Caverns and Graves

I’m back.  My plane touched down around 5 in the evening on Sunday.  Of course, I have a shit ton of pictures and I really need to share them with you so at least two days this week you’ll have to indulge me.

Ohio Caverns

The Ohio Caverns was originally an aquifer which held an underground river of melted glacier water. The river eventually receded to lower levels of the ground and is now unseen.  In 1897 a 17 year old farmhand named Robert Noffsinger got curious when he noticed a sinkhole on the property that would fill with rain and then be completely dry the next day, so he began to dig.  After reaching limestone and finding a crack he was able to break through and lower himself into the caverns becoming the first living being inside of them.

 

Ohio Caverns

Ohio Caverns

The Ohio Caverns contain many crystal formations. Approximately 90% of its stalactite and stalagmite formations are still active.

Cavern stalagmites and stalagtites

You will see examples of every type of formation in the Ohio Caverns: iron oxide formations; manganese dioxide formations; calcite formations: stalactites, stalagmites, columns, flowstone, soda straws, and helictites; and Dual Formations.  Dual Formations are extremely rare and the Ohio Caverns is the only known cave in North America, (and one of very few in the world), known to have Dual Formations. In the Ohio Caverns there are calcite stalactites growing on the ends of iron oxide formations.

 

Cavern Crystals

Dual Formations

Did you know there is a difference between a cavern and a cave?  A cave is any cavity in the ground that is large enough that some portion of it will not receive direct sunlight and there are many types of caves.  A cavern is a specific type of cave that is naturally formed in soluble rock with the ability to grow speleothems. So, although a cavern can accurately be called a cave, not all caves can be called caverns.

Ohio Caverns

After we left the Ohio Caverns we were driving down a road taking the scenic route back when we spotted a row of old stones on the side of the road.  We turned around and went back and discovered Bigelow Cemetery State Nature Preserve.

Bigelow Pioneer Cemetery

The cemetery isn’t plowed or mowed as it contains many prairie grasses and wildflowers.  Unfortunately we did not get to see it in its full splendor as the wildflowers bloom in mid to late summer but we didn’t mind.  We felt so fortunate that we found it and were able to see it.

Bigelow Cemetery

Some of the graves dated back to the early 1800’s.

Old gravestone

There was one row of an entire family who all died around the same time, most likely from some sort of disease.

grave stone

I found it so interesting how they wrote the date of death and then instead of a birth year which is commonly seen today, we saw things like ‘aged 75 yrs, 2 mos, 5 days.  It was so interesting.

This next set of stones was off in the corner.  I think some of the pieces may have been broken parts of stones that they haven’t found or damaged gravestones that haven’t been repaired.  Whatever the case I got an overwhelming sense of sadness looking at it.

Bigelow Cemetery

I’m so glad that I was able to see this piece of history which is located at 600 Rosedale Road in Madison County, Ohio.  I was so enthralled by the history of the place that I researched the families who were buried there.  It was quite interesting.  I hope I can visit there again someday.

Have you ever visited an old cemetery?

Have you ever visited any of the caverns in the United States?  I’ve seen Ruby Falls, The Lost Sea, Luray Caverns and the Ohio Caverns.  I have a thing for caverns obviously.

7 thoughts on “Caverns and Graves

  1. I’ve been to Ruby Falls and Mammoth cave. Want to do the ones in North Florida.

    Great pics, looks like you’re having a great visit.

    • I grew up in Tennessee so Ruby Falls was like a yearly field trip but I would love to go to the Florida State Caverns, they look amazing. I’ve never been to Mammoth either and I’ve heard it’s awesome too.

  2. Those caves…..I think they look great but I wouldn’t want to go in one…kind of claustrophobic I guess. And I knew a guy who went in a cave many many years ago around his college in MN…it collapsed…end of his story. Very sad.

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