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~ Kathy M.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Sepia Saturday #183: The Oregon Caves

Last week, my friend Wendy from over at Jollette Etc., challenged me to post two weeks in a row for Sepia Saturday, so here I am once more.  

This week's Sepia Saturday theme photo led us Sepia Saturday folks to the subject of caves, so I searched through my blog to see what I could find.  I came up with the vintage postcard that I posted a while ago, of The Oregon Caves.  I also have another post of my friend Wendy's trip to the Lava River Caves near where we live.  If you would like to check that out, "please click here."       

In trying to find out a bit more about the Oregon Caves and still make things easy on myself, I found these great pictures and some other information on  The ladies in the photos below look awfully familiar to me!  The pictures were taken in the 1940's, and somebody must have done some fancy photo-editing and turned a few of those pictures into postcards.

 Source:  Wikipedia

 Source:  Wikipedia

Below is the first part of the article from Wikipedia about the Oregon Caves.  I think that we stopped at the monument when I was little, but I don't remember walking all the way through the caves.  I can't imagine 4 little kids being safe crossing over those skinny little bridges.  I'm not sure that I want to go there even now, but the caves are quite magnificent.

"Oregon Caves National Monument is a National Monument in the northern Siskiyou Mountains of southwestern Oregon in the United States. The main part of the 488-acre (197.5 ha) park, including the marble cave and a visitor center, is located 20 miles (32 km) east of Cave Junction, on Oregon Route 46. A separate visitor center in Cave Junction occupies 4 acres (1.6 ha) of the total. Both parts of the monument, managed by the National Park Service, are in southwestern Josephine County, near the Oregon–California border. The climate is generally mild even at the cave's elevation of about 4,000 feet (1,200 m) above sea level, but icicles can form at the cave entrance, and winter snow sometimes blocks the park highway. 

Elijah Davidson, a resident of nearby Williams, discovered the cave in 1874. Over the next two decades, private investors failed in efforts to run successful tourist ventures at the publicly owned site. After passage of the Antiquities Act by the United States Congress, President William Howard Taft established Oregon Caves National Monument, to be managed by the United States Forest Service, in 1909. The popularity of the automobile, construction of paved highways, and promotion of tourism by boosters from Grants Pass led to large increases in cave visitation during the late 1920s and thereafter. Among the attractions at the remote monument is the Oregon Caves Chateau, a six-story hotel built in a rustic style in 1934. It is a National Historic Landmark and is part of the Oregon Caves Historic District within the monument. The Park Service, which assumed control of the monument in 1933, offers tours of the cave from mid-April through early November.

Oregon Caves is a solutional cave, with passages totaling about 15,000 feet (4,600 m), that formed in marble. The parent rock was originally limestone that metamorphosed to marble during the geologic processes that created the Klamath Mountains, including the Siskiyous. Although the limestone formed about 190 million years ago, the cave itself is no older than a few million years. Valued as a tourist cave, the cavern also has scientific value; sections of the cave that are not on tour routes contain fossils of national importance.

In addition to cave touring, activities at the park include hiking, photography, and wildlife viewing. One of the park trails leads through the forest to Big Tree, which at 13 feet (4.0 m) is the largest diameter Douglas-fir known in Oregon. Lodging and food are available at The Chateau and in Cave Junction. Camping is available at Forest Service campgrounds and private sites in the area."  Source:


So, there you are, my friends.  If you enjoyed this story, please visit my Sepia Saturday friends by "CLICKING HERE" to find other neat photos and stories.  To read more about my family and other stories featuring old photos, memories and more, please look for this picture of me and my dad on the left-hand sidebar and read whatever else catches your fancy.  Thanks so much for visiting!

Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy ~ Kathy Matthews

At Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy, if you miss a day, you miss a lot!  All material on this post is copyrighted and not for use without my permission ...Please click here to go to my home page and see what is happening in Mayberry today.
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Karen S. said...

So now does that mean you'll skip next week? Ha! Ha! I know the feeling of being busy and not having blogging time! Especially hard when I like to post for several of them, it gets so hard. But seeing everyone's is always so much fun. I've always liked going through these caves, I know once you've seen one they say you've seen them all, but I think everyone I've been in has a different charm, or some little story we hadn't heard before! Great seeing your post here! You posted just before mine too!

Little Nell said...

Great to have you with us again this week Kathy. Those caves do look magnificent and it seems you weren't the first postcardmaker then!

Kristin said...

That first one looks frightening. Big teeth ready to bite that girl in half. After this weeks cave tour, I am pretty positive that I am not a cave person.

Postcardy said...

I like seeing the people included in the cave pictures.

Brett Payne said...

Didn't that woman read the signs saying do not climb over the railings? So they were using coloured lights in caves back then too - I think it would be far more interesting to see more creative methods used. Great postcard, thank you.

Alex Daw said...

"Chambers of rare and grotesque beauty" - gotta love that phrase on the back of the first postcard! Great post. Thanks.

Gail Perlee said...

I used to drive up to Cave Junction often when we lived in Gasquet where my husband worked for the U.S. Forest Service. I went there to pick up lugs of peaches & pears in season & bring them back home to can. I could bring peaches & pears back into California, but not cherries - unless they were already canned. But since I had no way of canning them BEFORE bringing them back, I had to be satisfied with peaches & pears. But ohhhhh, they were good! And we did get to see the Oregon Caves some years later when our kids were older.

Sharon said...

It is amazing how many people have postcards of caves.

Some of the shoes in those pictures do not look suitable for walking in a slippery cave.

Alan Burnett said...

They do look like magnificent caves. Can I take this opportunity of issuing you with a public challenge to do THREE Sepia Saturdays in succession.

anyjazz said...

Fine post! You rounded up some good postcards on the subject. Those girls do look familiar!

Helen Bauch McHargue said...

This brought back some memories. I was there once and ventured in a short bit. Loved the postcards.

Joan said...

Nice reminder of great times we spent at the Oregon Caves. My son and husband thought them a bit too tame, but just right for me. Nice to see you at your place at Sepia Saturday.

Tattered and Lost said...

Another place I need to put on my "to visit" list.

That first image is so stunningly wonderfully bad. It looks like something you'd see in a 1950s sci-fi movie.

Wendy said...

Care to make it three?

Caverns are always so beautiful and mysterious. I enjoyed the tour.

Bob Scotney said...

Well I've learned something I didn't know. As I studied geology as a subsidiary subject at university I should have known, but didn't, that marble is transformed from linestone.
These caves look a great place to visit.

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