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50/40 Celebration

Over Memorial Day weekend of 2008, the Butler Cave Conservation Society (BCCS) celebrated and commemorated the 50th anniversary of Ike Nicholson's 1958 discovery of the Butler Cave-Sinking Creek Cave System in the Burnsville Cove area of Virginia.

Heralded as the longest known cave in Virginia for more than a generation, Butler Cave remains one of the more significant caves of the United States. Discovery and exploration of the nearby Chestnut Ridge Cave System in the 1980's established the presence of a far larger, interconnected cave system in the area. Exploration, mapping, and science research continue in both cave systems to this day.

Ten years after the discovery of Butler Cave, cavers established the Butler Cave Conservation Society, Inc. (a 501-C-3 corporation) to manage and conserve the cave. At 40 years old, the BCCS is the oldest, continuously operated, private cave preserve in the nation.

By Official Proclamation of Governor Timothy Kaine, May 24 was designated as Butler Cave Discovery Day across the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Old-time cavers who "probed the basements" of Burnsville Cove, friends of the BCCS, interested parties, and many people involved in the early exploration of Butler Cave were our guests for the May 2008 celebration at the BCCS Homestead.

Go to the 50/40 program page.