MATT WILSON PRODUCTIONS

Cass Scenic Railroad Memorabilia

Cass Cave in National Geographic

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Cass Cave in National Geographic
The June 1964 issue of "National Geographic" featured this photo of the Lacy Suicide Falls in the Cass Cave as its center spread. This is one of the very few times West Virginia has ever been represented in the magazine, leave alone the fact that this is a rarely traversed cave. The cave is located on the mountain underneath Whittaker Station, and it is likely that at least a portion of the cave passes under the railroad grade at some point. It is located on private property, and has reportedly been closed to visitors since the early 2000s. The original caption read: "Lacy Suicide Falls Tumbles 140 Feet Down a Wall of Cass Cave, West Virginia. Climber Takes the Only Way Out -- Systemic investigation of the cave began in 1947. Explorers since have mapped the 830-foot-long Big Room and probed two miles of tortuous passages. To take the picture, the photographer covered a slope with aluminum foil to make a huge reflector for 12 bulbs." KODACHROME BY HUNTLEY INGALLS (c) NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC SOCIETY
Posted by mattwilsonproductions on October 25, 2009 Full Size| Slideshow

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5 Comments

Reply barbara futej
8:17 PM on August 15, 2012 
the location is actually on George Deike's property -- or under it !! while we stay on the surface when we are at Cass and enjoy the trains, this is facinating. needless to say, we DID NOT go into the cave !!!! just so interesting to know its there !
Reply Bob Rhoads
9:34 PM on January 28, 2011 
Joe...I was program director at Buckskin Scout Reservation in 1961. We also tried our luck in Cass cave. The camp director told the staff they could not go into Cass unless I agreed to go with them...so it was either go or be the bad guy.

We had been told by the state police not to trust any of the pitons already in the wall...so we dragged a log chain in to secure to a large rock at the top of the falls. The guys attached a block and tackle to the log chain and the first guy went over the edge. They let out the rope until it stopped going out. After some time they tried to pull it back up. It wouldn't budge...and we couldn't see a sign of the guy on the bottom end. We did manage to get him out but not after I went down one of the block and tackle ropes to free up the bottom block. I did not see this picture until years later...or I would never have let them talk me into going.

So
Reply Bob Rhoads
9:07 PM on January 28, 2011 
Joe Richards says...
What a great picture of the falls. I was a member of the Buckskin Council camp staff during the summer of 1964. We worked the whole summer to go down the center chamber beside the falls. We had two pieces of rope that measured over two hundred feet each. We cut the ladder rungs from wooden planks. We had flood lights at the falls with #12 coated wire and a large generator from the National Oberservatory at Greenbank. It was a great day, but Kent Bowker, one of camp directors, only made it half-way down the ladder before we abandoned the adventure. It was a great day! I still have the National Geographic with the picture.
Reply Joe Richardsw
2:52 PM on December 26, 2010 
Ooops! I will work on my spelling for the next posting. "Pour spillers of the world untie."
Reply Joe Richards
2:50 PM on December 26, 2010 
What a great picture of the falls. I was a member of the Buckskin Council camp staff during the summer of 1964. We worked the whole summer to go down the center chamber beside the falls. We had two pieces of rope that measured over two hundred feet each. We cut the ladder rungs from wooden planks. We had flood lights at the falls with #12 coated wire and a large generator from the National Oberservatory at Greenbank. It was a great day, but Kent Bowker, one of camp directors, only made it half-way down the ladder before we abandoned the adventure. It was a great day! I still have the National Geographic with the picture.