Black Cat Cave, Murfreesboro TN

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Black Cat Cave, Murfreesboro TN

Postby bennettbike » Jun 28, 2012 7:34 pm

Work took me to Murfreesboro TN, south of Nashville, and after some digging it was pretty easy to find Black Cat Cave. Due to the lack of photos for interested cavers I figured I would post photos of the cave for people searching it out in the future. It has a cool history and you can see this in the photos of the fire place and rooms... surprisingly its not abused at all by locals like i figured it would be.
good day all-

Seems the cave starts in the farm north of the entrance but it likely is tight... you could crawl up the creek possibly but it seems like it wouldnt be very fun.

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bennettbike
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Re: Black Cat Cave, Murfreesboro TN

Postby Larry E. Matthews » Jul 1, 2012 11:55 am

There are at least three (3) entrances to this cave. The Black Cat Tavern Entrance, which is the best known. Downstream, the cave goes to a partially walled-up entrance on the VA Hospital property. Upstream, it goes to an entrance at the bottom of a small sinkhole. Mark Mitckes and I did not push farther upstream, but it still goes.

Recent dye traces by Al Ogden shows that this cave drains perhaps over one square mile.

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Re: Black Cat Cave, Murfreesboro TN

Postby UltimaGabe » Jul 2, 2012 9:15 pm

It's great to see that people have gotten to it so recently- the only posts I had seen were from a couple years ago, and I heard that the sinkhole had been filled in!

A bit of a snag, though. Can you guys provide some better directions? I'm quite familiar with the area (we've lived in Smyrna, about twenty minutes away, for the past three years) but we couldn't seem to figure out where to go. We drove all around the VA property, but we couldn't find Black Cat Cave Park anywhere, and nobody we asked seemed to know what we were talking about. We also couldn't figure out what counted as the VA property either, so that didn't really help.

This sounds like a great place to snap some photos of. Any more info you can give would be awesome, and thanks for the help so far!
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Re: Black Cat Cave, Murfreesboro TN

Postby bennettbike » Jul 5, 2012 10:08 pm

I likely won't be back in that area and I should be home in a few days to call my personal
Guide and reward him ;)

Anyhow no cave should be forgotten, this cave would be a nice intro to caving.

Pm sent :)
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Re: Black Cat Cave, Murfreesboro TN

Postby RBlank » Sep 27, 2012 4:12 pm

Hi, I live in Nashville and am a relatively new caver. This sounds like a cave that would be great for my newer skill level to explore. I am in the process of renewing my NSS membership and have yet to join a grotto as I have just recently rejoined the caving community. Would love any additional information you can provide and would welcome a group trip to the cave or any others in the area if anyone is planning one soon. :)
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Re: Black Cat Cave, Murfreesboro TN

Postby Larry E. Matthews » Sep 28, 2012 7:04 am

The new "Snail Shell Cave" book by me and Bob Biddix shows several dye traces by Al Ogden that came out at Black Cat Cave. See page 188, Figure 20.6.

You will note the VA Hospital on the right (east) edge of the map. That round spring symbol just west of the VA Hospital is where the water from Black Cat Cave emerges.

The Black Cat Cave drainage system is not part of the Snail Shell Cave System drainage, but are shown on the map to help define the drainage divide between the two.

To the best of my knowledge, this cave has never been surveyed. It has three (3) known entrances. This would be a good project for somebody.

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Re: Black Cat Cave, Murfreesboro TN

Postby RBlank » Oct 6, 2012 6:42 pm

Brought my oldest daughter to her first wild cave today, Black Cat Cave. It is a historical location due to the fact that 90 years ago, bootleggers and women of a wilder nature hauled in blocks and cement to create the Black Cat Cave / Speakeasy Dancehall. The remnants are in shambles today, but 3 separate rooms remain from the original speakeasy. The main room is a large dancehall, more than half of the 90 year old cement floor has collapsed due to continued erosion from the cave floor and the increasing water table underneath. A fireplace still stands in the 3rd room created in the main chamber. Pictures above are far better then any I was able to get with my camera. After you leave the main chamber you can maneuver your way through tight crawl spaces to find a rapidly running spring emerging into an underground river. The depth ranges from inches to several feet deep. Today the water levels were very high due to heavy rainfall last night. Many of the caves more beautiful creations have been damaged by vandals, but the further you venture into the cave, the natural beauty starts to come alive again.
This cave smell like rotting onions, Im sure from the trash that has been left in there. Its was apparent to us that no one had recently been there doing any damage, but it's definitely in need of some cave conservation to help improve its appearance. Im glad that my daughter was able to experience this cave as a beginner and also see the sad vandalism that has happened, as it has already made her appreciate how precious these cave systems are. :cavingrocks: :cave softly: :kewl:
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