Photo taken by pam phillips in October 2015
+35.65833, -83.7766635°39'30" N, 83°46'36" W
The Cherokee, though, still maintain a lot of influence in this region. According to the legend of the Cherokee Indians, the caverns were used to hide from the white man and others before they were discovered by European settlers around 1850. All of the Cherokee Indians knew of this site and the entire population lived in the area before being pushed out and forced to move to Oklahoma.
Around the time that the caverns were discovered by Europeans, the history switches from Indian legend to written record. The records say that the Tuckaleechee were found by sawmill workers watching water from a heavy rain pour into a sinkhole. A small opening in the rock, where the water was rapidly disappearing, led to the immense cave system.
Visitors come here to see both the strange and impressive geological formations, but also the crystal clear stream that flows through the entire system of caverns. The streams drains Dry Valley, a small cover above the cavern system that is so named because, whenever it rains, the water disappeared quickly. Now we know where all of it is going.
- October 12, 2015: Added by pam phillips