Marengo Cave Park operates a National Landmark Cave and in recent years with it's acquisition of Cave Country Canoes on Blue River plus its ongoing development of additional attractions has become a full fledged outdoor recreation center for families and groups. The park is dedicated to providing a safe, fun and educational experience for visitors while preserving, protecting and restoring one of the most beautiful caverns and rivers in the Midwest. Both the cavern and the river it drains into are part of one of nature's most natural and beautiful plumbing systems that will be here long after we are gone.
Southern Indiana contains over 2,600 known caves including some of the longest in the United States. Most of these caves are contained in a small pie shaped area of the state that was not glaciated during the recent ice ages. According to the most knowledgeable speleologists, Marengo Cave began to form from acidic ground water moving along bedding planes in the limestone sometime between 700,000 and 1,200,000 years ago. This process of enlargement continues today in the lower levels of the cave which contain an active stream, while the process of refilling and gradual erosion are occurring simultaneously in the upper levels.
The cave has had a colorful and checkered history. It was an early destination of railroad excursions and the site of band concerts and many community functions. With the increasing popularity of the automobile and the poor dirt roads in the rural hill country, the cave's prominence declined. Even with the poor location transportation-wise, the cave remained open even in the depths of the Great Depression, because of its good word-of-mouth advertising.
The cave has had only three ownerships since 1883. The Stewart family, until 1955 when Floyd Denton purchased the cave with great plans for development. Unfortunately, his plans were cut short when he died of a stroke in 1961. The present ownership purchased the cave in 1973 during the period when Interstate 64 was being constructed through southern Indiana. With better roads, an increasingly mobile population and aggressive promotion and quality improvements, the cave business began to grow again. The cave and surrounding park have grown nearly continuously the past 30 years. Yearly additions to the facilities and attractions have led to record seasons. The cave is now considered Indiana's #1 natural attraction.
Pictures and information were provided by Marengo Cave
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