Humboldt caves: Many roads to freedom

The banks of the Neosho River hide a series of solutions caves where water patiently drilled through rock over millennia. They are also believed to be a stop along the Underground Railroad, where slaves patiently hid prior to the Civil War.

By

News

December 22, 2020 - 10:14 AM

Bob Johnson (aka Santa Bob) digs for buried treasure along the bluffs by the Neosho River in Humboldt. Photo by Trevor Hoag / Iola Register

Along the banks of the Neosho River west of Humboldt hides a breathtaking surprise, and an even more exhilarating story.

Lining the bluffs not far from the “Camp Hunter” park, a series of solutional caves reveals both places where water has patiently drilled through rock over millennia as well as where escaped slaves once hid themselves prior to the Civil War.

Above, solutional caves of several shapes and sizes line the bluffs by the Neosho River. Evidence suggests these caves were part of the Underground Railroad, a network for escaped slaves. Photo by Trevor Hoag / Iola Register

The caves were reportedly part of the Underground Railroad, a network of secret routes and safe houses established to help Blacks escape into “northern” free states, Canada and other places where slavery had been abolished (like Mexico).

Related
May 4, 2021
December 30, 2020
September 14, 2020
September 11, 2019