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Powell's Cave

General Entry

Powell's Cave, in Menard County, has been considered the largest cave in Texas. It was first known as Jackpit, from the term "jack," meaning silver, and is thought to be the cave mentioned in J. Frank Dobie's Coronado's Children as the place in which Jim Bowie buried a load of silver. Efforts to survey the cave began in the early 1960s and continued in the 1990s, by which time it was determined to be as much as twenty miles long. It is made up of a system of three caves with separate entrances, including an artificial entrance dug around 1900. The cave has a dry upper level, a stream flowing through its lower level of limestone and silty quicksand-like bottoms, and a collapsed wall which separates one portion from the rest. The upstream cave is known as Silver Mine Cave. The stream supports a population of crayfish that are somewhat cave-adapted. Other fauna include a colony of bats and numerous small insects. Several springs, which drain the cave system and occur where its stream comes to the surface, served earlier as campsites on Comanche trails in the area.

Texas Caver, April, August, December 1990, April 1991.

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Anonymous, “Powell's Cave,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed October 31, 2020, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/powells-cave.

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

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