The Moqui CaveLex was not around when his father, Garth Chamberlain, purchased the cave (7 miles north of Kanab) in 1951. The beautiful paved Highway 89 that we now enjoy was just a dirt road. The black and dirty cave had been abused and mistreated and was filled with graffiti and black stains from campfires within the cave.
Garth had a vision not shared by many of his time. He went to the bank for financing and everyone thought he was crazy. They refused to lend him money for his project. Garth and his wife decided to go ahead with their plans anyway and began to clean up the cave. They started with 286 bags of Portland cement which they mixed in a small fruit sprayer. The couple put a clean white coat of paint over the interior of the entire cave. They commented that they got more on themselves than on the cave.
The paint was followed by 150 truckloads of dirt. The floors slanted badly, so the dirt was used to level the floors and entry.
Concrete, 7,000 square feet to be exact, was poured over the dirt to create a smooth floor. This concrete was not delivered in cement trucks, each load had to be hand mixed and pushed in a wheelbarrow to its destination.
A stage was built to provide room for an orchestra and the cave was ready. The first use of the cave was for dances and socials. A bar was also set up in the south wing of the cave.
Following years of long Friday and Saturday nights, Garth and his wife decided to discontinue the dances and bar and to turn the cave into a museum.
Museum pieces were acquired. Replicas of the ruins in the local area were added. Dinosaur tracks were found and brought to the cave. A fluorescent mineral display was created and has become one of the largest collections in the west.
The cave today represents forty years of painstaking work; work begun with a vision. Garth and his wife could not have imagined their success, nor the enjoyment others would find in their work
4518 N Highway 89
Kanab, UT 84741