Cave in Murfreesboro near the VA

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Cave in Murfreesboro near the VA

Postby erareeve » Mar 30, 2010 8:24 am

I spent some time in this cave while I was in school, you entered through a sink hole that I was told used to be a speak easy. So there was some development in this cave but if you went further in you could enter a "real" cave. I do not remember how far it went back but I remember looking up and seeing some structures and at one point you reached a large old man made wall with huge blocks and you could not go any further.

I know this is very vague but I wanted to know if anyone has any beta about this place (history, what happened, is it still accessibile from another point etc) The sink hole has since been filled in...
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Re: Cave in Murfreesboro near the VA

Postby speleo » Mar 30, 2010 6:57 pm

I think you are talking about Black Cat Cave. I have also wondered what the old structures in there were. Are you sure the sink has been filled in? I was in there a couple of years ago and that would be a large sink to fill.
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Re: Cave in Murfreesboro near the VA

Postby erareeve » Mar 30, 2010 9:40 pm

I am pretty sure it has been, I have not seen it except from google maps and BING but this is what I have heard. Chances are I will never go back but wanted to know the history of it.
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Re: black Cat Cave

Postby JD » Mar 31, 2010 10:05 am

The local press asked me about the history of the site a couple of years ago. At the time the cave was open and part of a city park. Still is, I think. The cave was a speakeasy/nightclub as liquor and dancing literally went underground in Tenn. during Prohibition, which in Tenn. began in 1910 and continued to 1933, when it went back to local option.

You should be able to find the article on its history in the Daily News-Journal.

The wall you describe is the formerly blocked back entrance, which is on the golf course.

The cave has other cultural features too, but the remains of the nightclub are perhaps the most interesting bit of recent history there.
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Re: black Cat Cave

Postby tncaver » Mar 31, 2010 10:17 am

JD wrote:The local press asked me about the history of the site a couple of years ago. At the time the cave was open and part of a city park. Still is, I think. The cave was a speakeasy/nightclub as liquor and dancing literally went underground in Tenn. during Prohibition, which in Tenn. began in 1910 and continued to 1933, when it went back to local option.

You should be able to find the article on its history in the Daily News-Journal.

The wall you describe is the formerly blocked back entrance, which is on the golf course.

The cave has other cultural features too, but the remains of the nightclub are perhaps the most interesting bit of recent history there.


There is also a tale about an inmate from the local mental institution, escaping by swimming in from that walled up back entrance. Perhaps
that is why it is walled up, to prevent future escapes. However, this is hearsay and may not be factual. Seems like it was a Veterans institution.
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Re: Cave in Murfreesboro near the VA

Postby Larry E. Matthews » Mar 31, 2010 12:22 pm

The Rutherford County Road Department dumped several loads of very large rocks in the sinkhole about 10 years back, but the cave entrance is still accessible, to the best of my knowledge. There are bars all across the entrance, but some have been bent, allowing access into the cave. Of course, if you go in I guess you are tresspassing.

It was known as the Black Cat Tavern. Downstream, the cave goes to the local VA Hospital. The water is used to fill a man-made lake in the middle of their golf course. Upstream, there is another entrance in the middle of a pasture. The tavern itself has several rooms, two fireplaces, and a concrete floor.

Instead of preserving it, the county just closed it off. There isn't even an Historical Marker. Your tax money at work.

The Murfreesboro (Tennessee) Daily News Journal for May 30, 2005, has a great article with photos on this cave on pages B-1 and B-3. Check it out !!!

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Re: Cave in Murfreesboro near the VA

Postby chrisarant » Jul 25, 2011 4:24 pm

Sorry to dig up an old thread, but does anyone have info on this cave? Is it still around or has it been filed in?

If you've got them, I'd love directions or some coordinates.
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Re: Cave in Murfreesboro near the VA

Postby csblinky » Sep 9, 2011 5:17 pm

Its still there - or was as of last fall. I went there by myself on a whim because my brother (we are both cavers) found it on some forum. It looks like there was an attempt to bar it up long ago but I think it's just a forgotten piece of history. It is basically a sink hole that they built walls and poured concrete flooring into 80 years ago. Much of that structure is still there. I didn't go in too deep because it was creepy and I was by myself. People throw their garbage in there and getting down there involved some fancy footwork. Call me if you want directions - 615-397-2423
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Re: Cave in Murfreesboro near the VA

