Berome Moore Cave
Perry County, Missouri
In 1961, when there were only 44 recorded caves in Perry County in southeastern Missouri, cavers discovered an opening at the bottom of a sinkhole not far from Tom Moore Cave (PRY-001).
Lang Brod wrote a cave report in which he credited Tex Yokum with checking sinkholes on Lloyd Hoff's farm. Tex used some geology, some hydrology and some street smarts to figure out the direction of Tom Moore, which had apparently ended, (although the water passage continued) and traced it into the Hoff's field.
Brod's historical report credits Stan Sides with finding the one-foot by six inch breathing hole at the foot of the sink at the conclusion of a Tom Moore mapping trip. Brod says Stan and Tex dug like mad until the hole was big enough to get in. Once underground, according to Brod, Tex was off like a shot into virgin passage. Sides and Brod proceeded at a more measured pace in the cavern so vast their carbide lights could not penetrate the darkness. Thus began the Berome Moore Cave adventures for wild caving visitors and grotto members and research by the scientific community.
The people Brod listed (in alphabetical order) on the discovery dig trip, on October 29, 1961 are:
Lang Brod, Dennis Drum, Jack Palmer (deceased), Stan Sides, Steve Sabo, Sr. and Tex Yokum (deceased)
Today, Perry County has 675 + known caves, more than any other county in the state, including Missouri’s longest, Crevice Cave (29+ miles long), a neighbor to Berome Moore Cave which has over 18 miles of mapped passages and more to be surveyed.
The Missouri Caves and Karst Conservancy acquired land surrounding the entrance and an easement to traverse all known and unknown portions of the Berome Moore Cave System in 2010. The passages beneath the surface have been designated as the Lloyd & Ethel Hoff Underground Nature Preserve.
Berome Moore Cave, an Important Karst Resource
Berome Moore Cave contains several unique and/or uncommon species and other cave biota including amphipods, cave salamanders and grotto salamanders.
A rarity in the cave, visitors can see extinct Pleistocene jaguar footprints impressed in the mud, still as soft as the day the big cat walked there. There are prints throughout a section of the cave, aptly named Cat Track Passage.
Among the speleothems, unusual helictites and other formations found in Berome Moore is an intriguing “volcano,” located on a ledge. The volcano is about 12 inches tall and has a rise tube in the center. During the right conditions, water flows up from the center core and cascades down the sides.
MCKC purchased Berome Moore Cave to protect cave resources and ensure that the caving community, cave biologists, archaeologists, geologists and other scientists continue to have access to the cave for exploration, research, surveys, mapping and other activities.
Berome Moore Cave Resurvey