Greater Ancestors

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Van Buren County – Skeleton of Mammoth Size



A Manchester (Tenn.) paper describes a cave near that city commonly known as “Bone Cave,” from which has been brought, at various times, by boys and other persons who have tried to explore its hidden recesses, human bones of unusual size. The popular legends of the people are to the effect that it is somehow connected with the people or race which created the “Old Stone Fort,” that stands a short distance to the west of the town. A few days since, some boys discovered an almost entire human skeleton of mammoth size. The bones of the forearm were nearly twenty inches long, while the bone of the lower part of the leg was longer than an ordinary man’s lower limb, foot and all. The jawbone of this giant would slip over the face of an ordinary man. Stimulated by these discoveries, and a laudable curiosity to learn the secrets of this mysterious cavern, on a recent day six gentlemen, including the editors of this paper, made the necessary preparations and started out to explore the “Bone Cave.” After an exhilarating walk of two miles through a clear, bracing air, they reached the entrance of the cave, where, divesting themselves of their overcoats, and lighting their torches, they entered one of the many passages; but after a short scramble, they found further advances stopped by large masses of rock that had fallen and blocked up the passages. Again, they started, and this time they were successful. Going back about 250 feet, they found the passage growing more and more narrow, until

  1. Tennessee, Van Burn County, New York Dispatch, 1872. 

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