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

Column: Helping one another through these challenging times

Director’s Notes by CSRD Area C director Paul Demenok

Okanagan real estate market stable; bracing for slowdown due to COVID-19

Real estate board projects slowdown as the economic impacts of the pandemic continue to develop

May fundraisers for Salmon Arm non-profits postponed

Literacy Alliance spelling bee, Hit2Fit boxing event on hold due to COVID-19

COVID19 pushes Salmon Arm boxing coach into students’ living rooms

Needs of students with Parkinson’s prompts Bulldogs’ Peggy Maerz into Zoom Room

Summerland Action Festival cancelled

COVID-19 pandemic leads to decision to stop large outdoor event

White hearts share love with North Okanagan’s health-care heroes

New campaign shows appreciation for front-line workers throughout the Okanagan

Weather dumps belated April Fool’s joke on Okanagan

Snow surprised many Friday, April 3

City of Kelowna Bylaw to issue warnings to those not following public health orders

Bylaw can issue formal warnings and will contact Interior Health when ongoing non-compliance is occurring

Don’t stop going to the doctor, just do it virtually: B.C. association

Doctors encourage patients to access telephone, online visits

Column: If there ever was a time…

Coping in these worrisome times by Nan Dickie

Kelowna gamer donates proceeds to Central Okanagan Food Bank

Dylan St. Onge will donate all his April proceeds to help those affected by COVID-19

Businesses advised to prepare for federal, B.C. COVID-19 assistance

Canada Revenue Agency portal expected to open next week

Shuswap history in pictures: Speedgun

Were you speeding near the Salmon Arm Court House in June of 1976?

Most Read