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Earliest known explorer carves name in Devil's Sinkhole


On this day in 1889, H. S. Barber, the earliest known explorer of the Devil's Sinkhole, carved his name in the cave. Located southeast of Rocksprings in Edwards County, the Devil's Sinkhole was named in 1876 by the wives of Ammon Billings and other men who had discovered the entrance after an encounter with Indians. The pit entrance is sixty feet in diameter and expands downward into an oval room, 240 by 360 feet, that is partly filled with fallen rock. The cave is 310 feet deep. Cave explorers from all over the United States have been drawn to it because of its impressive size and rumors of lost bat rooms. Guano has been removed sporadically from the cave for use as fertilizer. The cave was added to the National Registry of Natural Landmarks in the early 1970s. It and the surrounding land are owned by the state of Texas.

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