Ocmulgee National Monument preserves traces of over ten millennia of Southeastern Native American culture, including major earthworks built before 1000 CE by the South Appalachian Mississippian culture (a regional variation of the Mississippian culture.) These include the Great Temple and other ceremonial mounds, a burial mound, and defensive trenches. They represented highly skilled engineering techniques and soil knowledge, and the organization of many laborers. The site has evidence of “17,000 years of continuous human habitation.” The 702-acre (2.84 km2) park is located on the east bank of the Ocmulgee River. Present-day Macon, Georgia developed around the site after the United States built Fort Benjamin Hawkins nearby in 1806.
This is one of the few state parks with dry (air-filled) caves and is the only state park in Florida to offer cave tours to the public. The Florida Cavern has dazzling formations of limestone stalactites, stalagmites, soda straws, flowstones and draperies. The Chipola River and Blue Hole spring provide areas for fishing, canoeing and boating. Florida Caverns State Park is popular for camping, picnicking, fishing, hiking, and horseback riding. The park does not rent horses, however stables are available for equestrian enthusiast. The park also features a nine-hole, New Deal-era golf course set in beautiful rolling terrain. The entrance is adjacent to the main park entrance; contact the Florida Caverns Golf Course at (850) 482-4257. Guided cave tours are offered Thursday through Monday except Thanksgiving and Christmas (no guided cave tours are offered on Tuesdays and Wednesdays). Guided tours of the Florida Cavern lasts 45 minutes and is considered to be moderately strenuous. An audiovisual program about touring the cave and other natural areas of the park is available in the visitor center. Camping reservations may be made by visiting ReserveAmerica.com or by calling Reserve America at (800) 326-3521, TDD (888) 433-0287
Completed in 1849, the 5-story New Manchester Manufacturing Mill was the tallest building in north Georgia. This state-of-the-art textile mill operated for 13 years providing Georgia with high quality cotton yarns and cloth. Then in July 1864 Union cavalry arrived and occupied the town of New Manchester without firing a shot. One week later, on July 9, 1864, Union soldiers set fire to the factory, associated buildings and the company store. Neither the town of New Manchester nor the mill was rebuilt. Today, only the ruins of the mill remain.
The New Manchester Manufacturing Mill has stood for over 160 years but time has not been kind to this historic building. Prior to the area becoming a State Park in 1978, people used the mill for target practice and as a source of bricks. Flooding of Sweetwater Creek has also taken its toll, the most recent being the devastating flood in September 2009.
Devil’s Den is a karst window, in which the roof over a subterranean river has collapsed, exposing the water to the open surface, near Williston, Florida. It is privately owned, and operated as a SCUBA diving training and recreational facility.
The water in the underground river is a constant 72 °F (22 °C) degrees. In cold weather water vapor rising from the surface of the river forms a visible plume above the entrance to the cave, which suggested a chimney from Hell to early settlers. The opening to the surface was originally a small solution hole, through which visitors had to squeeze to reach the water. The opening was enlarged in the 1990s to ease access. The cave expands below water level (a shape described as an “inverted mushroom”) to up to 200 feet (61 m) across. The water level in the cave has fallen along with the water table in the area. The cave was opened to the public as a dive site in the early 1990s.
Four underwater passages extend from the pool under the opening, from 5 feet (1.5 m) to 90 feet (27 m) under the surface of the water. The passage called chamber 3, 70 feet (21 m) under water, contained animal and human remains and artifacts. The animal remains, which appeared to be associated with the human remains and artifacts, were from extinct (Pleistocene) species, including mastodons, ground sloths, camels, horses, dire wolves, bog lemmings, Florida spectacled bears, saber-toothed cats, and peccaries. The human remains have been dated to about 7,500 BC.
Crystal River is at the heart of the Nature Coast of Florida. The city is situated around Kings Bay, which is spring-fed and so keeps a constant 72 °F (22 °C) temperature year round. A cluster of 50 springs designated as a first-magnitude system feeds Kings Bay. A first-magnitude system discharges 100 cubic feet or more of water per second, which equals about 64 million gallons of water per day. Because of this discharge amount, the Crystal River Springs group is the second largest springs group in Florida, the first being Spring Creek Springs in Wakulla County near Tallahassee. Kings Bay can be home to over 400 manatees during the winter when the water temperature in the Gulf of Mexico cools, and is the only place in the United States where people can legally interact with them in their natural conditions without that interaction being viewed as harassment by law enforcement agencies.
Neversink is a beautiful 162 foot open air pit in Jackson County Alabama. The bottom can only be reached using vertical caving skills, knowledge, and equipment to safely descend into its depths by rappelling a rope and ascending that same rope with specialty equipment to exit the cave. The bottom of Neversink is approximately 162 feet from the edge. The best way to obtain the skills needed for vertical caving is to join a local caving club or grotto of the National Speleological Society and receive hands-on training from its members.
If you do not possess the vertical caving skills or ability needed to visit the bottom, Neversink is still an impressive and unique place to visit. Some say the long hike up the mountain is strenuous and one should be prepared with an adequate quantity of drinking water and some snacks.
Cellular telephone coverage is poor in the area so don’t count on being able to call for help from the area of the pit.
Please do not endanger your life or the lives of rescuers by attempting anything beyond your known skills and abilities.
The Southeastern Cave Conservancy’s Neversink Preserve does not currently require a permit for members and their guests. We encourage non-members to join or make a donation so SCCi can continue to acquire and preserve caves across the southeast. SCCi does not charge fees for visiting preserves.
During early prehistoric times (12,000–7,000 years ago) the sinkhole was an oasis in the peninsula that attracted seasonal hunters and gatherers. The site has produced the second-oldest dated artifact ever found in the southeast United States — a sharpened wooden stake some 12,000 years old. Little Salt Spring contains some of the oldest cultural remains in the United States.
The unique anoxic water that fills most of the sinkhole (below 5 meters/16 feet depth) has preserved a great range of organic materials including wood, textile fragments, hair, skin and brain tissue dating back to the Late Paleoindian and Early Archaic stages of Florida’s prehistory, ca. 9,500 – 7,000 radiocarbon years ago. Archaeological remains exist both in the spring basin and the “27 meters/90 feet ledge”, a natural cavern at that depth below the spring surface.
Not going to hold my breath on this one.
More information to come.
I have made a call to the school system about this property. The gentleman on the phone informed me that the entire structure has caved in. The roof has collapsed all the way through to the basement and they could not open the doors without rubble falling out. The bids for it’s demolition have been closed and they will take the paperwork to the Board of Education on June 13th. If the Board approves, they will file it on the 14th, and work will begin 10 days after the filing. I have to move fast to get photos of this place.
The company that won the bid is Theodore Gordon Ministries of Savannah. I will be giving them a call shortly.
|Location Type||Single Location|
|Annual Revenue Estimate||110000|
|SIC Code||8661, Religious Organizations|
|NAICS Code||813110, Religious Organizations|