Welcome to Grand Caverns, America's Oldest Show Cave

History

Grand Caverns was discovered in 1804 by Bernard (Barnette) Weyer while trying to retrieve one of his traps. Weyers Cave opened for tours in 1806, making it the oldest continually operating show cave in the U.S. The caverns were also called the Grottoes of the Shenandoah until named Grand Caverns in 1926.Grand Caverns was declared a National Natural Landmark in 1973. In 1974 the caverns and surrounding acreage was gifted to the Upper Valley Regional Park Authority by its then owner Gladys Kellow and became known as Grand Caverns Regional Park. On October 1, 2009, the Town of Grottoes took possession of its namesake caverns, and consequently, the UVRPA will dissolve.

The cave has gone through several owners and name changes since its discovery in 1804. For a short time after the discovery, the landowner tried to name the cave Amon’s or Amen’s Cave, after himself. The public quickly reverted to calling it Weyers Cave, in honor of its discoverer, which it was to bear for over 100 years. In 1810, Matthias Amend deeded the property to his daughter Mary and her husband, Henry V. Bingham. Bingham sold the land to John Mohler in 1819 and the property remained in the Mohler family for many years. During the period from 1889 to 1893, the Grottoes Land Company owned Weyers Cave, which was sometimes referred to as the Grottoes of the Shenandoah. The Pirkey Brothers bought the property in 1910 and built a lime kiln on the property. Holly Stover bought the property in 1926 and changed the name from Weyers Cave to Grand Caverns, as it is known today. During the term of the next owner, Gladys Kellow, the US Department of the Interior recognized the property as a National Natural Landmark. In 1974 Miss Kellow gifted the property to the Upper Valley Regional Park Authority, who owned the caverns until 2009. On October 1, 2009, the Town of Grottoes took possession of this glorious property.

The information contained on this page is for general purposes only and may not contain the most current information. For answers to more specific questions or concerns, or to receive the latest information possible, please call the Grand Caverns main office.