Last Update: 27 November 2004
This gallery shows some older photos taken outside of the cave, of and around the old Butler homestead near Burnsville, Bath County, Virginia. The first four are my own photos. Sadly, I did not aim the camera back toward the homestead from the cave entrance on my 1960 trip. I urge Mike Nicholson and others who go back a long way here to dig out some old photos. I will be glad to post them!
Earl Geil, Bill Nelson, and Bill’s car parked next to the Butler springhouse, 15 May 1960. We have just come onto the Butler property. The small fish pond that exists today is out of the photo to the left. The springhouse was where the present plastic springbox is now located. The tree behind the springhouse still stands.
View back toward the homestead from below the cave entrance, 15 May 1960. There are more buildings and fewer trees than exist today. Note that the log barn has a leanto shed attached and no tree next to it. There are two other buildings between the barn and the farmhouse. The building closest to the farmhouse is rather fuzzy looking, as if it might be covered in vines.
Bill Nelson and his car as seen from the trail up to the cave entrance, 15 May 1960.
The stone pile still exists with more and larger trees growing out of it. The rail fences are gone.
Bill’s car and the barren hillside below the cave entrance, 15 May 1960.
The following four photos were provided by Gary Gagnon. Gary and his family’s best guess is that these were taken in 1977-78. By this time the Butler Cave Conservation Society owned the Butler farm. If anyone else has old photos with known dates we might be able to pin this down a bit closer.
The shower erected by BCCS just north of the homestead in the area now occupied by the new patio.
The log barn taken from the farmhouse (left) looking toward the cave entrance. Note the small tree beside the barn where the leanto shed had been 18 years earlier. The homestead as seen from the cave entrance (right) showing only the barn and house, no other buildings. A porch has been added to the house. Unfortunately, neither of these photos have the resolution necessary for enlargement.
Another view of the homestead from the cave entrance, clearly older than the one above. The tree next to the log barn is slightly smaller, another building, in shabby condition, still stands behind the barn, and the porch has not yet been added to the house. I’m sure someone can use these clues to refine the dates for these photos.
For purposes of comparison here is a photo from a similar vantage point taken during the summer of 2003. It was taken after the grading around the homestead had been done but prior to the construction of the new porch. Note the sandstone slabs on the slope at the right. I wonder if the two trees obscuring the homestead are the same trees as in the earlier photo, above and below the log barn? This is not my photo and I’m not sure where I got it. Possibly John Wilson. If the photographer will identify himself (and pin down the date for the record, if possible) I will happily give credit.
J R S