First hand account by Jean Lamouret
Knox Cave - Sure, I visited it!
I'm not sure if the date was fall 1938 or the spring of 1939. My science class in school [Cherry Valley Central] was studying Geology. Our teacher arranged for us to go on a field trip to study rock formations; he chose to take us to Knox Cave at Knox, NY. He chose this cave because there were no "improvements" made to it; it was all in its natural state. We were warned to wear jeans and a warm jacket because we would need them in the cave. Everybody carried their own bag lunch.
We arrived at Knox Cave around 10:30 a.m. and filed into the cave in a single line. The dirt path was narrow. In some spots we got down on our hands and knees to crawl through narrow openings to view other glorious rooms with fancy formations. In other places the path curved between narrow rock formations - so close that we brushed against the sides.
I do not remember any water in Knox Cave - I know Howe Caverns has a little creek that runs along the path and Secret Caverns has its own waterfalls where water from an outside creek falls into the cavern, forming a waterfalls of 100 feet, but I think Knox Cave was dry.
When we completed the trip through the cave we were able to spend an hour at the roller skating rink that was maintained at the ground level. (The roller rink burned in 1958). We then boarded the bus for the trip back to school.
It was not too long after our trip that we learned Knox Cave was closed. Rumor had it that someone too big got stuck in one of those narrow places. But I suspect that it was the state that closed it, declaring it "unsafe" unless a lot of work was done on it, making improvements for safety. However, that would take away its "natural" state as well as be expensive for the owner, who just closed it.
NOTE: According to an exhibit seen up at Howe Caverns (2006) - Knox Cave is mentioned and it says Knox Cave was closed in 1975 when an explorer died there.
Jean Lamouret [10/13/1923 - 10/8/2007] Cherry Valley, NY
written June 2006
My mother, Jean Lamouret (click for more infromation), wrote the following account when she learned that I joined the Knox Historical Society.
Thank you for all of your efforts!
Nancy Scanlon, Chairperson: Sunday Music on the Porch Program, Knox Historical Society