• Speleothems in Miller's Chapel.

    Oregon Caves

    National Monument Oregon

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  • Cave Tours Closed for Season

    Cave Tours are closed for the winter. Tours will resume April 26, 2014. All trails on the monument remain open.

  • Road Work

    Crews are removing brush along highway 46 beginning in the lower parking lot and moving down the highway. Work is scheduled to last until April 20, 2014; expect delays.

Oregon Caves Cavemen

Dad Reingate as a grocery store owner (left) and as a Caveman.

Dad Reingate as a grocery store owner and as a Caveman.

The Oregon Caves Cavemen began in 1922 when a group of businessmen in Grants Pass, Oregon came up with a novel way of promoting tourism in Josephine County. They did this by dressing up as cavemen, pretending to be descendents of the Neanderthals. (The Neanderthals became extinct in Europe thousands of years ago and had no descendents). With their unusual attire, and zany antics they promoted Oregon Caves and Josephine County by bringing thousands of additional tourist to visit Oregon Caves.

Dad Reingate was one of the original seven cavemen. He owned a grocery store, and when he donned his wig, skins and picked up his club he became a Caveman known as the Flame watcher.

 
A wedding in Joaquin Miller's Chapel.

A wedding in Joaquin Miller's Chapel.

This is a Caveman wedding in 1936. This was a promotion thought up by the president of the Redwood Empire to promote tourism along the Redwood Highway from San Francisco, California to Grants Pass,Oregon.

This event was a tremendous success in terms of news reels, writers, and photographers from several news organizations attending. Many cities paying thousands of dollars for publicity would have gladly traded what they spent on publicity for the nationwide coverage that the Cavemen provided for free.

Did You Know?

Pileated Woodpecker

The Pileated Woodpecker is the largest North American woodpecker. Funny, mischief making cartoon character Woody Woodpecker, was inspired by this bird. Other birds need this species for survival. They will use the holes or cavities the Pileated drills as nests, winter shelter, and a way to get at food inside trees that is otherwise hidden.