utah. The cave is owned by The Jackson Foundation and is only open by special booking.

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