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Marengo Cave, Marengo

#4 of 51 in Nature in Indiana
Must see · Cave · Nature / Park
Marengo Cave is a privately owned cave located in Marengo, Indiana. One of only four show caves in Indiana, public tours of the cave have been given since 1883. Tours commenced just days after the cave's discovery by two school children. The cave was designated as a National Natural Landmark in 1984.
Marengo Cave was discovered in September 6, 1883. There are many early descriptions and some confusion about the date and the story how the cave was discovered. "When Orris was hiking in the woods along Cave Spring Creek with his sister, Blanche, and they stumbled into a sink hole, situated in a thick woods and undergrowth of vines and ferns. Orris let himself get down in the hole enough to see that an opening and darkness extended to an unknown depth. The word was spread in a few days and the next Sunday a group of larger boys let themselves down into a large cave, with beautiful stalactites and stalagmites." (August 28, 1973 as told by his son Thomas C. Hiestand).
"Anniversaries and Memorial
Crawford County - Marking the discovery in 1883 of Marengo Cave, one of the largest caves in Indiana, by Blanche and Orris Hiestand, a bronze marker commemorating the event was placed inside the cave on Sunday, December 8, by Mrs. Kate White, of Indianapolis, and Mrs. James Tinkler, of Georgetown sisters of the Hiestands."
The state's story"Marengo cave has been known only since 1883. The cave was first entered on Thursday, September 6, 1883, by two children of the name of Hiestand. The children were at play in the grove and were attracted to the opening at the bottom of a sink hole. Accounts as to why they ventured into the opening differ. For some reason the story is told that they followed a rabbit into the opening and this led to the discovery of the cave. Mr. Stewart and those connected with the cave emphatically deny the rabbit story and say the discovery is due solely to childish curiosity. It is significant that shortly preceding the discovery, the virgin timber had been removed from the hillside upon which the entrance was found. Mr Stewart thinks this favored increased gullying and that the increase in runoff was the main factor in opening the hole in the sink.
A visit to Marengo Cave represents just the start of the adventure when you use our Marengo tour planner to plot your vacation.
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441 reviews
  • We took the combo tours, and overall, the tour was very interesting and very beautiful. It was a good experience overall. I have only 2 complaints. 1. I was not allowed to use my GoPro at all in the....  more »
  • Cleanest bathrooms in Indiana! I had a fantastic experience with my family(Group of 6) at Marengo Caves. We did not need a reservation to take the tours and they sell the tickets in the giftshop. We.....  more »

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