Fetty's Cave has a huge overhang, affording
protection for large groups of visitors

By Bob Weaver

Fetty's Cave is a well-known site in Gilmer County at the edge of the Bear Fork wilderness near Steer Creek.

The cave has harbored native Americans, Civil War soldiers and early-comers who came to the backwoods to live in the 1800s and early 1900s.

The cave could have been a stop-off for thieves who stole a payroll during the Civil War and hid the gold somewhere deep in the primitive woods, the loot never to be found.

Its most notable fixture, first recorded in the early 1900s, was a carving of the head of an Native American, etched in stone on the cave wall.

Well-known Calhoun musician Noah Cottrell, who lived in Bear Fork, told about seeing the "Indian Head" in the early 1900s.

Several years ago, likely in the 1970s, the carving was removed from the cave wall, likely placed in a private collection.

Over the years, the cave has been used for home-
comings, reunions, revivals, camping and beer parties

During the 20th century, the overhang cave was the site of picnics, reunions and revivals. An early photo showed a number of autos parked in the cave.

In recent years, it has been an attraction for ATV riders and beer drinkers.

Much of the wilderness is leased by the Bear Fork Hunting Club.

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