Indian Cave Village

Indian Cave


Useful Information

Location: Blaine, Grainger County.
Open: All year daily 12-dark. [2005]
Fee: Adults USD 10. [2005]
Classification: ExplainKarst cave, dolomite
Light: electric (partly)
Dimension: L=4,151m, VR=23.5m, T=12°C.
Guided tours: Long tour: D=2h.
Short tour: D=1h.
Photography:  
Accessibility:  
Bibliography:  
Address: Indian Cave Village, 1111 Indian Cave Road, RT 1 box 143, Blaine TN 37709, Tel: +1-865-828-8047.
Richard Dykes, Tel: +1-865-828-4455.
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.

History

5000 BP first used by native Indians.
170? used by a French trader.
1869 purchased by the family of North Carolina's Governor Hoke Smith for the purpose of mining bat guano.
1916 Indian Cave Park association founded.
30-MAY-1924 opened to the public.
???? closed.
1983 cave surveyed.
4-JUL-1983 remains of a human skeleton discovered.
2005 reopened.

Description

Indian Cave is one of dozens of Indian Caves in the USA. Many caves were used by the American natives, and so many got this name. This cave was used by the Indians for more than 5000 years, numerous remains were excavated proofing this. In 1983 the remains of a human skeleton were discovered and examined by the University of Tennessee. They were dated to be 3000 years old.

At the beginning of the 18th century the cave entrance room was used by a French trader. He traded with Indians, especially the inhabitants of a Cherokee village just west of the entrance. This part of the cave history is local lure and not supported by archaeological evidence, but it is typical for the time and thus very likely.

Another part of the cave history, which is documented, is the time of the bat guano mining. The family of North Carolina's Governor Hoke Smith purchased the cave in 1869 for the mining. Bat guano was mined for its high amount of saltpeter, which was needed to produce gun powder.

Since 1916, when the Indian Cave Park Association was founded, the area was developed, which climaxed in the development of the cave and its opening to the public in 1924. During the 1930s it was operated by Hunter Chapman, the owner of ShowcaveShenandoah Caverns in Virginia. At this time it was the largest electrically illuminated show cave in the world.

Later the cave was closed and it remained closed for many decades. It is listed in the BookGurnee Guide as a closed cave. Lately it was reopened, but it seems the former trails and light system were destroyed during the long closing time. The cave is now only in small parts electrically lit, most of the tours are done with torches. There are guided and self guided tours now, and even Halloween specials called Haunted Caves Tours.