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Ranger plays caves' discoverer

Frontier bear hunter Elijah Davidson, who discovered the Oregon Caves in the fall of 1874, will appear in the form of ranger Tom Siewert on June 19 at the Oregon Caves National Monument.

The performance, which is free to the public, will be at 3 p.m. and again at 8 p.m. on the day set aside as Elijah Davidson Day.

During his performance, Siewert will highlight Davidson's life, beginning with his trip across the Oregon Trail to his discovery of the caves while bear hunting with his dog, Bruno. The Davidsons were among the founders of the town of Monmouth, eventually settling in Williams. The man who discovered what became known as the Marble Halls of Oregon also went north to Alaska in search of gold.

In addition to the free performance, Siewert will give a candlelight tour of the caves as Davidson beginning at 6:30 p.m. Candle lanterns will be provided.

Cost of the tour is $8.50 for adults and $6 for participants age 16 and younger. Reservations are required since space is limited.

For more information, call 592-3400 or 877-245-9022.

The event is part of this year's anniversary of President Taft declaring the caves a national monument on July 12, 1909. The caves were the state's first national monument.

The monument is about 20 miles east of Cave Junction in the Illinois Valley.

— Paul Fattig