Ruskin Cave, with its natural auditorium 350 feet long, 80 feet wide and 40 feet high provided a most interesting feature for the school.
—William O. Batts
Ruskin Cave College Preparatory School opened in 1904, and took its name from the cave that provided the school's auditorium. The founder, the Rev. R.E. Smith, deliberately limited the enrollment to 200 and mandated military training. Unlike many schools at the time, the school was officially coeducational. The school's educational emphasis was on musical education, both instrumental and vocal, but classes also included literature and religion. (1) Many faculty left during World War I to serve in the military, and the school had to close in 1918.