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  Christmas Caroling 12/9 at 3pm 

Discovery

Two kids. An unexplored world.

Two kids. An unexplored world.

The year is 1883. Two children are about to make the discovery of their lifetime - a never before seen world waits for them beneath the quiet little town of Marengo.

An Explorer image

An Explorer

Blanche Hiestand and her brother discovered Marengo Cave in 1883.

The Cave House image

The Cave House

Eventually a building was erected near the entrance to facilitate tours.

Candlelight image

Candlelight

Tours began just a few days post discovery - by candlelight only.

1883 - Present image

1883 - Present

Though routes have improved, Marengo Cave has been open ever since.

Two kids. An unexplored world.

The Sinkhole Secret

Blanche Hiestand, a 15-year-old cook at Marengo Academy, overheard some of the schoolboys making plans to explore a deep sinkhole located near the school. Blanche decided to beat them to it!

She excitedly ran home after work and recruited her eleven-year-old brother, Orris. They grabbed some candles and snuck out of the house.

The Discovery

On September 6, 1883, Blanche and Orris quickly hiked up the hill past the cemetery by the church. They found the sinkhole, surrounded by a grove of trees, and Blanche climbed to the bottom.

Cool air steamed out of the small opening. Lighting their candles, the pair peered inside. Ignoring the darkness and the mud, Blanche squeezed into the hole. Soon she called up to Orris, “Come on in!” Once Blanche and Orris had crawled down the steep, slippery slope, they found themselves in a large chamber that appeared to continue in several directions. They heard water falling and saw formations in the distance.

Though awed by the beauty of their discovery, their flickering candles caused their courage to ebb. The pair decided to turn back. The slimy, cold mud made climbing out much harder.

Open for Tours

Blanche and Orris safely reached the top. The late summer sun felt good on their skin as the two siblings, now covered with mud, headed home.

The original land owner was notified of the cave’s discovery a few days later and the cave was immediately opened to the public for tours.

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812-365-2705    Toll Free: 888-702-2837
 812-365-2705    Toll Free: 888-702-2837
  Directions : 400 East State Road 64,
Marengo, IN 47140
  Directions : 400 East State Road 64,
Marengo, IN 47140