Expedition Team: Dave Miller, Rosie Miller Expedition Date: September 16, 2019
Rosie and I camped at the Stanton, Missouri KOA and toured Meramec Caverns just off Route 66 where Jesse James and his brother Frank once hid out after robbing a train. The caverns, a 4.6 mile cave system opened in the 1930’s, were beautiful with colored stalactites, rock formations, underground spring, a 50 ft. by 50 ft. ballroom & a consistent temperature of 58 degrees.
Brief Jesse James Cave History: Jesse & Frank escaped Meramec Cavern through a water filled passageway and out the back of the cave. At Loot Rock, four items (lantern, two parts of a rifle & a strongbox dating to the Gadshill, Missouri train robbery) were found. Jesse had been familiar with the cave since back in the Civil War as his gang of Confederates in 1864 raided a squad of Union soldiers who were mining the cave to make explosives.
In 17 years, the Jesse James gang robbed more than a quarter of a million dollars from banks, stage coaches and trains. He was shot in the back and killed in 1882 by Bob Ford, a fellow gang member, whom collected the reward money. However, a man in Lawton, Oklahoma named Frank Dalton claimed to be the real Jesse James and lived to be 103 years old Photo #11). Do you think he looks like young Jesse (Photo#12).