Monday, March 15, 2010

Devil's Cave in Harris Hill

Last week Brandon left a comment asking whether anyone remembered Devil's Cave in Harris Hill.
"Does anyone out there remember "Devil's Cave" that was located behind the Richardson's Root Beer Stand, next to Nativity school???? I spent a lot of my youth in this extensive cave system. I remember that the guy who bought the property, said that he was going to bulldoze it closed back in 1959-1960.
the cave extended to the basement of the Harris Hill Hometown cleaners, and was one of the Main St stagecoach stops in the 1800's"
Being a few years younger than he is, it didn't ring a bell, so I decided to do some exploring of my own.  Who better to go to than Clarence alumnus ('84) Doug Kohler?   Besides wearing the hat of Erie County Historian, teacher, and being part of the Clarence History Museum, he has written a book about Harris Hill.
"His recollection matches with much of the information I gathered in interviews for the Harris Hill book. In fact, there is a hand drawn map of Devil's Cave in the book. Any connection with the Underground Railroad, though, is merely speculation."
If I had read it I would have known that...So I went to the History Museum and picked up a copy.  The map! Click to enlarge...

To learn more about Harris Hill read the book!  I know I'm going to :)

All 4 books about Clarence are available at the History Museum on Main Street in Clarence on Wednesday and Sunday afternoons or online through Buffalo Books (print order form separately as far as I know).  Become a fan of the Clarence Historical Society on Facebook too!


Anonymous said...

Hmmm...heard of the cave myself-never saw it!!!-There is an old entrance filled in w/giant rocks behind the claremont on Main st.(sisters of St. Joseph)-Also a filled in entrance in the escarpment on goodrich too!!!I think animals use the cave as a transit system!!-Swear on my life I saw a young cougar back there once!!!-About 4ft of body 4ft of tail-resting in the rocks looking at me!!!-DEC swears there aren't any around though-Large coyote/fox mix population I watched many times lives in the rocks-saw babies-and almost got attacked twice!!!-be careful!!!-bobby scibran

Anonymous said...

I remember Devil's Cave. I was ~10 years old, so this must have been in the late 1950s. The entrance was caved in and we were to afraid to squeeze through the rocks. Must be why I reached a ripe old age with lots of memories...

Bill Thon said...

yep some friends took me there in the early 60's not much to see or spelunk into I remember being a bit disappointed. I had forgotten about it until I read the post