History of CRYSTAL ONYX Cave

Prewitts Knob fromI-65 exit 53

CRYSTAL ONYX Cave was discovered in 1960 by Cleon Turner, his memoir has been summarized here. He discovered human bones that have been scientifically studied.  CRYSTAL ONYX cave opened for tours in 1965 and was featured in the Glasgow Daily Times. In 1970 the Times wrote another article on Cleon and the cave.  Several people have been trapped in Prewitts Knob caves and been rescued and their stories have been included.

Click the links below to read way more about the history of CRYSTAL ONYX that you ever suspected.

History of the area around CRYSTAL ONYX Cave and Prewitts Knob.
Cave Discovery
New Passage Opened in 1974
1965 Grand Opening
1966 Louisville Courrier Journal article
1970 Glasgow Daily Times feature article
Cleon Turner's booklet from 1968
Picture from an old brochure showing some of the bones found in Crystal Onyx Cave dated to 680 BCE

How Prewitts Knob got its name.  The knob is name after Abraham Pruitt (1763-1794). Abraham was born in Rowan County, NC and served in the Revolutionary War.  He was married to Margaret Ann White in about 1785 and had four children. Abraham was one of the advance spies in crossing the Hiwassee River in Sevier’s Campaign against the Cherokee people.  He was shot in the forehead in about 1794 at the knob which bears his name.  Before going into battle, Abraham asked his twin brother, Isaac, to marry his widow and rear his children if he should die.  Isaac married her in about 1795 and they had four more children.  There were several related Pruitt families living in Tennessee with similar given names.  Some were getting in trouble with the law, and there was confusion about who was responsible.  So, Abraham’s branch changed its name to Prewitt and the families separated. (This information was gleaned from research on Ancestry.com and other web sits.)

Trapped in 2001
Trapped in Road Cut Cave

There was a wedding at COC in 1967

Glasgow Daily Times Nov. 13, 1967