Conor Watkins' Ozark Mountain Experience
Article 28, 29, & 30 Combined
By Conor Watkins

Tavern Rock Cave, St. Albans, And The Lewis & Clark Expedition


Tavern Rock Cave as it looks today.
Additional Picture


The author stands at the entrance to Tavern Rock Cave.

In 1803, President Thomas Jefferson purchased 828,000 square miles of land from France west of the Mississippi River for $15 million (about 2.83 cents per acre).  This area, called the Louisiana Purchase, almost doubled the size of the United States.  It later became incorporated in 13 new states, including all of Missouri.  President Jefferson decided that the land should be explored to determine the characteristics of the land, climate, and native peoples.  In 1804 he commissioned a group of men known as the Corps of Discovery (more commonly known as the Lewis and Clark Expedition) to explore this western territory.

On May 23, 1804, only two days after the Corps of Discovery left from St. Charles, MO, the expedition almost came to a tragic end.  While exploring a cave and bluffs just west of St. Louis on the Missouri River (near the present day town of St. Albans), Meriwether Lewis, the leader of the expedition almost fell to his death.  While atop a 300-foot river bluff, Lewis started to slide.  He nearly missed falling to his almost certain death by digging a knife into a crevice in the rock bluff.


Tavern Rock Bluff as it looks today.  The railroad has
cut the bluff and changed its appearance since 1804,
but the bluff is still tall and shear.
Summertime View

On May 23, 1804 William Clark made the following entry in journals kept by the expedition.

“We Set out early ran on a Log and detained one hour, proceeded the Course of Last night 2 miles to the mouth of a Creek (R) on the Stbd. Side called Osage Womans R, about 30 yds wide, opposit a large island and a (American) settlement. (on this creek 30 or so famlys are settled, crossed to the setlemt and took in R & Jos Fields who had been Sent to purchase Corn & Butter &c Many people Came to See us, we passed a large Cave on the Lbd. Side (Called by the french the Tavern - about 120 feet wide 40 feet Deep & 20 feet high many different immages are Painted on the Rock at this place the Ind & French pay omage. Many names are wrote on the rock, Stoped about one mile above for Capt. Lewis who had assended the Clifts which at the Said Cave 300 fee(t) high, hanging over the waters, the water excessively Swift to day, We incamped below a Small Isld. In the Middle of the river, Sent out two hunters, one Killed a Deer.

Course & Distance 23rd May
S. 75 W 2 mils to Osage Woman R the Course of Last Night
S. 52 W 7 mils. To a pt. On the St. Side.

The evening we examined the arms and ammunition found.  Those mens arms in the perogue in bad order. a fair evening. Capt. Lewis near falling from the Pinecles of rocks 300 feet, he caught at 20 foot.”


Looking down the Missouri River from atop Tavern Rock Bluff.
Meriwether Lewis almost fell from the 300 foot bluffs while investigating the site.
This would have likely ended the ended the expedition.

Although Meriwether Lewis was chosen as the leader of the expedition because of his skills in the natural sciences, William Clark was more of an outdoorsman and had more experience in wilderness survival.  He was also more level headed.  These were some of the reasons he was chosen to participate in the expedition.  Clark scolded Lewis the next day and told him to never do such a thing again.  Only one man died during the entire expedition and it was due to appendicitis, not a fall, drowning, or animal/Indian attack.

A footnote in the expedition's journals indicated that Tavern Rock Cave and the bluff known as Tavern Rock received their names because this location was a popular stopping point for travelers on the river.  It is thought there was once a tavern, or resting area, located in or near the cave.  From the time of Lewis and Clark to 1903, the Missouri River flowed just below the cave, making it impossible to miss.  It is rumored that Sgt. John Ordway, a member of the expedition, inscribed “ORD, 1804” into the back of the cave.  Although this inscription has received national attention for being left by Lewis and Clark, the author and others do not believe that Sgt. Ordway left the mark.  The inscription appears to read "FORD 188X" with X either being a 4 or 9 that has weathered.  It also appears that the "F" in "FORD" was not scratched near as deeply into the rock and may have possibly been left by a later visitor.  The second "8" appears to be original and not modified from a "0."  It has been suggested that individuals have encouraged the belief that Ordway left the mark in order to help preserve the cave and bring attention to the area.


