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Three months in Mystery Cave


Fri, May 18th, 2001
Posted in

Monday, May 21, 2001

It's hard to remember specific events from twenty-some odd years ago except when it comes to my favorite summer job. The vivid memories began to pour back recently as I took a drive, eight miles south of Spring Valley, to Mystery Cave, now part of Forestville State Park. As I drove down that crooked lane that was part of my daily commute so many years ago, I couldn't help notice the thick blanket of bluebells that lined the lush, green riverbanks. Nature beckoned and I felt compelled to leave my van. It was a Kodak moment. Entering the cave I felt the familiar rush of 47-degree air. Thanks to DNR Cave Specialist, Warren Netherton, I was back in the cave that had provided me so many fond memories. I started to remember things.

The adventure begins


Having a proclivity toward public speaking and a zest for nature, a job as a tour guide at one of Fillmore County's most famous natural wonders seemed just the ticket. I was just 17, mind you, and the chance to work outdoors, not far from home and for a wage of two bucks an hour was very appealing back then. I passed the interview process, (former jobs as a babysitter and corn detassler must have made me a shoe-in) purchased a good pair of walking boots and began the educational phase of my new summer job.

Operated by Clarence Prohaska and his family for many years, Mystery Cave had just been sold to a young man by the name of Neil Saylor. Neil would become my boss for that summer in 1975 and the force behind what I would learn about caves, and in particular, the one called Mystery. Learning about the history of this wonder was the easy part. Basically, it was discovered by a local man, Joe Pettey, in February of 1937 when he noticed an area on a steep riverbank where the snow had melted away. After some initial investigation, Joe knew he was on to something. Ending up at the bottom of a 28-foot wide crevice was a good clue. He later returned with two helpers along with his mule, Jenney. According to oral history interviews conducted by Warren Netherton, the foursome worked for several months to haul and clear away enough material to make the cave passable for those curious enough to enter. Mystery Cave was officially opened on July 4, 1937.

To learn the role of a tour guide, the half-dozen teens hired as guides that summer would recite the historical significance of the cave over and over until it became etched in memory. But that was .....
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Foods Weekly Ads

Another View

Fri, May 18th, 2001
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Memories of a rural childhoodBy Herb PankoMonday, May 21, 2001

As I recently stood on the site of what was once our old farm place in southeast Nebraska, the memories of those childhood years of long ago came rushing back.

I th ..... 
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Fri, May 18th, 2001
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Boyum and Underbakke confused over Engineer’s dismissalBy John TorgrimsonMonday, May 21, 2001

Former Fillmore County Commissioners Donald Boyum and Robert Underbakke say they are as confused as the next person when it comes to the county’s dec ..... 
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Lighter than air...

Fri, May 18th, 2001
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Monday, May 21, 2001

The County Board of Commissioners whisked through a very light agenda at last Tuesday’s meeting. Reports on Social Services and Corrections consumed most of a morning meeting that was even slim on administrative items.
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Life on a “thin skin” with Patton

Fri, May 18th, 2001
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Elden Grabau served with the famed Second Armored DivisionBy Charles PautlerMonday, May 21, 2001

One morning last February my fiancee and I decided to go to the VFW pancake breakfast in Spring Valley. This combined two ..... 
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NORSTAD CONSTRUCTION

Fri, May 18th, 2001
Posted in

New Homes • Remodeling • Additions
Poured Basement Walls • Driveways • Retaining Walls
Agriculture • Horse Barns • Riding Arenas


Fill, Sand, Black Dirt, Landscaping, Lite Excavation


We offer a plan service ..... 
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Our Gift Shop

Fri, May 18th, 2001
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Features:
Locally made Amish Quilts, Dolls, Baskets & Furniture
Amish Pantry Spices, Mustards, Bread Mixes & Soups
Beaumont Brothers Pottery
Fall Pumpkins, Apples & Scarecrows
Tapestry Wallhangings
Bell Pul ..... 
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Welcome to Bluff Country's Finest Family Campground

Fri, May 18th, 2001
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SUPERSAW VALLEY CAMPGROUND
Deep in the heart of picturesque Bluff Country, welcome to Supersaw Valley Campground, southeastern Minnesota’s scenic family camping area.

Come discover 185 acres of lush, bountifu ..... 
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Fud 4 Thot

Fri, May 18th, 2001
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©Maxxximum Madcap

Answer:

COPY CAT

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