Seneca Caverns set to kick off 90th season
Bellevue, Ohio — Seneca Caverns, a natural underground wonder, is preparing to celebrate its 90th season with its reopening on Saturday, May 6 and Sunday, May 7.
Located at 15248 East Township Road 178, just outside of Bellevue, Seneca Caverns offers visitors a unique and educational experience, showcasing the underground world that lies beneath their feet.
The caverns, which have been retained close to their original, natural, wild state, have seven rooms or levels and offer visitors the opportunity to walk natural stone steps and pathways.
As visitors progress through the cavern, they will feel the temperature cool, and at the lowest level, 110 feet below the surface, they can see Ole’ Mist’ry River, a crystal-clear flowing stream that is part of the vast groundwater system underlying the surrounding region. The largest room is 250 feet in length.
Seneca Caverns will be open on Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., with the last cave tour departing at 4 p.m. Beginning on Memorial Day Weekend and running through Labor Day, Seneca Caverns will be open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., with the last cave tour departing at 6 p.m.
After the cave tour, visitors can pan for gemstones, minerals, crystals, arrowheads, and fossils at the Seneca Mining Company. The experience is a fully operational sluice with flowing water, offering a chance to try their hand at mining just like in frontier days.
The discovery of Seneca Caverns dates back to 1872 when two boys, Peter Rutan and Henry Komer of Flat Rock, Ohio, stumbled upon the natural sinkhole while hunting rabbits with their dog. Falling through the opening, they landed in the first level of the cave, where they found their dog and crawled back up to the cave entrance. The cave became known as Good’s Cave, for Mr. Emmanuel Good, the owner of the farm on which the cave was located.
In 1929, Don and Fannie Bell moved to Bellevue, where Mr. Bell established his law practice. His interest in caves was sparked during an elective geology course he took at the University of Michigan Law School, which included a field trip to the Mammoth Cave area in Kentucky.
Mr. Bell’s fascination with underground natural wonders led him to explore Good’s Cave with Mr. Good. In 1931, he discovered a series of passageways and rooms, previously unknown to exist, which led to an underground river, the water table. With this discovery, Mr. Bell thought the cave was large enough to develop commercially. After two and a half years of improvement efforts, Seneca Caverns opened to the public on May 14, 1933.
Seneca Caverns’ 90th season promises to be a unique and exciting experience for visitors of all ages.