Stone walls to be documented
Contact: Vickie Carson, 270-758-2192
(MAMMOTH CAVE, Ky. - November 6, 2012) For about the next month, visitors to the Green River Ferry area of Mammoth Cave National Park will see workers on or around the historic stone retaining walls, removing sediment and vegetation. Section 106 of the Historic Preservation Act requires documentation of historic features prior to disturbance.
"The rehabilitation plans for the ferry landings call for the historic rock walls to be removed before reconstruction begins, and then rebuilt according to their original purpose and pattern," said Acting Superintendent Bruce Powell. "Documenting them now will help us to replace them in the same manner once the road work is complete."
The walls were constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the late 1930s, after the ferry crossing was moved downstream to its present location. The four walls hold the river bank in place as Green River flows and floods.
Over the years, flood sediments and debris have covered the stones, allowing plants to sprout and take root on the walls. This week, a Park maintenance crew will remove the sediments, debris and plant growth, laying the walls bare. Later in November, workers from the NPS Historic Preservation Training Center in Frederickburg, Md., will travel to Mammoth Cave to measure, photograph and sketch the walls.
The park has not secured funding for the entire ferry landing project.
"This work is preparatory for the larger project," said Powell. "Documenting the walls now will allow the Park to proceed with altering the ferry landings once funding becomes available."
The Green River Ferry Improvement Project was completed in 2011; it can be viewed online at http://www.nps.gov/maca/parkmgmt/upload/GreenRiverCrossing_FONSI_Final_11-23-2011.pdf
Did You Know?
Native Americans of the Early Woodland period gathered minerals from Mammoth Cave between 2,000 and 4,000 years ago ... no one knows why. Objects they left behind – slippers, cane torches, gourds, and mussel shells – remain perfectly preserved in the cave.