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The Carver's Cave Site         
Site Number(s):   21RA27  
County:   Ramsey, MN  
City Township:   St. Paul  

This cave beneath Dayton's bluff in St. Paul was first described by the Englishman, Jonathan Carver, who saw it in 1766-67. It was then called by Dakota Indians "the house of spirits," and Carver reported "many strange hieroglyphics cut in the stone some of which were very ancient and grown over with moss."

cave interior drawingcave interior drawing
Nineteenth-century explorers, shown in these sketches made by Robert O. Sweeny in 1867, found that the cave extended far under the bluff and was filled with a lake. They examined a depiction of a rattlesnake carved into the sandstone ceiling. Sweeny drawings are from the Minnesota Historical Society.

A full account of the exploration and destruction of the cave, Carver's Cave: An Enduring Landmark on the Upper Mississippi River is in the Sources section of this web site.



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Updated 29 Jun 1999