The history of Seneca caverns is long, you could say it started over 460 million years ago. That's when the limestone bed where the Caverns formed was laid under an inland sea. Limestone is formed from the remains of shells from clams, coral and other shellfish, which settle on the bottom of the sea over time.
The first verifiable history of human contact with the cave was in the early 1400's when the Seneca Indians used the cave. The Caverns are located on a great Indian trading route through the Appalachian Mountains. Many tribes used this trading route but it was the Seneca Indians who lived here and used the cave for shelter, storage and special ceremonies. Three hundred years later the first German settlers came to the area. As history goes, a man named Laven Teter rediscovered the cave in 1742 on a quest for water to supply his livestock. At this time the area was not even considered part of the original 13 colonies. The Teter family maintained ownership until 1928. The new owners opened it to the public in 1930 as a show cave.
The Stratosphere Cave is also part of Seneca Caverns. It is the oldest recorded cave in the state. In 1760, a Methodist Bishop named Francis Asbury came to visit his new flock, and The Senecas were so honored they named the cave Asbury Cave. In his journals he writes about Stratosphere cave and also mentions Seneca as another hole in the ground. During the 1960's Civil Defense used the cave for food storage and as a fall out shelter. We currently have an original can of biscuits on display. The name was changed when the cave was opened to the public but then was soon closed as a natural fungus destroyed the stairs and made it too dangerous to use. It was reopened in 2005 and has since been used as adventure style caving.
Such a friendly accommodating staff. Excellent guided tour with very small groups. Josh our guide was very friendly fun and knowledgeable. Restaurant was very nice also. Comfortable and very tasty meals. My extra scrutinizing 18 y/o son swears it was the best cheeseburger that he had ever eaten and he knows his burgers. Make sure you call before you travel as they are not typically open Monday and Tuesday which is quite common in the area and the Canaan Valley/Blackwater Falls private specialty stores and restaurants.
Great tour. Our tour guide was hilarious and educational. Our whole family had fun and learned, even the few of us who had been in Caverns before. Cute gift shop with some good priced items, and a nice restaurant right there
Cavern was nice. Tour guide wasnt very good. Talked too fast and tried to be funny which he was not.
What a cool place to visit. Very neat.
A great experience for the family. The restaurant had good food as well.