A story shared in the Oct. 4, 1923 issue of the Summerland Review details the finding of a mammoth underground cave hidden somewhere near Shuswap Lake. (Freephotos-Pixabay)

History mystery: Mammoth-sized cave discovered at Shuswap Lake

Explorer says hidden underground find contains miles of passages

It was a local discovery said to rival other underground wonders of the world.

Mammoth Cave is Discovered At Shuswap reads the headline in the Summerland Review on the day of Thursday, Oct. 4, 1923.

The story revolves around an R. Roberts, who shares the tale of his discovery of a cave at Shuswap Lake that would make the region famous.

According to Roberts, the cave was hidden by silt and river wash and could only be located by one who had been there before.

“For years there has been told a story of this cave but most who heard it placed it in the category of lost mines and buried treasures,” Roberts told the Review.

Roberts goes on to say a person named Kennedy found the cave while seeking a homestead. He made an attempt to file a claim on it, but was told that section of the country was reserved for soldiers wishing to take up land, so he covered up the entrance.

Read more: Newly discovered cave in B.C. park might be the largest in Canada

Read more: Scientist finds fossil evidence of sabre-toothed cat in southern Alberta

Read more: VIDEO: Victoria researcher unveils B.C.’s first unique dinosaur discovery

“In a moment of confidence, Kennedy told me the story of the cave and showed me the location of the entrance,” said Roberts, who would later locate and set about exploring the cave.

“For about 200 feet I proceeded through a narrow passage, sometimes able to go ahead at a crouching walk, then again compelled to crawl, owing to the height of the roof,” continued Roberts. “At the end of the passage, I reached a huge cavern. The candle I held threw no light on the roof so great was the cave.

“Radiating from the huge cavern are scores of passages. I cannot state the area of the cave or the number of passages. I believe it extends for miles.”

Down one passage Roberts said he could hear the sound of a waterfall. The cave itself he described as being void of stalactites and stalagmites, though they occasionally appeared in the passages.

A search of the archives at the Salmon Arm Museum returned no information regarding the cave described by Roberts, who provided no particular indicators of its whereabouts to the Review.

Shuswap author and outdoors enthusiast Jim Cooperman isn’t aware of a “mammoth cave” in the area. He suggests the article may be the product of exaggeration or, if the cave was on private land, the entrance may be covered and could remain hidden. Cooperman adds his research indicates there may be caves in the Three Valley Gap area.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Shuswap Lake

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Lake Country Food Bank welcomes wheelbarrow load of donations

Rotary Club presents symbolic cheque for the $24,600 raised since August 2018

WATCH: North Okanagan seniors stay fit in self-isolation

Residents have taken to their balconies to follow along in exercise class

‘An extra $220 every 90 days’: B.C. patients pay more dispensing fees due to prescription limits

Kelowna woman says it’s outrageous to charge for refills every 30 days

KGH Foundation establishes COVID-19 response fund to support frontline workers

Doctors, nurses and staff have been challenged to pivot operations to prepare for the COVID-19 pandemic

General exposure to public low after inmate tests positive for COVID-19: Interior Health

The Okanagan Correctional Centre inmate is receiving appropriate care

‘Hold our line’: 29 new cases of COVID-19 announced in B.C.

Saturday’s number of new cases marks the lowest in weeks.

Visitor to Kamloops army club tests positive for COVID-19: Interior Health

The individual visited Anavets 290 Army and Navy Club between March 13 and March 17

Two inmates found positive for COVID-19 at federal prison in B.C.; other tests pending

15 staff self-isolating waiting results, refusal to work notice sent, says correctional officer

COVID-19: Staying home in Shuswap is difficult when you don’t have one

As the snow flies, people without homes in Salmon Arm talk about how tough life is

Okanagan family shares story of son’s cancer recovery to encourage blood donation

Finlay Ritson’s parents can’t donate blood, but hope his story will encourage others to do so

Critic, workers’ group ‘disappointed’ Trudeau chose Amazon to distribute PPE

Amazon Canada said in an email to The Canadian Press that it is working with Canada Post, Purolator

Vernon politician questions if response to COVID-19 worse than virus

Precautions make sense but destroying economy in process doesn’t, says Coun. Scott Anderson

‘Always look on the sunny side,’ Okanagan senior says

Heaton Place resident shares story of growing up in Roaring Twenties

92-year-old Vernon woman crochets 1,000 toques for donation

Daisy Ferguson has been working on the toque project for the past six years

Most Read