Ancient Cave Dug Under, "Old Stone Fort," Tennessee Yields Giant Human Skeletons
Along with man-made caves was an ancient Lake situated under the Old Stone Fort, in Tennessee
Hartford Weekly Times, March 30, 1872,
Race of Giants Found In Underground Tomb Under "Old Stone Fort." in Tennessee
Near this city is a cave commonly known as "Bone Cave," from which have 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 somewhat connected with the people or race which created the "Old Stone Fort," which stands a short distance to the west of the town. A few days since some boys discovered an almost entire 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 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 desire to learn the secrets of this mysterious cavern, on last Thursday six gentlemen, including the editors of this paper, made this necessary preparation and started out to explore the "bone cave".
The gateway to the northeast is aligned to the Summer Solstice sunrise. The hilltop ceremonial center is very similar, if not identical to those found in Ohio. The giant human skeletons found are conclusive evidence that Old Stone Fort was constructed by the same people.
After an exhilarating walk of two miles through a clear bracing air, we reached the entrance of the cave, where divesting ourselves of our overcoats and lighting our torches, we entered one of the many passages, but after a short scramble we found further advance stopped by large pieces of rock that had fallen and blocked up the passage. Soon other members of the party came down and explorations commenced. We found ourselves in a vaulted chamber about twenty-five feet wide by sixty long. with passages leading in every direction. Following one, we rambled on for forty or fifty feet and then there appeared one of the most beautiful lakes we have ever seen. The water was clear and sweet and the ceiling over the water, studded with stalactites, reflected back the light from our torches like gems. We had no means of ascertaining the size of the lake, for the banks were perpendicular and it seemed like a pearl set in a bed of rocks. Another passage which was explored by B. F. Fleming was found to extend in a direct line toward the "Old Stone Fort."
This passage followed for a distance of nearly two hundred feet, when further progress was stopped by the passage being filled up with debris. This passage looks as if it had been cut from the solid rock by the hand of man and gives rise to the hypothesis that at some time, far back in the dark ages, this cave a used by a race of men-giants if you like- that built this stone fort and the mounds and that this underground passage led from the fort to the cave, a mile distant. After a good look at this part of the cave, we returned to daylight, having been underground three hours and traversing over a mile inside the cave. After partaking of a lunch sent us by a very hospitable lady whose name we have mislaid-but not her kindness-we had a short search in the tunnel known as the "Dead House."Here we found many bones but all in a state of decomposition and decay. This tunnel or chamber is coated with a soft, loose soil to a depth of a foot or more, into which one can plunge a stick with perfect ease, while all the rest of the cave is solid rock."