Tuesday, February 15, 2022

An Excursion to the Eichelberger Cave with Mrs Temere

According to Belleview historian Sybil Browne Bray, Belleview had a bicycle path in 1913. I’ve ridden its route a couple of times and decided it was the easy ride to do this morning as I recover from a week and a half of flu. So I ride up to Lake Lillian in Belleview which is a good starting point.

As I head west out of Belleview and follow the old bicycle path I imagine I'm riding with the ghosts of riders past. In reality I am heading west on the current County Road 484. About a mile from Lake Lillian the path veers to the right onto what is now Agnew Rd/SE 120th St. and follow it to the end where you have to make a right turn. Not turning and looking straight ahead past a gate I can see a house and a small lake. 

Mrs. Temere's Excursion
Bray reports that Mrs. Charles Temere was known to lead Sunday afternoon bicycle rides to this spot but where I have stopped they would have been able to continue straight ahead to the Eichelberger Cave where they would light torches to explore the cave's two rooms. The second room was so large it had a balcony-like natural formation above it and there were steps leading through a narrow passage where there were springs and signs that Indians had lived there. Research in the 1950s uncovered the fossils of pleistocene birds which were discovered some 350 feet from the entrance to the cave.
Not Mrs. Temere but the Bartow Ladies Bicycle Club from the same period
The young people of Marion County were able to continue their explorations of the Eichelberger Cave until the early 1970s when it was quarried out for its lime deposits.

For route information click here

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