The inscription appears to be "FORD 1884" and not "ORD 1804."  The F is less

noticeable and may have been added at a later date.
Additional Picture

This inscription remains today although the images left by Indians have weathered away or have been covered with soot from fires in the cave.  Only one inscription has been verified to have been left by the Lewis and Clark Expedition.  This inscription is on Pompey’s Pillar, a rock formation in Montana above the Yellowstone River.  It is now vandalized.  There is another inscription that looks to have an 1804 date near the mouth of the Osage River in the vicinity of Osage City, MO.  The mark reads "J.C.S". and appears to be followed by "180X", wtih X being an unreadable number.  Some believe this may have been left by John Shields of the Lewis and Clark Expedition.   As of now, this has not been confirmed.  The portion of rock with the name has been chiseled and smoothed, and is shared with an 1854 date, leading one to believe that the J.C.S. was left at the same time.  Dr. Peter Kincaid, founder of St. Albans, also carved “KINCAID 1835“ at the back of Tavern Rock Cave.

Tavern Rock Cave, simply called Tavern Cave by some, exists in an isolated location much as it did when Lewis and Clark passed by on May 23, 1804 and again on Sept 21, 1806 as the expedition returned home.  There have been some changes of course.  In 1880’s, the Chicago, Rock Island Railroad, and Pacific Railroad (now the Missouri Central line) was constructed 60 feet above the cave.  This involved the blasting away of some of the bluff known as Tavern Rock to make way for the railroad.  The leftover fill from this blasting was simply cast over the edge where some of it fell in front of the cave.  The entrance of Tavern Rock cave is partially obscured by this large mound of dirt and rock.  After a disastrous flood on the Missouri River in 1903, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers earth filled the south bank of the Missouri River, moving its course farther away form the cave.  The geometry of the riverbank, vegetation, mound of debris, and increased distance from the river now make the cave invisible to river travelers.  The cave, river, and nearby bluffs are best seen in the winter when views are less obstructed by vegetation.


The author stands atop the edge of a debris pile created by construction of the railroad.
Additional Picture Looking Out of Tavern Rock Cave


The Missouri River no longer flows directly beneath the bluffs near St. Albans,
as it was rerouted by a flood and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in 1903.


The Missouri River as seen today from the bank near Tavern Rock.

Tavern Rock Cave is more a shelter than a cave.  It resembles the beginnings of a sandstone natural bridge rather than a typical Missouri cave.  The cave is about 120 feet wide, 40 feet deep, and 20 feet tall.  It is located in the St. Peter Sandstone Formation, a sandstone with a high quartz content.  Geologically, Tavern Rock Cave formed differently than most Missouri Caves, which are generally formed by karst (groundwater dissolving rock) processes.  There are multiple theories explaining the origin of this cave.  Some believe that the cave was scoured out by a back eddy of the Missouri River.  Up until a flood and the Corps of Engineers and a flood altered the course of the river in 1903, the river flowed just below Tavern Rock Cave.  During floods and the last ice age when the climate was much wetter and the river was higher, the cave was essentially part of the river.  During high velocity flows, water can transport enough sediment to grind away at rock, concrete, and steel.

Tavern Rock Cave may have also formed by wind erosion of the rock.  Such erosion occurs when wind picks up grains of material and essentially sandblasts the rock.  It is obvious that some of the cave was formed by preferential weathering along joints (fractures) in the sandstone bedrock.  The joints in the rock appear parallel to the bluff face and are most likely unloading/stress relief joints caused by the lateral erosion/removal of rock by the river.


This picture looking out of the cave clearly shows the joints in the rock running
parallel to the bluff face.

Since the cave is so open to the outside, the temperature inside can drop to below freezing in the winter.  Frost action appears to have also acted to enlarge this cave.  Small seeps within the cave slowly drip water, supplying a source of water to freeze.  It is also reported that an intermittent stream flows from the rear of the cave after heavy rains.  Luckily the fill dumped in front of the cave is mostly porous gravel and the cave drains easily.  If the mound were impervious, the floor of the cave would be wet most of the time.

Those familiar with fresh exposures of St. Peter sandstone are used to a fragile snowy white rock that is easily crumbled in one's hands, not the hard sandstone present at Tavern Rock Cave.  The exposed sandstone surfaces at Tavern Rock Cave have been case hardened.  Case hardening is a process where rock strength increases as it weathers due to the precipitation of mineral cements and related phenomena.  Such processes generally form only a thin protective skin, or patina, and unweathered sandstone below the surface is likely white and friable (crumbly), as freshly exposed St. Peter Formation is elsewhere.


