Birth of a National Park - Visiting the Cave

Wind Cave Excursion by Stage Poster
Wind Cave Poster

NPS Photo Archive

The Stablers built a hotel near the entrance to Wind Cave to accommodate visitors. An excursion to the cave included a stagecoach ride to and from the cave and a meal at the hotel. After arriving, visitors were given a candle. They entered the cave through a trap door, descending a series of ladders to begin their adventure.
Wind Cave Hotel
Wind Cave Hotel and stagecoach (left).  Wind Cave hotel and cave entrance (right).

NPS Photo Archive

Collecting Formations from the Cave
Collecting Formations from the Cave in the Pre-Park Days

NPS Photo

Collecting and Selling Formations

The cave was being advertised as having more miles of passageways than any other cave, being 97 miles long. McDonalds and Stablers were also selling cave formations and minerals. Katie Stabler opened a store in town to advertise the cave and sell formations.

Katie Stabler's Specimen Price List

NPS Photo

Katie Stabler's Specimen Price List
John Stabler Business Card

NPS Photo

John Stabler's Business Card

Last updated: February 21, 2018

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Hot Springs, SD 57747


(605) 745-4600

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