Wind Cave National Park has a colorful history. Many people have been involved in exploring and learning about the cave, protecting and understanding the wildlife, and creating a national park that welcomes all people. Below are a few of the influential voices of Wind Cave National Park.

Early Cave Explorers

Cave Exploration


Civilian Conservation Corps

The history of the lands on which WCNP now sits form a diverse and deeply layered cultural tapestry. The Home of the Bison: An Ethnographic and Ethnohistorical Study of Traditional Cultural Affiliations to Wind Cave National Park provides readers with insight into how its lands and resources have dynamically changed in the course of a history with different waves of human occupation.


Women of Wind Cave -

Katie Stabler | John Stabler's daughter was one of the Wind Cave's earliest explorers.

Emma McDonald | Emma McDonald was the wife of Elmer McDonald, and sister-in-law to Alvin McDonald. She was the mother of Inez, Irene and Raemond McDonald.

Inez (McDonald) Foley | Inez was Alvin McDonald's niece, and daughter of Elmer and Emma McDonald.

Esther Brazell | The first woman park ranger at Wind Cave National Park while her father and brother were superintendents from 1914 to 1928

Meta Brazell | Led tours through the cave while her husband Roy Brazell was superintendent. He was superintendent from 1919 to 1928.

Last updated: April 10, 2015

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Mailing Address:

26611 US Highway 385
Hot Springs, SD 57747


(605) 745-4600

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