Freshly exposed St. Peter sandstone is usually snowy white and friable.
Picture taken at U.S. Silica Quarry in Pacific, MO.

Today, the nearest town to Tavern Rock Cave, St. Albans, is an upscale resort community consisting of a country store, fine restaurant, two 18-hole golf courses, a school, and several residential neighborhoods.  The property was developed in this manner during the early 1990’s.  Development continues as suburbanization expands into west St. Louis and eastern Franklin counties.

On a recent trip to the cave, the author climbed the Tavern Rock Bluffs, as Lewis did in 1804.  During the climb one feels as though they are in the middle of nowhere and that there is nothing around for miles.  The location offers spectacular views of the Missouri River and surrounding countryside.  Upon reaching the top, it was found that a gravel road provided an easier way up.  The area nearby was being cleared for construction was to expand "The Bluffs", an upscale development of multi-million dollar homes in the St. Albans development.  Someone will soon own a house directly above the cave while enjoying the same breathtaking view seen by Meriwether Lewis.


Someone will soon live atop the Tavern Rock Bluff and enjoy views such as this.
(Notice the Ameren UE Labadie Power Plant just upstream)
Click For Additional Views: One, Two, & Three

The 300 foot climb is very strenuous and somewhat risky, as the slope was extremely steep and covered with loose rocks, leaves, and other debris.  It seems the bluff face has changed little since Lewis' near miss 200 years ago.  The treacherous climb should not be attempted by anyone without adequate endurance and climbing skill.

During its early history, the area around Tavern Rock Cave was mainly a stopping point for French and Indian Traders.  Pierre or Pedro Montardy setup a lodging area inside of the cave for boatmen traveling the river.  The cave was first recorded as being named Taverne de Montardis.  Montardy, a merchant, originally came from France, lived in St. Louis for a while, and then moved to Tavern Rock Cave.

As with much of the Missouri River region, the St. Albans area was originally settled by German immigrants seeking better opportunities in the United States.  These settlers were following the advice of Gottfried Duden.  Duden, a German settler sent his enthusiastic accounts of American life back to his German homeland in the form of a book during the 1920’s.  The book, “Report on a Journey to the Western States of North America”, reported that Americans were good people living in a land of excellent natural resources.  This attracted German immigrants by the thousands.  Germans started settling on Tavern Creek during 1834 in present day St. Albans because it supplied a constant supply of clean spring water.

In 1837, the town of St. Albans was officially laid out by Dr. Peter Kincaid, a Scotsman.  It is said to have been named after St. Alban in England but might have also been named for a town in Franklin County, VT.  The town consisted 16 city blocks with large lots 33 ft. wide by 66 ft. deep.  There were five streets running north south and three running east west.  At the time the St. Albans was founded, the Missouri River flowed just east of the town and it soon became a popular stopping place for steamboats.  A flood on the Missouri River washed away parts of the town in 1844 but Dr. Kincaid and others stayed to re-establish the town.

After Peter died in 1861, the land was split among his family.  Eventually John, Peter’s son, bought most of the land from the rest of the family.  Some of the land was sold to two railroad companies in 1866.  The St. Albans property was sold in 1912 with the arrangements that the remaining family would have a life interest in the old house and 20 acres of the surrounding land.

St. Albans was relatively quiet during the Civil War except for a raid by General Price, a Confederate, who marched through the area in 1864.  The Germans came to Missouri because they valued freedom and opposed slavery.  Price sought farms operated by these settlers and looted them.  Luckily the locals knew of caves, one now destroyed by the construction of nearby Hwy T, to store ammunition, guns, and other supplies.  Price’s Army marched on a nearby road, now named “Grand Army Rd.”

As the railroad was constructed through St. Albans in the 1880’s, steamboat traffic dropped off.  Railroads were faster and more efficient than steamboats.  Steamboats could travel 40 miles per day while the railroads could travel 400 miles in one day.  Congress abolished the Missouri River Commission in 1902, which almost eliminated commercial river traffic.  The flood of 1903 left bottomlands where the river once flowed and the town of St. Albans was essentially cutoff from the river.  Boats then bypassed the town on the river farther to the northeast.  St. Louisans could ride to St. Albans on the train but this service ended in 1948 or 1949.

