It was a beautiful day and our little family had no plans so we decided to drive an hour away to Stanton, Missouri.
Stanton, Missouri is the home of Meramec Caverns. I’m always interested in the history of the places we go and Meramec Caverns definitely has a history!
Did you know that Missouri is known as the Cave State? Meramec Caverns is actually the largest commercial cave in Missouri.
Meramec Caverns was “discovered” in 1720 by French Explorer Phillip Renault. They discovered Saltpeter and the cave was named Saltpeter Cave. For 144 years, saltpeter was mined from the cave.
In the 1890’s, locals would hold “cave parties” in the summer since it is a cool 60 degrees year round! There is a HUGE “Ballroom” with plenty of space for parties.
For many years, the owner of the cave thought the cave stopped after the giant “Ballroom”. But after a severe draught, water receded and they were able to see the cave extended even farther back!
This was in 1941. When they explored even farther back they found artifacts that actually belonged to Jesse James and his gang! They were able to trace it to a local train robbery and sheriff reports showed that he did escape through the cave and on to the Meramec River.
We love visiting Meramec Caverns. I’m always in awe when we go, knowing that I am underground surrounded by formations that have been dated back to 75 million years.
We first brought Hayden when he was two and he did very good. The tour through the cave is only about an hour and 20 minutes. This year he was SO interested. He loved looking at all the “rocks”.
In addition to the cave tour, they also have a “Zipline Adventure”, riverboat rides, canoe rentals and a restaurant. They also have campgrounds which I think would be so much fun!
Are you in Missouri? Have you visited any of our caves? If you’re out of Missouri have you visited any?