July 16, 2003

Historic Stewart Home Joins Marengo Cave National Landmark

Historic Home Joins Marengo Cave

Marengo Cave U.S. National Landmark recently assumed ownership of the historic Stewart home place, adjacent to the cavern’s property. Assured that the property will join and continue to be part of Marengo Cave Park, Maggie Stewart, the great granddaughter of Samuel Stewart the original owner of Marengo Cave, presented its keys to Gordon and Judy Smith, the current president and his wife.

This historic property includes one of Indiana's largest springs-the Marengo Spring. This spring outlet drains an area including the water which flows through the lower levels of Marengo Cave. This spring was the primary town water supply until recently.

The town of Marengo was first settled because of the presence of this spring and other smaller springs nearby. The town’s original name- Big Spring -changed to Springtown and eventually to Marengo when knowledge of another Indiana town named Springtown was discovered in the mid 1800’s.

Over 75,000 people tour Marengo Cave each year. Tours have been offered for 120 years, since the caverns discovery on September 6th of 1883. Blanche and Orris Heistand (ages 15 and 11) found and partially explored Marengo Cave by crawling down through a sinkhole that had collapsed on Samuel Stewart's property. Three days later the two children told Samuel what they'd seen underground and Marengo's history changed forever.

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