August 03, 2003

Discovery Celebration at Marengo Cave National Landmark

Marengo Cave Celebrates 120th Anniversary

Marengo Cave U.S. National Landmark will host a Discovery Day Celebration in honor of the discovery of Marengo Cave by two school children on September 6th, 1883.

On Saturday, September 6th 2003, the park will celebrate its 120th anniversary by hosting a myriad of special activities above and below ground from 10 am through 7 pm.

Admission to the park is free as are many of the activities including seven hours of bluegrass, country and gospel music, special tours, food, crafts and demonstrations, rides and exhibits.

Old time music will echo thorough the grounds as well as in the cave; musicians and line dancing groups will share their hobby with guests during the afternoon. Musicians include Stephen Dickey and Friends, Grassroots with Tim Key, Paul Michael Ash, and Sara Wilkins, among others.

Special tours for the day include a living history tour and a lantern tour with “historic 1883 prices” (fifty cents!). The Cave Comes Alive tour through the Dripstone Trail section will offer a glimpse of the caves colorful past including the Marengo Town Brass Band, Willie Clifton who guided for over 50 years, the country's only cave robbery, and a land dispute that went to the state supreme court and set precedent still studied in law schools throughout the US.

Cave memorabilia and Marengo memorabilia and photos will be on display, along with historic cave lighting equipment. Draft horses will be pulling a covered wagon through the park from 12-4 pm, and later provide a peaceful evening hayride through the woods and fields in the park. Chicken dinners will be cooked on the grounds.

Old time craft demonstrations will include quilting, toys, butter churning, basket weaving and candle dipping. A teacher from the “Marengo Academy” (where the cave’s discovery began) will be holding classes complete with 1883 lessons. Regular cavern tours, gemstone mining, the “Flying Bat” and other activities will also be available.

Drawings and contests will be held thoughout the afternoon along with other activities.

Over 75,000 guests visit Marengo Cave every year. Tours of the caverns have been offered since its discovery in 1883. Blanche and Oris Heistand (ages 15 and 11) forever changed the history of Marengo when they decided they would traverse the sinkhole and discover what lay beneath. More information is available by calling (812) 365-2705 .

For more information, contact our Media Representative.

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