Worth County Missouri
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Miller's Cave

Long before there was a song, "Miller's Cave," there was one with the same name in Smith Township. The way I understand it, there was once an old road that went north from Ed and Mollie Glenn's old place NW of Allendale. After about half a mile it sashayed to the right a bit, then north a half, then due west across the East Fork of the Grand. It was somewhere near this crossing, on one side or the other of the river, where a thin layer of limestone showed itself just a few feet above the low water mark. Never quite tall enough to stand up in, the first room was, perhaps twenty feet long and three or four feet wide. Near the back, an opening ran off to the right for just a few steps, then branched again, the two shafts going about a dozen feet more.

At the very back of the entrance, near the top, was a shelf that hid a tunnel that, with a lantern, one could see some distance before the light dimmed. As far as could be seen, the shelf never exceeded a foot or so in height, just enough, maybe, for the skinniest to shimmy into.

The only problem...snakes. That marshy area held more than its share of moccasins and rattlers. Not that the boys were afraid of snakes. Lordy, no. It wasn't the least unusual to have to chase a snake or two out of the cave with a large stick before the boys could settle in, build a small fire, then maybe light a hidden pipe or sip of some of daddy's fine shine sneaked out of his stash hidden in the corn crib. But, now, meeting a snake in a narrow tunnel, head on, was not to anybody's liking, so they contented themselves to just stay in the front and concoct stories about what might be found just beyond the reach of the light.

My grandpa was born in the late 1880s, and said that he and his brothers often played in the old cave but, when he was about 12 years old, the family moved. Whether the cave was discovered by someone named Miller, or happened to lie on Miller land, no one now seems to know. Does the cave still exist?


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