The town continued to grow in population and saw a need for a general store.  Twelve citizens organized in 1893 and invested $100 each to construct a country store to be named St. Albans Store. The group eventually sold to another owner, the Pfeiffer family, who left the store to their daughter, Mae.  She later bought the store in Dec 1941 and married a man named Clyde Head.  They changed the name to Head’s Store.  Mae worked the store while her husband worked with heavy equipment.  The store sold everything from food, pet supplies, hardware, soap, very well known sandwiches, and other supplies.  It was known to bicyclists who frequented the area and to railroad workers who stopped their trains for food even though St. Albans wasn’t an official stop.  The store became a community meeting place for socializing and political rallies.

Head's Store exists today and continues to serve the newly redeveloped town.  It is still privately owned and the only part of St. Albans not owned by the developers of the area, the St. Albans Land Development Company.  The flood of 1993 reached high in the lowlands of St. Albans but 3,000 sandbags saved the store.


Head's Store as it appears summer 2003.

The St. Albans Land Development Company wasn’t the first group to develop St. Albans as an upscale country resort.  Theodore Link discovered the area around 1900 and decided to move there.  Theodore and his wife moved to St. Albans in 1903 and started a small hotel.  They soon started a colony of cabins where guests would experience luxury in a relaxed country setting.  It seems this resort was relatively short lived as little information on the project can be found today.  Link did design and construct the old stone diary barn seen in St. Albans today.  It was originally a horse barn but converted to a diary barn in the 1930’s.  Link is more well know as the designer and construction supervisor for the St. Louis Union Station, a railroad terminal.  Union Station still stands in downtown St. Louis and is an architectural marvel now serving as a hotel and shopping mall.

Oscar and Irene Johnson first visited the area in 1907 when staying at Link’s hotel.  He moved to St. Louis and formed the International Shoe Company.  Oscar also bought up the farms and bottomlands of St. Albans to create St. Albans Farms in 1914.  One island in the river was home to the Brown family, a group a squatters.  Johnson was able to have them forcefully evicted in 1931.

Around the same time, the Johnsons started the Tavern Rock Development, which included what was called St. Albans Farms.  This area was to consist of 120 homes overlooking the river and 7,500 acres of farmland.  The St. Albans Farms raised dairy cattle and some crops.  At one time these farms produced over 2 percent of the milk used in the St. Louis area.  During this time, the Johnson’s built two lavish homes, one of which is now known as the Studio or Chateau while the other is known as Wings, a hunt club.  For years, the Missouri River flooded and destroyed crops used to feed the cattle.  The farm was disbanded in 1952 when this problem became more severe and the cattle were sold.


The stone dairy barn in St. Albans was designed by the same architect as
St. Louis Union Station.

The Johnsons also opened a restaurant caller the Barn Inn (later changed to Old Barn Inn) in St. Albans.  This restaurant was once a barn built in 1840.  It was planted up with flowers, remodeled, and turned into a fine eating establishment in 1928.  The Old Barn Inn was closed in 1968 when it was losing money.  The restaurant was reopened in 1988 by a couple from France and was renamed Malmaison after a Chateau built by Napoleon.  Malmaison serves fine French food and receives regular restaurant awards in the St. Louis area.  It is situated along Little Tavern Creek and was almost flooded by the Missouri River in 1993.  Luckily 9,000 protective sandbags saved the restaurant.

The Johnsons donated 150 acres of old growth upland forest to the Missouri Botanical Garden, which was later increased slightly through later donations.  This rugged area, then called Hidden Valley, consists of dissected loess soil and weathered dolomite.  It is home to an ancient old growth forest.  The area is now called Engelmann Woods in honor of George Engelmann, a world famous German botanist who worked at the Missouri Botanical Garden.  It is administered by the Missouri Dept. of Conservation and located just past St. Albans on Hwy T.

An attempt was made to kidnap Oscar Johnson in 1935.  Armed men jumped into his car and drove him away after blocking the road with another vehiucle.  They held Oscar at gunpoint but he turned the car off and broke the ignition key off in the ignition.  At this point, the men took Oscar to a field and beat him with a sawed off shotgun.  His skull was fractured, his teeth were knocked out, and he was left for dead.  Oscar woke up and stumbled upon two farm boys who drove him to Barnes Hospital in St. Louis.  Oscar recovered and the gang of kidnappers was sentenced to serve prison time.

The Johnsons donated much money to Washington University, which has buildings named in their honor.  They were also patrons of the arts.  Oscar Johnson served as President and Vice President of the St. Louis Symphony Society.  He donated $500,000 in 1966 to the symphony to purchase and renovate the St. Louis Theater building, now Powell Symphony Hall.  Up until this time, the St. Louis Symphony did not have a permanent home.

