A Grand, Gloomy and Peculiar Place

Mammoth Cave National Park preserves the cave system and a part of the Green River valley and hilly country of south central Kentucky. This is the world's longest known cave system, with more than 390 miles explored. Early guide Stephen Bishop called the cave a "grand, gloomy and peculiar place," but its vast chambers and complex labyrinths have earned its name—Mammoth.
 
DSC_0241.jpg 

History & Culture
spacer.gif
From the collection of James C. Carroll
<style> .textWrappedAroundImage { margin-bottom:15px; } .floatingImage { width:150px; float:right; text-align:left; margin-left:15px; margin-bottom:8px; } .floatingImage p { padding:0; margin: 0; } .floatingImage p.credit { color: #aaa; font-size: 9px; text-transform: uppercase; } .floatingImage p.caption { color: #668033; } .clearfix:after { content: "."; display: block; height: 0; clear: both; visibility: hidden; } .clearfix {display: inline-block;} /* Hides from IE-mac \*/ .clearfix {display: block;} * html .clearfix {height: 1%;} /* end hide from IE-mac */ </style>

The human experience of Mammoth Cave reflects one of humanity's most potent emotions: wonder. The dark depths of a pit or passage trigger inborn questions – where does that go? How far? Is anything in there?

The first human to enter Mammoth Cave passed under its imposing arch about 4,000 years ago. His reason for probing the shadows? The same as ours today. Curiosity led the way to discoveries of minerals, and primitive miners plumbed the rocky halls for nearly 2,000 years before the cave again fell quiet. It would not again echo the sound of human feet clattering the floor stones until the very end of the 18th century.

Once European settlers discovered Mammoth Cave, stories both inspiring and strange began to accumulate about their adventures underground. The cave's stories spoke of curiosity, cures, captivity and capitalism; excitement, exploration and exploitation.

And the story keeps on going. From the torch-bearing Indian to yesterday's park visitor, the fabric of the story-cloth of Mammoth Cave continues to be woven. Click the links on this page to discover the people, places, stories and objects that illuminate this special place.

clear.gif
spacer.gif
spacer.gif

 

 

Did You Know?
Mammoth Cave is the world's longest known cave, with more than 392 miles of interconnected passages—so long that if the second and third longest caves in the world were joined together, Mammoth Cave would still be the planet's longest cave and have more than 100 miles left over!
more...

 
 

DSC_0239.jpg

DSC_0138.jpg

DSC_0140.jpg

DSC_0149.jpg

DSC_0150.jpg

DSC_0153.jpg

DSC_0155.jpg

DSC_0165.jpg

DSC_0182.jpg

DSC_0191.jpg

DSC_0202.jpg

DSC_0205.jpg

DSC_0212.jpg



DSC_0216.jpg

DSC_0219.jpg

20528-004-59379723.jpg



Mammoth_Cave.jpg

profile