VERSAILLES, Mo. – Zillow Gone Wild showcases a historical cave and tourist destination in central Missouri that is sure to attract avid spelunkers.
For 90 years, people have congregated just north of Lake of the Ozarks to walk through a mile-long cave system known as Jacob’s Cave.
The cave—believed to have been used by indigenous peoples before European settlement, and by troops during the American Civil War—was rediscovered in 1875 by lead and tiff miner Jacob Craycraft.
According to the historiography on JacobsCave.com, Craycraft moved to Missouri as a young boy with his father and brother from Kentucky.
As the story goes, Craycraft, now an adult, was mining one August day with two other men and a young boy. During a lunch break, they took turns throwing rocks toward what they believed to be a shallow hole. One of the larger rocks went in the hole but made an odd sound upon landing. Craycraft and the men dug around the hole and discovered an entrance to the massive cave system.
Craycraft would explore part of the cave the following day and made note of the discovery on the cave walls. “Jacob Craycraft, the man who discovered this cave, 1875 August 9th,” he wrote. Visitors can see the note on the current tour of the cave.
The cave is being sold along with a 4-bed and 2.5-bath residence, as well as the large workshed and gift shop located on the property. The sprawling 223 acres includes a large open space with well-kept dirt roads, which has been used as a gathering place for swap meets for several years.
You can see more pictures of the cave and the property by visiting the Zillow listing.