Mammoth Cave Area

The area around cave City is riddled with caves. During the 19th century many caves were discovered by locals and the construction of railroads caused a dramatic increase in visitors and daytrippers. Many caves were shown to visitors fo a fee, later developed and finally operated as commercial caves. But the visitors went only to one or two caves, so it was important to have the most impressive cave to draw as much visitors as possible to ones caves. The result was the so-called Cave War, where cave owners tried to increase their income by adding sign, destroying the signs of otrher cave owners, or by discovering and developing new and better caves. During times there were more than 15 show caves in the area. But the Mammoth Cave NP, which protects the longest cave on earth, was founded and grew over the years. Many small caves were absorbed and shut down. But until today the are many caves in the area open to the public.