Olentangy Indian Caverns

Olentangy Caverns


Useful Information

Location: 1779 Home Rd., Delaware, OH 43015.
Northern outskirts of Columbus, south of Delaware. From Columbus follow Hwy 315 Olentangy Freeway/Olentangy River Road north. 27 km from Columbus city center turn left into Home road, after 1 km on the left.
(40.192409, -83.062769)
Open: APR to OCT daily 9:30-17.
[2022]
Fee: Adults USD 10.95, Children (7-12) USD 7.95.
[2022]
Classification: SpeleologyKarst cave
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System LightColoured Light
Dimension: T=12 °C.
Guided tours: D=30 min, self guided.
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Bibliography:
Address: Olentangy Indian Caverns, 1779 Home Rd., Delaware, OH 43015, Tel. +1-614-548-7917. E-mail:
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.

History

until 1810 Wyandotte Indians used the cave.
1821 discovered by J. M. Adams.
1971 Tony Oldham's visit.

Description

Olentangy Indian Caverns was discovered by an accident. A westbound wagon train camped nearby in 1821. The ox of J. M. Adams broke loose and fell into the cave entrance.

Numerous artifacts found in the cave indicate that it was used by Wyandotte Indians for making arrows and other stone implements until as late as 1810. Hundreds of items were found when the caverns were opened, some are on display in the Museum. Most finds were made it a chamber which was logically dubbed Indian Council Room. According to the book This is Ohio by Grace Goulder, Leatherlips, the chief of the Wyandottes, was killed at the entrance to the cave by his own people.

Recent changes at the cave were the addition of gem mining, mini golf, a maze, and a petting zoo. Also the cave name was shortened to Olentangy Caverns and is now visited on self-guided tours. And there are yoga courses inside the cave.

Another tourist trap, a cave with no speleothems! The cave is formed in two beds of rock, the Upper Columbus White limestone and the Lower Dollar Blue limestone. The guide describes the cave as having "miles of passage, containing blind white fish", and Indian chiefs using the cavern for a council meeting. I do not believe a word of it.


Text by Tony Oldham (1971). With kind permission.