History of the Ownership of the Porcupine Cave Property

Park County records reveal that Jacob G. Decker of Denver applied for the first claim to the property surrounding the cave on 13 May 1922, to use it for cattle ranching under the Homestead Act of 1909. This claim was first contested in 1925 by Lawrence E. Frees of Buena Vista, Colorado, then by Walter A. Filmer, who applied for a claim to the land on 23 October 1928 and patented said claim on 7 February 1931. In March 1931 he sold the land to cattle rancher Frank M. Fehling while keeping easement rights to the cave with an option to purchase it and develop it as a "scenic attraction and a curio." His easement rights ran out in 1941, and the land, including the cave, became the sole property of Fehling, who in 1962 passed it on to Glen McMurry, the father of the present-day owner of the cave. James Eubanks filed a claim on the adjoining section of land on 10 February 1922, before any filings were made on the cave property. It is the authors' belief that Eubanks thought he had filed on the section including the cave and had truly planned to develop it. Shortly after Filmer filed on section 23, Eubanks sold his acreage in section 22 to Frank Fehling.

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