Knox Cave article February 15, 1933

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Go to Knox Cave Early articles 1933 - 1960

Another Huge Cavern, about a Mile Long, Is Uncovered in Helderbergs

Subterranian Passage, on Farm Near Knox, Explored by Party of Five; Many Curiosities Reported Found

Many Small Chambers, One Large One, Discovered; Another Expedition Planned When Snow Clears from Entrance; Underground Lake Is Also Revealed.

Is 200 Feet Below Earth's Surface; Abounds with Stalactites, Stalagmites

By Herbert C. Campbell

The mysterious Helderbergs, replete with nature's wonders, have once more given way to man to reveal another huge cave, said to rival in size and underground curiosities those uncovered several years ago at Howe's Caverns.

Word of the new cavern, reported to be at least a mile in length and some 200 feet below the earth's level, came today as news spread of an expedition's penetrating the underground passages ten days ago.

From the caverns the exploration party brought forth a dusty, part rotted pine torch, length of rope that fell apart as they were lifted from the rocks, and a broken wood adder, found sixty feet from the entrance.

These, the party believes, were by Prof. Sias of Schoharie Academy during his Helderberg explorations, a short distance from the town of Knox, in the summer of 1879.

This new cave, on the farm of Burdell J. Truax, near Knox, was penetrated successful by Mr. Truax. his brother, Marvin W. Truax, a hired man, Cleon Powell, Robert Cromie, Schenectady, cousin of the Truax brother and D. C. Robinson, Esperance farmer, who explored Howe's Caverns and Secret Caverns before they were opened to the public.

According to Marvin Truax, the party spent four hours in the passages beneath the earth's surface the first day and about three hours the second day, traveling nearly a mile in the numerous passages.

Descending 60 feet into a small ravine, they then climbed 35 feet down a ladder to reach the first passage flooring. Then they descended 100 feet further into a huge chamber, 40 feet square with a ceiling chaped like a dome.

Five passages led from the main chamber, some six feet wide and containing numerous smaller chambers. One contained a lake in which one member of the party waded up to his waistline.

According to Marvin Truax, thousands of bats hung to the rock walls, some cloistered in bunches as large as an ordinary hat. Heat from a torch "thawed out" one bunch, he said.

Stalactites. those icicle-shaped forms of calcium carbonate caused by water carrying the ingredients through the rocks, hung from the ceilings of the passages and the chambers. Some were several feet long, Mr. Truax said.

In only one chamber, Mr. Truax said, did the party discover stalagmites and these were comparatively small.

It is believed the Knox cave might prove to be part of a huge chain of underground passages, stretching from Hale's Cave, explored by the late Prof. Theodore Hale of Albany High school, at John Boyd Thacher park, to Howe's Cavern near Cobleskill.

Old residents of Knox recalled that some time ago, along the road from Knox to Gallupville, there was another cave entrance that drew several exploration parties before the entrance was filled in with rocks.

The party's equipment consisted of three lanterns, two carbonide mining electric torches, several hundred feet of rope and a seven-foot ladder, besides the 35-foot ladder left at the first drop.

Mr. Truax said that as soon all the snow clears from the entrance another exploration party will be planned, this time prepared to go farther down the passages.

February 15, 1933 Times Union, Albany