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Annual Genealogy Workshop Coming To Mammoth Cave National Park



Exploring the backgrounds of the settlers who lived in the hills and hollows that today fall within the boundaries of Mammoth Cave National Park will be the focus of workshops scheduled for October 22 and October 29.

On those days the park will sponsor a genealogy day and a cemetery workshop. Note, though, that the venues are outside the park.  Free Discovery/Mammoth Passage cave tours will also be offered October 22 & 29 to residents of Edmonson, Hart, Barren and Warren counties.

“In October and November, we set our sights on local history and our local residents,” said Superintendent Patrick Reed.  “The workshops on genealogy and cemeteries have become a tradition with local folks.  As thanks for their support to the park, we will offer free Discovery or Mammoth Passage tours on October 22 and 29 to residents of our local counties.”

On this Saturday, the national park will hold a series of presentations for Genealogy Day at the Brownsville Public Library. The presenters, who will discuss techniques for researching family ties and point to available records, include:  Louise T. Jones, Director Special Collections and Library, Kentucky Historical Society; J. Mark Lowe, Certified Genealogist; and Nancy Richey, Special Collections Librarian, Western Kentucky University.  For more information, contact Ranger Joy Lyons, 270/758-2435, or by email at [email protected].

On October 29, the park will hold a Cemetery Workshop at the Brownsville Public Library, beginning at 9 a.m.  Morning sessions will include discussion of the park cemeteries and how to learn more about them, and care and repair of headstones.  Following a short lunch break, the field portion of the workshop will be conducted in the afternoon in Brownsville and should conclude no later than 3:00 p.m. For more information, contact Ranger Johnny Merideth at 270/758-2439, or by email at [email protected].  Participants should wear long pants, sturdy boots, and insect repellant, as the cemetery may be overgrown with thick vegetation and this is a working field exercise.

Free Discovery and Mammoth Passage tours

On October 22, visitors must pick up their free Discovery tickets at the visitor center ticket office between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. CT, and then walk to the Historic Entrance to begin their tour.  On October 29, free guided Mammoth Passage tours will depart from the visitor center at 10:45 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 1:30 p.m., 3 p.m., and 4:30 p.m.; the tour is limited to 40 people. Visitors must bring proof of residency (driver’s license or utility bill) and pick up their free tickets at visitor center ticket office prior to tour times.

Visitors taking the Discovery cave tour should allow at least 30 minutes for the tour, a ¾-mile round trip from the visitor center.  Mammoth Passage is a ¾-mile, 1¼ hour cave tour.  Both tours require a walk down and up the hill below the visitor center, as well as 68 steps at the Historic Entrance.

Note:  Tour requirements regarding white-nose syndrome (WNS) in bats: While there are no known harmful effects to humans, WNS is responsible for the deaths of more than a million hibernating bats across the eastern United States since its discovery in 2006. WNS has not been found in Mammoth Cave to date, however, park staff are taking precautions to minimize the spread of WNS fungus to or from Mammoth Cave.  When going on a Mammoth Cave tour, do not wear clothing or shoes that have been worn in other caves or mines.  All participants on cave tours must walk on bio-security mats immediately following the conclusion of their tour.

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