Postby csblinky » Sep 12, 2011 1:16 am

Posting again after my last post. Went to Black Cat Cave on Saturday. The sink is overgrown and the entrance is hard to get to. The bars on the front were installed long ago and bent back long ago also. You can easily get in. There are 3 rooms of block and poured concrete. In the third room you can slip behind the wall and get to a tunnel. The tunnel is actually an underground creek. It is waste deep in places. Also it is VERY muddy on the bottom. It goes back about 400 feet underneath 231 and dead ends at a wall that was also constructed long ago. You can here crickets on the other side of the wall. The wall seperates the cave from the small lake at the VA hospital. The water in the tunnel is at the same level as the lake. The wall is about 2 feet thick, 15 feet wide, and about 8 feet high above water level. There is actually a small hole at the top left and someone more agile than me might brave wading over to it and climbing up and through. Not me though. Also it must be open underneath because water flows pretty freely. But not brave enough to "dive" it. I drove around the lake the next day and there is a little "cove" on the 231 side of the lake. There are trees there blocking my view but that is the only place where a wall that high above water level could exist. There is a fence completely surrounding the lake so it would be pointless in my mind to try and climb through the wall because you would then have to climb a tall fence to get out of the lake enclosure.

The tunnel ranges from 5 to 15 feet wide and 4 to 8 feet above water and 1 to 4 feet below water. Sites include endangered cave salamander, some cave bacon, a few medium sized stalagtites. Also this place stinks bad. Not sure if it's the cow field up stream, or the garbage dump down stream - but it get's bad toward the wall. At the wall itself it looks a bit like the trash compactor in the first star wars movie because trash get's stuck there.
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Re: Cave in Murfreesboro near the VA

Postby EaglesPride » Mar 14, 2012 9:49 pm

Black Cat Cave Park....I'd like to re-vist this post as I'm working in the area and would like to find this place. I have my daughter up here with me for the week while she is out for spring break. I came across the info while looking for a few places we'd enjoy checking out together. We have looked the area over the past 2 days and can't seem to find any sign of an entrance. Today we went riding and walking around the V.A hospital grounds trying to find the entrance. After about an hour or so we were met by a V.A Police Officer. I told him what we were doing and at first he looked as if he didn't believe me and had the ole "Police Officer" look in his eyes. He said he had never heard of the cave. After I explained what I had read, how it should look, and what had taken place in the cave he became very interested. He offered to ask some of the other Officers that had been there longer and email with an answer. Although, since we were on government property and trespassing we were not able to continue or search... :big grin: With all that said, I would love to find this place so I can share a little history with my daughter. After finding this forum and reading the last post I do feel I was close. We were most likely walking above the main cave as we walked from the lake and most of the way along the stream. So if anyone can help I would really appreciate the help. Or if I can call the phone number listed above just let me know. Thanks for any help but most of all...Thanks for the posting.
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Re: Cave in Murfreesboro near the VA

Postby tncaver » Mar 16, 2012 7:38 pm

I don't think it is on VA property. It is near a paved road across a lake or pond from the VA.
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Re: Cave in Murfreesboro near the VA

Postby EaglesPride » Mar 16, 2012 10:39 pm

Hmmm...Thanks tncaver. The daughter and I spent another couple of hours again today trying to find the entrances. Looking at the other posts I'm thinking I may know where one entrance may be. If it's on the golf course, there is a cluster of trees mid course that looks like they don't belong there. Although, if you're saying it's on the other side of the road then I'm way off...LOL Do you think it could be across the road from the V.A.? The past few days of walking the area where we could (without trying to trespass as much as possible..LOL ) it would make more sense to be on the same side as the V.A. The land layout and the rise in grade lead me to think it is around the V.A. We also found a few places that were all rock and water/springs running over and tru the ground. Which would account for the small pool down there...right? I could be way off so I'll take any help and advice you may have on the cave. It has been fun getting out and walking around looking with my daughter...:) Thanks again for the help.
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Re: Cave in Murfreesboro near the VA

Postby tncaver » Mar 17, 2012 7:38 am

Private message sent to EaglesPride.
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Re: Cave in Murfreesboro near the VA

Postby Larry E. Matthews » Mar 19, 2012 8:51 pm

The "Main" Entrance, which was Black Cat Tavern, is across the road from the VA Hospital in a sinkhole. The new highway is on one side and the old highway is on the other. It is completely on the highway "Right-Of-Way", I think.

The Stream Entrance, where the stream flowed out IS on the VA property, on the edge of the lake.

A third entrance, the Garbage Entrance, is upstream from the Main Entrance and was used by a local family as their garbage dump for years. Never went past that. :) Too much broken glass !!!

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