On Tuesday Mr. Answer Person discussed a reader question: "What was the little tunnel or cave on Locust Road used for back in the day?"
Mr. Answer Person said the "cave" at one time was used as a storing place for beer and liquor for a tavern at the edge of Decorah--a tavern called "The Last Chance Tavern" because it was the last chance to have a drink before heading to Minnesota!
Mr. Answer Person also said the cave was used for storing dynamite when Locust Road roadbed was being redone.
But Mr. Answer Person also said he hadn't gotten definite answers about the cave, so he asked decorahnews.com readers to send in any information they would have about the Locust Road "cave." Fortunately, they have responded:
Bob Hanzlik e-mailed to say he interviewed long time Decorah area resident Ida Saquitne for a school project in the late 1970s. The interview wasn't only about the cave but she did tell me it was used to store and sell beer and other beverages to travelers headed north on Locust Road.
Rebecca Hanna e-mailed to say a friend of hers, the late Agnes Forde, mentioned several times that the cave was used for storing dynamite. Says Rebecca, "Agnes was a real local historian having grown up here and living here all her life. She knew the names, family histories, and farm locations of many folks who lived in the surrounding townships."
Another Decorah resident reminisces, "I can remember playing in the area in the 40's . the cave had wooden door on it with a lock. We were told at that time dynamite was stored in the cave."
So there you have it! Mr. Answer Person believes the mystery of the cave has been solved--it has been used to store both liquor and dynamite, although not at the same time!