(My pis are listed in the Photo Album)
Hello all. I recent explored the Mamoth Caves in Kentucky. Though it was a great experience, I didn't realize how historical it was as well.
Mammoth Cave is the most-extensive cave system known in the world. Over 365 miles of cave on record and counting.
It was first used by the Indians for minerals, but once the minerals were no longer available, they abandoned it.
Later in 1838 a lead explorer Stephen Bishop, was the first person to track over 20 miles of the cave. he was awed as agenius now and even back then. Thus he was a self-educated slave at the time.
Stephen Bishop was introduced to Mammoth Cave in 1838 by his owner, Franklin Gorin, who purchased the cave from the previous owners in the spring of 1838. Gorin wrote, after Bishop's death: "I placed a guide in the cave --- the celebrated and great Stephen, and he aided in making the discoveries. He was the first person who ever crossed the Bottomless Pit, and he, myself and another person whose name I have forgotten were the only persons ever at the bottom of Gorin's Dome to my knowledge.
"After Stephen crossed the Bottomless Pit, we discovered all that part of the cave now known beyond that point. Previous to those discoveries, all interest centered in what is known as the "Old Cave" . . . but now many of the points are but little known, although as Stephen was wont to say, they were 'grand, gloomy and peculiar.'
"Stephen was a self-educated man. He had a fine genius, a great fund of wit and humor, some little knowledge of Latin and Greek, and much knowledge of geology, but his great talent was a knowledge of man."
Here are more links of the history of the cave as well as Stephen.