Carver's Cave


Useful Information

Location: At the foot of Dayton's Bluff, St. Paul.
Open: closed. [2019]
Fee: closed. [2019]
Classification: ExplainErosional Caves
Light: bring torch
Dimension: L=35m.
Guided tours: n/a
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Bibliography: Charles T. Burnley (1967): Case Of The Vanishing Historic Site Or What Happened To Carver's Cave, Ramsey County History, Fall 1967 Volume 4 Number 2, Ramsey County Historical Society. online
Greg A. Brick (2009): St. Paul Underground: 
History and Geology at Carver’s Cave
 Ramsey County History Magazine: Volume 44-1 Spring 2009, Ramsey County Historical Society. online
Address:  
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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History

1767 cavern discovered by Jonathan Carver.
1885 entrance closed by railroads.
1913 entrance rediscovered and the cave reopened.

Description

Carver's Cave is a huge cavern beneath Dayton's Bluff, which was discovered by Jonathan Carver in 1767, hence the name. It was known for very long to the local Dakota people, many Indian legends were told about the cave.

Like many of the caves of the St. Paul area, it was used for several decades, but then it was abandoned because of the growth of the city. In this case the entrance was closed by new railroads. But in contrary to the nearby Fountain Cave, this cave was rediscovered in 1913 and reopened. There was a considerable ceremony, and the city planned to turn the area into a park and the cave into a tourist attraction. However, the plans were never realized. As Greg A. Brick tells in a video you can find on YouTube, the cave seems to be rediscovered at least once every generation. But soon the soft sandstone around the cave entrance crumbles and the debris closes the cave again. Currently the area around the entrance is cleared but the cave entrance is gated.

We had a hard time to decide if we should publish this page. showcaves.com is dedicated to underground tourist sights, but this cave is closed. Nevertheless there are an enormous amount of pages on the internet discussing the cave and providing incomplete and contradictory info about the cave. It is quite hard to get reliable info on closed venues, so we decided to publish this site to collect some of the available info and make one thing completely clear: this cave is currently not open to the public and there are no plans to open it in the near future. Also there is no way to énter it on special tours or on certain occasions, as the gate is actually a wall of iron slabs and there is no door. It was closed to make it completely inaccessible.