Turning off State Highway TT and traveling down a long hill brings us to a parking lot overlooking a small pond in the woods. What appears to be a house with an entrance sign on the side is nestled in at the base of a large hill. This is the actual entrance to Jacob’s Cave, near Versailles in Central Missouri.
We enter the basement door, where the gift shop is located, and are greeted by Frank Hurley, the cave’s owner.
After our introductions, we enter a simple door in the basement and quickly realize we are now inside the cave! The pathway in the cave is very easy to navigate and features no stairs or steep walkways. Our guide is very friendly and tells us about the things we are looking at during our walking tour.
The cave features a huge variety of soda straw formations as well as what’s described as “cave bacon.”
One of the most unique features of the cave is what the guide called “the world’s largest geode.” This is a hollow rock discovered by accident while blasting was taking place to create a new passageway.
Jacob Craycraft, the man who discovered the cave, wrote his name on a formation many years ago and it is still visible today.
At the end of our tour, we enter a long room where many different rock and mineral specimens are on display. After we are all inside the room, the guide turns off the lights and switches on a black light to show us how many of the rocks glow naturally in unique colors. One of the rocks even looked like Superman’s kryptonite as it was glowing bright green.
Written by Amy Susan, director of communications, Missouri Department of Labor