• Speleothems in Miller's Chapel.

    Oregon Caves

    National Monument Oregon

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  • Road Work, Expect Delays

    ODOT will be preparing highway 46 for asphalt patching. Please use caution when traveling between the monument and Grayback Campground. Various work will be from continue until July 31, 2014.

  • Watch for Wildlife

    Please be on the lookout for fawns on the section of Caves Highway around Caves Campground! There is at least one very young one that is using the pavement as his transportation corridor.

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?

A small cave located near the visitor center.

The marble rocks of Oregon Caves were once a tropical reef that was pushed under the continental edge to a depth of 12 miles and then uplifted to 4,000 feet above sea level.