The Mammoth Cave: Stephen Bishop, one of the earliest guides, labels this cave as “grand, gloomy and peculiar”


White pioneers discovered the Mammoth Cave in the late 1790s. Since prehistoric ages, people across the globe have been visiting this place with great astonishment. Situated in the American National Park in central Kentucky, this cave has hosted many prehistoric events.

 Anthropologists however are of the opinion that it is the Native Americans who firstly came to know about this cave some four thousand years ago. As the cave was very dark, to light their way, these people created torches from bundles of canes.

Fragments of these ancient torches have been detected miles inside the cave. Ancient footprints are equally found there. Bits of clothing and abandoned sandals too are in the list of discovery.

The most spectacular discovery nonetheless remains the mummified body of a gypsum miner who died some two thousand years ago. It is believed that the cause of his death was a five-ton boulder. This dead man’s body and clothing are impeccably well-conserved.

Stephen Bishop, one of the earliest guides, labels this cave as “grand, gloomy and peculiar”.

He used to work for the person who intended to convert this cave into a tourist attraction after buying it in the 1830s.  This explains how Bishop has been successful in mapping many of the cave’s openings and rooms.  

The cave’s entrance was mined during the 1812 war. Most of the task was carried out by slaves. They used to fill large leaching vats with dirt and rock from the cave. The potassium that was obtained from this operation was used to make gunpowder as well.

To visit this place is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. For thousands of years the geology of this marvelous place has left all visitors in wonder. The officials still do not ‘overlight’ the interiors of the cave, hence giving the visitors the feeling that they are indeed deep within the earth.