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Manitou Cave facts for kids

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Manitou Cave
Access Private tours only
Show cave opened 1888

Manitou Cave is a cave in Alabama, near the town of Fort Payne, in the side of Lookout Mountain. The cave was reputedly named for "the great spirit" by the Cherokee in the 18th century.

During the Civil War, the cave was a source of saltpeter for the Confederate Army. The mineral was mined by laborers to provide the essential ingredient for black powder.

The cave was first opened by the Fort Payne Coal and Iron company in 1888 as a tourist destination. The cave remained open as a public park through the early 20th century. After decades of neglect, Manitou Cave was reopened as a tourist attraction in 1963 by the Walter B. Raymond, Sr. family, who operated it through the mid-1970s. The cave is now closed to the general public, although adventure tours are offered by private tour companies.

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