ROGERS, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Employees at War Eagle Cavern in Rogers discovered a carving that could connect two local historical attractions previously thought to be unrelated.

According to a press release from War Eagle Cavern, employees have been working for several months on an expansion project that will allow visitors to see a previously inaccessible area.

During construction of a new walkway, the release says one of the cavern employees noticed something carved into the rock wall. Upon closer inspection, it was discovered that the carving spelled out the name “Blackburn”.

The release says Sylvanus Walker Blackburn is known in Northwest Arkansas as the builder of the first grist mill in Benton County.

According to the release, visitors come to see the cavern and a reproduction of the mill.

The release says the two attractions are not related, but the War Eagle Cavern and War Eagle Mill often worked with each other to show guests the historical significance of the region.

The release says the discovery in War Eagle Cavern could prove that the connection between these places dates back over 150 years.

“We are very excited by this discovery. Over the years we have explored those areas in the cavern many times and discovered hundreds of signatures, but we have never noticed the Blackburn signature because of how high up it is. The construction of this new walkway will allow future visitors to view this previously unseen carving,” War Eagle Cavern General Manger, Guy Schiavone said.

Tom Rasmussen, a historian and guide at War Eagle Mill, says that while the carving inside the cavern may not have been made by Sylvanus Blackburn himself, he says his gut feeling is that it could have been made by one of his 11 children.

Guided tours including the new expansion in the cavern will begin on March 4. Visitors will be able to see the new room, previously inaccessible to the public along with the Blackburn carving.