Jacob's Cave

Useful Information

Location: Near Versailles. North of Gravois Mills and south of Versailles. Hwy 5, then Rt TT.
Open: Memorial Day to Labor Day daily 9-17.
Labor Day to Memorial Day daily 9-16.
Fee: Adults USD 12, Children (4-12) USD 6.
Groups (15+): Adults USD 6, Children (4-12) USD 3.
Classification: SpeleologyKarst Cave Silurian limestone (408-438 Ma)
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Dimension: T=12 °C.
Guided tours: L=1,600 m, D=1 h.
Accessibility: yes
Address: Jacob's Cave, RT 2 Box 129, 23114 Highway TT, Versailles, MO 65084, +1-573-378-4374. E-mail: contact
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.


08-AUG-1875 discovered by Jacob Craycraft, a lead ore and barite miner.
09-AUG-1875 first exploration by Jacob Craycraft.
1932 road from Hwy 5 built and cave opened to the public with wooden planks and kerosene lights.
1947 purchased by Russell Hall who developed it with concrete paths and electric light.
1950 opened for the public.
1965 bought by Frank Hurley.
1982 entrance building burned down and a new building was erected.


Jacob's Cave has many interesting speleothems. Soda straws, helictites and special speleothems at the ceiling called sponge works. Many stalactites, stalagmites, curtains and rimstone pools can be seen too. A room with minerals is called the world's largest geode, although it is actually not a geode.

The cave has a display of prehistoric bones which were discovered during the development of the cave. The were identified as mastodon, bear, and peccary. Archaeological remains are ancient writings which are said to be around 2,000 years old.

It was named after the discoverer, Jacob Craycraft, a miner searching for galena, a lead ore, and barite which is locally called tiff. He was prospecting for a new vein of mineral, together with two other men and a six-year-old boy. They were digging along a fault line just east of today's cave entrance. When they were eating their noon lunch, they began throwing rocks into an animal hole. When larger rocks made hollow sounds, they became curious and opened the cave.

Jacob Craycraft made a first exploration tour the next day. He visited 800 m and wrote on a formation "Jacob Craycraft, the man who discovered this cave, 1875 August 9th". This early vandalism is now part of the tour. Three more locations were he left his name exist in the cave.

The owner Frank Hurley, who ran this show cave with his family for more than 40 years now is retiring. He is looking for a buyer or at least a leaser.