In 1929, a group of locals including Oscar Johnson’s son started Fleet Mount Farms.  During its short time in St. Albans, this farm bred saddle horses for pleasure riding and show.  In 1932 this farm moved to Hillsboro, MO.

Theodore Link II was named after his architect grandfather.  This Link became a newspaper reporter/detective and his work was often dangerous.  He also owned a country home in St. Albans, which was taken care of by Clarence Calvin, a local roughneck.  Link hired this man to keep him out of trouble.  In 1960, Link received a call to notify him that his house in St. Albans had burned to the ground.  It had been robbed two weeks prior.  Calvin was fired and ordered to stay off the property, as he was a prime suspect.  Link drove to St. Albans and bought a 12-gage shotgun and ammunition on the way there.  His 11-year-old son carried a .410 gage model.

Calvin was on the property when the two arrived.  It is said by link that he charged with a pronged garden rake and a knife.  Link opened fire with the shotgun and later with a .38 cal revolver he was carrying.  Link’s son had a different story and Link was arrested and charged with murder but the jury found him not guilty.

St. Albans was featured in the 1992 made for HBO movie “To Die, To Sleep”, which is about a teenager who recently lost a friend to suicide befriending a middle-aged concert roadie.  In the movie, the two ride motorcycles down Hwy T and stop by St. Albans.  At this time, St. Albans had not been heavily developed.

5,280 acres of land from the old Johnson estate was bought by a group of investors, the St. Albans Partners, in 1992 for between 8 and 12 million dollars to develop as an upscale resort.  Cherry Hills Country Club, located in Grover, MO was looking for a new home and chose to merge with St. Albans.  Members of this club automatically became members of St. Albans.  Two 18-hole courses were constructed, both by world famous golf course architects.  They were named Tavern Creek and Lewis And Clark.  In addition, the development consists of Malmaison, trails for horses, hiking, and bikes, tennis courts, polo fields, the Wings hunt club, a shopping center, an equestrian center, a school, and various residential areas.

Another family, the Bicks, owned some of the land in the area and requested that it be donated to the Salvation Army for use as a rest home or childrens’ home.  It is was never to be sold.  The Salvation Army decided that a home was not practical and sold their rights to The St. Albans Partners.  The family fought the decision but was unable to change the plan since they were not in the will (Salvation Army was).  The property was developed according to plan and is currently being built.

The Daughters of The American Revolution (DAR) constructed a marker commemorating the visit of Lewis And Clark in 1971 near the Post Office.  Around 1976, attempts were made to contact the Johnsons about preserving Tavern Rock Cave, which was on their property.  Both were ill and the letters were not answered.  They died not long after.  The marker was rededicated in 1981 for the 175th anniversary of the expedition.  Attempts to persuade the developers preserve the cave have also been unsuccessful.

In 1997, the Daughters of The American Revolution plaque commemorating the Lewis And Clark Expedition at Tavern Rock was made part of the Lewis And Clark National Historic Trail.  The National Park Service placed other markers nearby.  The cave itself was not marked because of its inaccessible location on private land.  Local schools held history readings and costume reenactments for the ceremony.


The Daughters of The American Revolution Marker
commemorating the Lewis And Clark visit to the area
sits near the post office in St. Albans.

The Tavern Rock site and Meriwether Lewis' close call were recently portrayed in a painting by Michael Haynes, a historical artist specializing in American History.  His painting "Meriwether Lewis Escapes Death Above Tavern Cave, May 23, 1804 attempts to provide a historically accurate picture of the incident and its setting.  One will notice that the Missouri River is located directly beneath the bluffs as it was in 1804.

Haynes originally became interested in the Tavern Rock Site, as he lives only six or seven miles from the location and realized the significance of the event.  If Lewis had fallen, he would have likely not survived the 300 feet drop, probably ending the expedition only days from its starting point.  He explored the site during trips to the Tavern Rock and combined his observation with his knowledge of historic military uniforms to create a realistic portrayal of the incident.

Michael Haynes was also commissioned to paint five works by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for display in the Lewis and Clark Bicentennial celebration.  His work had previously been displayed for the Lewis And Clark Trail Heritage Foundation and the Lewis And Clark Bicentennial Commission.  The works impressed historians from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers who realized the historical accuracy of the military uniforms. Haynes routinely consults historians to insure accuracy in his paintings.  See Michael Haynes' website at http://www.mhaynesart.com for more information on the art and how to order.


