The legends say that John Houchins was hunting and chased a wounded bear to the entrance of a large cave, which opened near the Green River to find the inside of what was Mammoth cave.
He found one of the greatest cave systems know from which many different native American remains were recovered.
Mummified remains of various cultures, burial remains and they seemed to have been buried their on purpose, as if it were a large tomb of sorts.
There was one noted exception.
Early in the 1930’s a skeleton was found of an adult male which was under a huge rock.
They seemed to be the remains of a miner, who had disturbed the ground holding the boulder and it had rolled onto him.
In the 1970’s they were reburied in a secret location in the cave to preserve them as well as to placate the Native Americans who were upset by his being displayed as a tourist attraction.
This cave system became a tourist attraction quite early on, and everyone wanted to view the myriad types of remains and the inside of the massive cavern system. Due to the popularity of the caves as tourist attractions there were some ramifications socially.
Mammoth Cave Entrance
Strangely, the success of mammoth caves as an attraction to tourism led to what were called the “Cave Wars”.
“The “Kentucky Cave Wars” were a period of bitter competition between local cave owners for tourist money.
Misleading signs were placed along the roads leading to the Mammoth Cave. A typical strategy during the early days of automobile travel involved a representative of a private show cave hopping aboard a tourist’s car’s running board, to “explain” to the passengers that Mammoth Cave was closed, quarantined, caved in or otherwise inaccessible.” (Quoted from Wikipedia.org).
Human and other remains here are protected by several federal and state laws due to the historical value of the area.
To learn more about Mammoth caves and their history visit http://www.nps.gov/maca/