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)

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

A GoFundMe page has been launched for a Vernon man whose BX orchard property home off Pleasant Valley Road near Stickle Road was totally destroyed in a fire Saturday, April 17. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)
Fundraising campaign launched for Vernon man who lost home to fire

A GoFundMe page has been started by family; man taken to hospital with injuries from fire

Armaan Dhaliwal hands a cheque for $500 to Shuswap Hospital Foundation president Angie Spencer as his proud grandparents Gordie and Nancy Dhaliwal watch on Friday, April 16. (Jim Elliot/Salmon Arm Observer)
Salmon Arm boy’s samosa sales benefit hospital foundation

Armaan Dhaliwal was able to give the Shuswap Hospital Foundation a $500 donation

School District 83 trustees are expected to be discussing the current Long Range Facilities Plan options at the April 20 school board meeting. (File photo)
Letter: Let the people have their say on Salmon Arm school options

Parent encourages School District 83 board to hold off on making a decision

Each spring, the Okanagan Fest-of-Ale is held in Penticton. This year, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the festival will not be held. However, beer is still available. How much do you know about this beverage? (pxfuel.com)
QUIZ: How much do you really know about beer?

Put your knowledge to the test with this short quiz

The Salmon Arm Silverbacks are locked in stiff competition with the Vernon Vipers and West Kelowna Warriors in their BCHL bubble. (File photo)
Salmon Arm Silverbacks adapting to packed pod season schedule

The team is locked in tough competition with the Vernon Vipers and West Kelowna Warriors.

Vancouver resident Beryl Pye was witness to a “concerning,” spontaneous dance party that spread throughout social groups at Kitsilano Beach on April 16. (Screen grab/Beryl Pye)
VIDEO: Dance party erupts at Vancouver’s Kitsilano Beach to the dismay of onlookers

‘It was a complete disregard for current COVID-19 public health orders,’ says Vancouver resident Beryl Pye

This is what’s left of a truck that caught fire at Pyramid Provincial Park off Highway 97 near Summerland Saturday night. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Photo Gallery: Truck gutted by fire at popular Okanagan park, trees saved

Just a metal shell of what once was a pick up truck is left at the scene

A syringe is loaded with COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. to open up COVID vaccine registration to all B.C. residents 18+ in April

Registration does not equate to being able to book an appointment

(Black Press file photo).
Multiple stabbings at Vancouver Island bush party

Three youths hospitalized after an assault in Comox

Selina Robinson is shown in Coquitlam, B.C., on Friday November 17, 2017. British Columbia’s finance minister says her professional training as a family therapist helped her develop the New Democrat government’s first budget during the COVID-19 pandemic, which she will table Tuesday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. finance minister to table historic pandemic-challenged deficit budget

Budget aims to take care of people during pandemic while preparing for post-COVID-19 recovery, Robinson said

Lord Tweedsmuir’s Tremmel States-Jones jumps a player and the goal line to score a touchdown against the Kelowna Owls in 2019. The face of high school football, along with a majority of other high school sports, could significantly change if a new governance proposal is passed at the B.C. School Sports AGM May 1. (Malin Jordan)
Power struggle: New governance model proposed for B.C. high school sports

Most commissions are against the new model, but B.C. School Sports (BCSS) and its board is in favour

Firefighters battled a burning home on farmland in the north end of Vernon Saturday, April 17, 2021. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)
UPDATE: Homeowner taken to hospital after Vernon home destroyed by fire

Firefighters engaged in a lengthy battle against the engulfed structure Saturday afternoon

Members of the Okanagan Screen Arts Society received a cheque for $1,500 Thursday, April 15, 2021. The funds are to help the society’s efforts as they prepare take over operation of the Vernon Towne Cinema at the end of July. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)
Okanagan dealership gives local cinema a lift

Vernon Watkin Motor Ford, in business for more than 100 years, donated to the theatre with nearly as long a history

Vernon Jubilee Hospital. (File photo)
COVID-19 outbreak declared over in surgical unit of Vernon hospital

The outbreak affected four staff, 10 patients and led to three deaths in just over two weeks

Most Read