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Cave City is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year, marking the occasion with several events over the next several months.
Incorporated as a city in 1866, Cave City was envisioned as a resort town when the site was acquired in 1853 by the Knob City Land Co.
An essay by historical researcher Thomas Lera said Cave City’s development in the 1860s included the opening of a hotel, a school, two drugstores, three saloons, three dry goods stores, two blacksmith shops, a tobacco warehouse, a depot and a telegraph office. Two doctors and two lawyers also established themselves in Cave City during that time.
The city’s proximity to Mammoth Cave National Park has attracted many tourists, and many historical people and events will be celebrated this year.
“We’re trying to do something big every quarter instead of having one big blowout event,” said Sharon Tabor, executive director of Cave City Tourism and Convention Center.
The celebration began in December with a 150th anniversary dinner at the convention center.
Cave City’s sesquicentennial coincides with Mammoth Cave’s celebration of 200 years since tours began being offered there, and Tabor said several events throughout the year are being held that tie together the two anniversaries.
On Tuesday at 6 p.m., the Cave City Convention Center is hosting a free screening of “A Place Called Home,” a 30-minute documentary created by WKU-PBS that chronicles the creation of the national park and the communities that were there before the park opened.
The convention center will host An Evening of Jazz at 6:30 p.m. March 26, with a dinner and music by jazz pianist Beegie Adair and the WKU Faculty Jazz Trio.
“We’re working on a couple other concerts for later this year,” Tabor said.
Starting in April, the convention center will have a Floyd Collins Exhibit to commemorate the life of the man who died in 1925 while exploring Sand Cave. Efforts to rescue Collins after he became trapped in the cave brought worldwide attention to the area.
Floyd Collins Week will be held in July, with screening at Mammoth Cave’s amphitheater of two movies related to his life.
The convention center and the Cave City Welcome Center are hosting a historic photo exhibit featuring pictures on loan from the Kentucky Library Special Collections at Western Kentucky University.
A genealogy symposium and cemetery tours are scheduled to take place later in the summer, but one of the biggest events is set to occur in September.
The annual Cave City Proud Days festival, which began a few years ago, usually takes place in the fourth weekend of September.
“We’re taking … events and making them bigger,” Tabor said.