Mammoth Cave Web Application
Prior to creation of Mammoth Cave National Park in 1941, the rugged terrain along the Green River in Kentucky was settled by farmers, cave explorers, and entrepreneurs during the 18th, 19th and early 20th centuries. The area was carved into small subsistence farms and larger tracts belonging to owners of a number of caves that were exploited as tourist attractions. Over the decades, the residents established cemeteries. A few are single burials located near a house. The numerous small family plots are scattered across the landscape. A handful of larger church and community graveyards are found near major roads. The cemeteries are not like modern ones. Rows of graves are often disorderly and irregular. Many of the graves were marked with local field stones because professionally carved headstones were too expensive. When the new national park was created, the residents moved away, but their ties to the community were not broken - some of the larger cemeteries remain in use in the 21st Century.
By 2014, 69 cemeteries containing over 3,400 graves have been found and recorded in Mammoth Cave National Park. Over the period of 2008 to 2013, staff from the Southeast Archeological Center mapped many of the cemeteries. Fifteen more were recorded by a survey consultant. Interns from Florida State University’s Department of Geography graduate program digitized the graves and entered their inscriptions into a geospatial information system (GIS) to create lasting records of these important cultural resources. This web map, which allows the NPS to share the information with the public, was built and is hosted by the Center for Earth Observation at North Carolina State University, a partner of the NPS. The data and the web application were developed as part of a larger SEAC project funded through the NPS Recreational Fee Demonstration Program.
To visit the web application, click on the image above.
This viewer is provided for research and display purposes only. It is not intended for navigation. Most of the cemeteries are located far from roads and trails in rugged terrain. The park and SEAC welcome additional information and corrections. To learn more about the GIS work at the Southeast Acheological Center click here .