Cave Of The Medallions in Tennessee has an interesting name going back to 1951 when youths who were exploring the cave came to the end of it’s main passage and found it to be blocked by a rock-slide. In this rock pile, they found three medallions. According to research, one of these medallions includes John Calvin, another celebrates a marriage, and there is no mention of the third. All appeared to be of significant age, but there were no clues as to whom they belonged or how they appeared in the cave.
The cave itself is approximately 500 feet in length and has ceilings that are between 10 and 30 feet high. Various historic signatures can be found scratched into the walls and there is a fair amount of modern vandalism in the form of phallic images and various phrases spray painted on it’s walls.
Another interesting fact about the cave is that in the 1980s, archaeological work was done to assess paintings that were found of ancient bison and human figures on the walls and ceiling with black and red paints. It was eventually determined however, that these “ancient” paintings were fakes and likely produced between 1955 and 1962. They are still plainly visible however and certainly add to the character and history of the cave.
The cave eventually branches “Y’s” with one side ending in the rock slide described above, filled with a significant amount of trash that likely washed into the cave and the other eventually choking off.
Please note that caving can be a dangerous activity for the inexperienced. If you have an interest in exploring caves, check out a local grotto from the National Speleological Society website so you can connect with experienced cavers in your area who will show you the ropes. Also, remember that caves can be on either private property or government land so please always ensure that you either have permission from the landowner or the proper permits obtained before visiting a cave. While there, remember to…
Take nothing but pictures.
Leave nothing but footprints.
Kill nothing but time.