Michael Haynes' portrayal of Meriwether Lewis Escapes death at Tavern Rock,
May 23, 1804.

Image Courtesy of Michael Haynes.

A small reinforced concrete bridge over Tavern Creek near St. Albans is a unique piece of civil engineering history.  The bridge, no longer in use, was built in the early 1920's and consists of a single span and a small concrete semi-circular gravity arch dam integrated into the upstream portion.  This unique dam served to control the grade of the creek by dropping its bed just upstream of the bridge.  Such a design resulted in cost savings, as it allowed the bridge and road to be constructed at a constant grade, instead of requiring a more expensive elevated bridge.  The design also allowed more water to pass under the bridge, as the dam effectively increases the width, and thus capacity of the creek just above the bridge.  It then narrows and channels water under the bridge, slows it down, and increases its depth in what is technically termed a hydraulic jump.  This also reduces cost by allowing a narrower bridge and sometimes eliminates costly additional spans that would be required otherwise.




The small bridge and integrated dam on Tavern Creek essentially allowed
engineers to "cheat" by constructing a smaller, cheaper bridge than would
have normally been required.
Click for additional pictures: One, Two, Three, Four, Five, & Six

An additional use for the bridge may have been to maintain the grade of the road/bridge above floodwaters backing up from the Missouri River.  This did not work in exceptional floods such as the Flood of 1993, as the structure was covered with water during that flood.


The bridge over Tavern Creek was underwater during the
Flood of 1993 due to water backing up the creek from the
Missouri River.  This picture was taken before the crest of
the river and the entire structure was likely covered before
the flood was over.  A better picture of this is coming soon.

The bridge once served the main road through town and is just southeast of downtown St. Albans.  It is now located near the golf course, somewhat behind the old dairy barn.  Structures of this character are no longer constructed and many have been removed completely, as they harm aquatic environments by not allowing wildlife to swim upstream.

To get to St. Albans from Rolla, take I-44 east to Gray Summit (second Hwy 100 exit – exit #253).  Turn left at this exit and follow Hwy 100 just past the location where it becomes a four lane divided highway.  At this point, turn left of Hwy T (St. Albans Rd.).  Then follow Hwy T to St. Albans, which has two entrances, both located on the right side of Hwy T.  The Engelmann Woods Conservation area is also located on Hwy T, not far past St. Albans and on the same side of the road.

The exact directions on how to get to Tavern Rock Cave are not given here, as the cave is currently unprotected from vandals and the historic inscriptions are irreplaceable.  Getting to the cave also involves the risk of getting injured and crossing private property.  The location of this cave is known to many St. Albans residents and is alluded to on the historic markers celebrating the Lewis And Clark Expedition within the town.


"No Trespassing!"
Getting to the cave involves the crossing of private property.

Government agencies have shown little interest in protecting Tavern Rock Cave by turning it into a park, mainly because the site is relatively inaccessible and creating an easy access route would cost quite a bit of money.  It is located in a railroad right of way and subject to flooding, which would probably lead to higher than normal development and maintenance costs.  It seems that the cave itself is not directly threatened now or in the future by development.  Discards such as ties, hardware, and rock are still dumped over the edge from time to time by the railroad.  The main concern as of now is that the cave is unprotected from vandals, who could deface the inside of the cave.  Efforts continue to acquire the cave and preserve it as a park or landmark and the future may bring success.  Hopefully someone in a position of importance will realize the historical value of this cave and help preserve it for generations to come.

Thanks to the contributors of the MOCAVES, Missouri’s Outdoor Resources listserve, and Jim Denny, a historian with the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, for their help in writing this article.  Dr. J. David Rogers (http://www.umr.edu/~rogersda), a nationally known civil engineering historian and professor at the University of Missouri - Rolla in the Department of Geological Engineering provided much of the information on the design and purpose of the old Tavern Creek Bridge.  The book “St. Albans – History And Folklore of A Missouri River Town” by Lucie Furstenberg Huger was of great help in writing this article.  For those interested in the area, this is the only book published specifically on the history of St. Albans and includes much that could not be included in this short article.  The 168 page book can be purchased at Head’s Store in St. Albans, other stores, and online at www.stalbanshistory.com.  Information from the Missouri Dept. of Conservation (http://www.conservation.state.mo.us/areas/natareas/p57-1.htm, http://ozarks.smsu.edu/LocPage/Places/E/Engelmann_Woods/) and “Undaunted Courage” by Stephen E. Ambrose was also used.

(C) 2006 by Conor Watkins