Greetings from Alabama!

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Greetings from Alabama!

Postby BamaGoodfella » Jun 15, 2013 2:31 pm

I first became interested in caves as a young boy when I visited Desoto Caverns in elementary school. After that, my parents took me to several commercial caves on vacation (Ruby Falls, Sequoya Caverns, Mammoth Cave, Russell Cave, Lost Sea, & Cathedral Caverns). When I was in high school, a friend of mine told me about Weaver Cave and we explored it several times. I would love to join a local grotto and become active, but unfortunately I'm taking care of my mom at the moment and she's in very poor health.

If there are any cavers near Oxford, AL I would love to know if you've also heard rumors of a large cave that runs under Hwy 78 in Oxford. I remember as a kid hearing about it, and a couple of years ago a friend's dad (now in his late 60's) told me he remembers people talking about going into the cave & talking about an underground river. He told me that the entrance was covered over when a commercial building was built on Hwy 78 several years ago. This has ALWAYS fascinated me, and it seems plausible since several large sinkholes have opened up in Oxford over the years and Blue Pond was formed by a sinkhole.

Take care, and look forward to talking with all of y'all!
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Re: Greetings from Alabama!

Postby trogman » Jun 15, 2013 5:26 pm

Hi there, BamaGoodfella:
First of all, welcome to the forum! Yes, there are a few cavers in the Anniston/Oxford/Gadsden area, I being one of them. Oxford Cave(ACA 544) was indeed near Highway 78, and is now destroyed (or at least the entrance is). I don't know when that occurred, but I believe it has been at least 20 years or more ago. The ACS listing for it has it as 1000' long, so it could have gone under the highway.
Unfortunately, caves are often sacrificed for the sake of "progress" or "safety." There used to be a small but very unique cave in Weaver called Meadows Cave (AKA Fites Cave), but according to the locals, it was destroyed because parents in the new subdivision were concerned for their children's safety.

I am sorry that your mom is in poor health, but glad that you are taking care of her. If you like, look up the Gadsden Grotto on Facebook,https://www.facebook.com/groups/222610574482402/ or check out our grotto websitehttp://www.caves.org/grotto/gadsdengrotto/. You are also welcome to attend one of our meetings if you get a chance and get an idea of what organized caving is all about.

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Re: Greetings from Alabama!

Postby BamaGoodfella » Jun 15, 2013 5:53 pm

Thanks for the quick response and sorry for sending you a PM just now asking you about the cave without checking my intro post first. That's REALLY exciting to know that the stories I'd heard about a cave in Oxford as a child were true!!! The only cave that I've visited in Calhoun County is Weaver Cave but that was back in high school (I'm 39 now LOL). Unfortunately, it was hard to enjoy the cave because I remember it being covered with spray paint and trash. I didn't realize that there used to be another cave in Weaver other than Lady Cave & Weaver Cave. I bet there's probably several other caves in the county that I haven't heard of either then LOL!

I'd definitely like to come check out the Gadsden Grotto when a get a chance and learn more about safe caving with an organized group. Thanks again for the information!
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Re: Greetings from Alabama!

Postby Shane S » Jun 16, 2013 7:47 pm

Fortunately we now have a strong SCCI that can work with governing agencies to prevent such closures. Yes an un-natural gate is not the most pleasant thing in the world to see but it's a far cry from loosing the cave for generations to come.
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Re: Greetings from Alabama!

Postby BamaGoodfella » Jun 17, 2013 7:09 pm

Shane S wrote:Fortunately we now have a strong SCCI that can work with governing agencies to prevent such closures. Yes an un-natural gate is not the most pleasant thing in the world to see but it's a far cry from loosing the cave for generations to come.


After seeing Weaver cave years ago & a cave in Polk County GA (not sure of the name, but maybe Trogman can help me with that since I PM'd him where it was), I can completely understand the need to protect caves against vandalism and disturbing a cave's fragile eco-system either through dumping trash or simply over visitation. The entrance to the cave in Oxford was destroyed simply in the name of commercial "progress" from what I've heard. Given Oxford's history lately of destroying important sites, I guess it really shouldn't surprise me though. For those of you not from my area of Alabama, this article was in the New York Times describing the destruction of Native American sites in Oxford for commercial "progress": http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/14/us/14oxford.html?_r=0 Given the proximity of the Native American sites mentioned in the article compared to where the Oxford cave used to be, it wouldn't surprise me if important archaeological information was lost forever when the cave was sealed.
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Re: Greetings from Alabama!

Postby trogman » Jun 18, 2013 9:29 am

Shane S wrote:Fortunately we now have a strong SCCI that can work with governing agencies to prevent such closures. Yes an un-natural gate is not the most pleasant thing in the world to see but it's a far cry from loosing the cave for generations to come.


I second that, but remember- the SCCI is only as strong as we, the supporters and contributors make it. So if you live anywhere in TAG or the SE U.S., and you are a caver, I would strongly encourage you to become a member, or better yet, a sustaining member. http://www.scci.org Even if you don't live in the SE, the SCCI is still a great organization. Many cavers come from all over the country and enjoy the great TAG caving. And many of the caves they visit are SCCI-owned. So if you regularly visit SCCI-owned caves, it is only fitting that you do your part. (edit- This is not directed at you, Shane, because I assume you are already a member. Its just that I seldom pass up an opportunity to put in a plug for the SCCI)

BamaGoodfella wrote:After seeing Weaver cave years ago & a cave in Polk County GA (not sure of the name, but maybe Trogman can help me with that since I PM'd him where it was), I can completely understand the need to protect caves against vandalism and disturbing a cave's fragile eco-system either through dumping trash or simply over visitation. The entrance to the cave in Oxford was destroyed simply in the name of commercial "progress" from what I've heard. Given Oxford's history lately of destroying important sites, I guess it really shouldn't surprise me though. For those of you not from my area of Alabama, this article was in the New York Times describing the destruction of Native American sites in Oxford for commercial "progress": http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/14/us/14oxford.html?_r=0 Given the proximity of the Native American sites mentioned in the article compared to where the Oxford cave used to be, it wouldn't surprise me if important archaeological information was lost forever when the cave was sealed.


