By now most of you have heard that Sequoyah Caverns will be closing on September 3rd. If you have not visited Sequoyah Caverns and Ellis Homestead now is the time to do it and if you have been it is a good time to visit again before they close.
This location, the cave, the land and the entire setting is, one of a kind. Nestled in the valley and running up Sand Mountain is this picture perfect location. With 1,000 acres or so you will get an uninterrupted scenic view as you approach Sequoyah Caverns from highway 11 north of Hammondville and South of Sulfur Springs. The owners John and Roy Jones have been long term leaders in promoting tourism in our area. They have been members of North Alabama Mountain Lakes Tourist Association and of Dekalb Tourism. Roy has been President of our DeKalb Tourism Board twice in the six years I have been Executive Director. I credit Roy as the reason I was able to get an interview for this job. When I applied for the position I responded to an ad in the paper. I was to send my resume to one of our email addresses that is generic with no person’s name. Since I did not have a hospitality and tourism background I feared my resume would be ignored. The ad asked for 5 years of experience in the industry of which I did not have but I had a 30 year management background with Eastman Kodak and almost all the remaining criteria in the ad seemed to fit perfectly. I started calling friends around town to find who was on the tourism board so I could call and introduce myself. After a couple of phone calls the name Roy Jones came up. My friend volunteered to give Roy a call and give me an introduction and find out if I could give him a call. I called Roy later that day and I explained how I felt my background at Kodak and my passion for our area fit what they were looking for. I told Roy that after 30 years of Kodak moving us to various locations around the country my wife Kyle and I selected this area on our own because we had been coming here on vacation and loved the area. I mailed Roy my resume with a cover letter and he later arranged for me to interview with himself and the entire tourism board. The board agreed to make me an offer and the rest is history.
In addition to the cave the Jones have Jones Farm which produces some of the best and most naturally grown strawberries you will ever taste. The farm and the production of vegetables will continue.
The history of Sequoyah Caverns and Ellis Homestead is a wonderful story. They have made a valuable contribution to the history of DeKalb County and have left an indelible mark on the history of tourism to our entire region. The cave and property have been in the Jones family since 1841 with the cave having opened to the public in 1964. Prior to that the cave was visited by private groups or individuals on a requested basis. It used to require climbing a ladder to get into the cave until the current entrance was built prior to the public opening in 1964. For more information about Sequoyah Caverns, its hours of operation and history visit www.sequoyahcaverns.com