Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Dragons Cave

Not too far from the tourist friendly Crystal Cave, rests another grotto, but with a much darker history. Part of the same system of caverns as Crystal Cave, this one is not quite as tourist friendly. Due to it's natural opening in the Earth, this cave may have been used for thousands of years.

The Dragon's cave is one of the oldest known caves in the state of Pennsylvania. Located in the town of Virginville, the cave has been on maps since the 1770's. And since then the cave has had it's problems. Initial adventurers into the cave would often have to be rescued. One such group was found in a frenzied panic after losing light and being trapped for hours in the darkness. The cave attracted visitors from as far as New York and Philadelphia. However this all became overshadowed when the much larger Crystal Cave was discovered nearby. Crystal Caves marketing strategies and sheer size difference quickly made Dragon Cave irrelevant.

Many believe the cave is named for a large formation located inside resembling a dragon. But others believe the name was given for a different reason. An old folk tale dating over 200 years; tells the tale of a young Native Indian who had fallen in love with a European settlers daughter. The man's family forbade the relationship and refused the two to ever speak again. In a haste the two young lovers ran off to die together in a nearby cave. Before parting from the tribe, the young Native told several friends to keep on the lookout for a dragon flying over the Blue Mountains. The dragon would come to the place where their young bodies would rest in eternal peace.

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