I believe that is White River Cave, which is now gated. There has been some discussion of this cave in past threads: http://forums.caves.org/search.php?keywords=%22white+river+cave%22&terms=all&author=&sc=1&sf=all&sr=posts&sk=t&sd=d&st=0&ch=300&t=0&submit=Search

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Re: Greetings from Alabama!

Postby Hootchapappy » Aug 6, 2013 1:49 am

Hey there!

Please forgive me but I am new to the site and didn't know it existed till now. I'm not a regular caver these days, but loved it back in my younger more limber days... I'm sure some of you out there know what I mean. If there's any information that I can give any of you, I'll do what I can to help. As for the cave in Oxford, off of 78? I've always heard about it but never was shown where it was located, just a proximity. It's sad that the entrance is gone. As for Weaver Cave? I can tell you lots. All you have to do is ask. Some of my info may not be so up to date, but I can tell you a bit about it's history that I know of, not to mention some of the basic mapping out of the different entrances.

The whole thing about Weaver Cave is pretty interesting and it's history is somewhat amazing for what it's been through over the years. I can think of about 6 or 7 entrances to weaver alone and all within a small area (easy, short walking distance of one another), with one of them possibly being the only one left that could take you to Georgia, where it supposedly ends. That one, you would have to get special permission from the landowner and that would take some persuasion from an organization with legal and professional credentials to back it. I can tell or show you the way, but it's up to you for getting the legal permission. To be honest with you, I don't think there's more than probably a half dozen people even knows that entrance to the cave exists. I know one thing for sure, it's definitely a contributor to the creek that comes out the main entrance of Weaver Cave. I also know the entrance is somewhat blocked by debris such as tree limbs and overburden, but where the water disappears into the ground, you can hear the water going in, dropping a short ways, and then splashing in a very large hollow room. We dropped a couple small sized rocks into the opening and it sounded like they fell about 10 or 12 feet when they hit, and the splash from them sounded like the water was at least a couple feet deep. It could be more or less with either measurements.

If you need more info, just PM me and I'll do my best to help with what I do know.
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Re: Greetings from Alabama!

Postby BamaGoodfella » Aug 6, 2013 5:03 pm

Thanks for the reply Hootchapappy. I've never heard of the entrance to Weaver Cave that you mentioned, but Trogman might be familiar with it. I wouldn't get my hopes up on that entrance going all the way to Georgia though LOL.
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Re: Greetings from Alabama!

Postby trogman » Aug 7, 2013 3:31 pm

BamaGoodfella wrote:Thanks for the reply Hootchapappy. I've never heard of the entrance to Weaver Cave that you mentioned, but Trogman might be familiar with it. I wouldn't get my hopes up on that entrance going all the way to Georgia though LOL.


As far as the "entrance' Hootchapappy referred to, the one with a lot of sticks and debris in it- that is not technically an entrance, since as far as I know no cavers have ever gone through it. That is just the upper insurgence where the water sinks into the cave. If you were to penetrate into the cave there, you would simply end up in the area of the cave upstream from the Chicken Room.

Hootchapappy wrote:Hey there!


The whole thing about Weaver Cave is pretty interesting and it's history is somewhat amazing for what it's been through over the years. I can think of about 6 or 7 entrances to weaver alone and all within a small area (easy, short walking distance of one another), with one of them possibly being the only one left that could take you to Georgia, where it supposedly ends. That one, you would have to get special permission from the landowner and that would take some persuasion from an organization with legal and professional credentials to back it. I can tell or show you the way, but it's up to you for getting the legal permission. To be honest with you, I don't think there's more than probably a half dozen people even knows that entrance to the cave exists. I know one thing for sure, it's definitely a contributor to the creek that comes out the main entrance of Weaver Cave. I also know the entrance is somewhat blocked by debris such as tree limbs and overburden, but where the water disappears into the ground, you can hear the water going in, dropping a short ways, and then splashing in a very large hollow room. We dropped a couple small sized rocks into the opening and it sounded like they fell about 10 or 12 feet when they hit, and the splash from them sounded like the water was at least a couple feet deep. It could be more or less with either measurements.

If you need more info, just PM me and I'll do my best to help with what I do know.


Ummmmm....not sure how to break this to you gently, but Weaver Cave does NOT go to GA. It doesn't even go under highway 21. All told it has about a mile of passage, and most of that lies within a very small area, as much of it is maze passage. That rumor about it going to GA has been around for a long time, and this isn't the first I've heard of it. The cave does have 5 known entrances, and I believe at one time it had two others, both of which are now closed. I believe the Lady's Ent. is manmade, and I know the shaft with the grate over it is. The cave does have a lot of history that would be interesting to hear, such as it's use for saltpeter mining, being used as a dance hall, and also the famous chicken farm that was once in the "Chicken Room." I would love to read more about those things.

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Re: Greetings from Alabama!

Postby BamaGoodfella » Aug 7, 2013 7:19 pm

I'd LOVE to hear some stories about Weaver Cave Hootchapappy! I'd always heard rumors about Oxford Cave too, but I was SOO happy when Trogman told me that there really was a cave there. I'd heard that the cave was MUCH longer than what the ACS had listed and had a large underground river in it, but I have a feeling that some caving stories are like fishing stories LOL!
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