The annual Roots in the Cave at Mammoth Cave National Park will focus on local cave explorer Edmund Turner (1867-1917) this year. Turner is credited with the discovery of Great Onyx Cave, but died penniless and was buried in a pauper's grave at the Mammoth Cave Baptist Cemetery on Flint Ridge.
This years' event will be held on November 12-13, and is sponsored by the Mammoth Cave Hotel and Mammoth Cave National Park.
"Roots in the Cave is an annual fall event that explores the family histories and lore of those people who once lived on what is now parkland," said Superintendent Patrick Reed. "Mammoth Cave became a national park in 1941, but before that time this land held 600 farms and 30 communities. Roots in the Cave pulls descendents together to share stories and research."
"One of the items on the agenda this year is to place a headstone on Edmund Turner's long neglected grave," said Greg Davis, manager of the Mammoth Cave Hotel. "Other events and discussions will bring to light pieces of Turner's life story, such as he explored Salts Cave accompanied by young Floyd Collins. Turner was an expert caver who has received little recognition."
Activities for registered participants include: a panel discussion on Edmund Turner by Roger Brucker and Norman Warnell; a guided walk to Stephen Bishop's homeplace; unveiling of the Turner headstone; and a tour of Great Onyx Cave (limited to 40 people). A genealogy display in the Rotunda Room on November 12-13 will be open to the public.
To register for Roots in the Cave activities contact the Mammoth Cave Hotel at 270-758-2225. Registration is $20 per person; all proceeds will be applied to the cost of Turner's headstone.
For information on hiking in the park (above ground), please click here.