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Ralph V. Stewart, Marengo Cave narrative essay

 Collection — Folder: S1905
Identifier: S1905

Scope and Contents

This collection includes photocopies of a two-page narrative essay written by Ralph V. Stewart in the 1950s regarding his recollections of discovering Marengo Cave with a group of boys on August 18, 1883. Samuel Stewart, Ralph's uncle, owned the land where the cave opening was found. Along with himself, Ralph listed the names of the "boys in the bunch" who discovered the cave as J. Roscoe Stewart, Enoch Stewart, John Jones, Charles Breeden, Marion Johnson, and Nickolas Taylor. The original handwritten narrative was in the possession of Frances Fielder of Bloomington, Indiana at the time of donation.


  • circa 1950s


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Legal title, copyright, and literary rights reside with Rare Books and Manuscripts, Indiana State Library, Indianapolis, IN. All requests to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted to Rare Books and Manuscripts.

Historical Note

Marengo Cave, located in Crawford County, Indiana, was designated a National Natural Landmark in 1984. The underground cavity has a variety of cave formations, including helictites, stalactites, stalagmites, rimstone dams, and draperies. There are conflicting stories regarding the discovery of the cave. The owners of the cave credit siblings Blanche and Orris Hiestand as discovering the cave on September 6, 1883. Another story states that a group of boys chasing a rabbit discovered the opening to the cave on August 18, 1883. Privately owned, Marengo Cave is Indiana's most visited natural and National Landmark.


Information found within collection.

"Marengo Cave: A Great Discovery Made by Five Boys." New Albany Ledger (Ind.), September 13, 1883.

Marengo Cave."About the Cave: Discovery." Accessed August 5, 2020.

Pleasant, Hazen Hayes. A History of Crawford County, Indiana. Greenfield, Ind.: Wm. Mitchell Printing Company, 1926.


0.01 Cubic Feet (1 folder)

Language of Materials



This collection consists of one item.

Custodial History

This collection was received by Rare Books and Manuscripts as a donation from Dan Parrott on 1977/03/14.


No further additions are expected.

Processing Information

Collection processing completed 2020/08/06 by Laura Eliason. EAD finding aid created 2020/08/06 by Laura Eliason.
Ralph V. Stewart, Marengo Cave narrative essay
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
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Repository Details

Part of the Rare Books and Manuscripts Repository

140 North Senate Avenue
Indianapolis, Indiana 46204 U.S.A.