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

LETTER: Former Summerland mayors speak out on solar project

Five former Summerland mayors sign name to short letter

Emergency crews conduct CPR on unresponsive person in Okanagan Lake

West Kelowna emergency crews are on scene at the shores of Jubilee Mobile Home Park

Summerland Museum reopens

Museum to open on July 15 with reduced operating hours

WFN eases COVID-19 restrictions for tenants and landlords

Westbank First Nations make changes as COVID-19 restrictions begin to slightly lift

Penticton photographer publishes book showcasing resilience of Okanagan people

Okanagan Strong showcases the bravery of many during crisis; from COVID-19, to floods, and fires

B.C. identifies 20 new COVID-19 cases, travellers specified in count

Pandemic total 3,028 cases, 51 people from outside Canada

Kelowna taxpayers could pay $90K for losses caused by cancelled Memorial Cup

$135,000 would be put aside for a potential bid for a future opportunity to host the tournament

Survey, hotline launched amid probe into racist blood-alcohol guessing game at B.C. hospital

Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond has been appointed to lead an investigation by Health Minister Adrian Dix

Canadian policing organization calls for decriminalization of simple illicit drug possession

Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police want policing focus of opioid crisis to be replaced with a health one

Motorcycle rider seriously injured in collision with vehicle on Highway 97 west of Pritchard

Chase RCMP report that motorcycle was attempting to pass when crash occurred

Predator mutilated cats in Kelowna: BC SPCA

The BC SPCA confirmed a mutilated cat was killed by a predator

Filing deadline in RCMP sexual-harassment class-action extended due to COVID-19

Plaintiffs now have until January 2021 to submit claims for up to $222,000

Jamie Bacon pleads guilty to charge in Surrey Six case

The plea brings an end to a complex legal case that has spanned more than a decade

$500 fine for Vernon man caught near Coldstream playground

Richard Slobodian, 58, served one night in jail and ordered to pay for breaching probation

Most Read