The Flint Ridge and Mammoth Cave area was a bustling, vibrant community for 200 years. The tight-knit community took care of its own by teaching their young, farming the very rugged hillsides, operated and showed the caves to interested paying parties to provide for their families. The lovely wood church built in 1827, was the ‘cornerstone of the community’.
The church was a beloved place for the residents and the faithful who would walk or ride by horseback, through storm, rain and snow to celebrate joyful weddings, baptisms, worship, homecomings, town meetings, revivals and sometimes a sanctuary for mourning death. Many neighbors gathered here to rest and enjoy ones company from the labors of the day, too.
The Community of people at Flint Ridge would see many changes come about during the development of Mammoth Cave National Park in 1941. There were hundreds of Families in Flint Ridge that would have to sell their homes, some unwillingly, the only homesites they had ever known when the park and caves became a National place. The fields lay barren, that were once farmed to make a living for generations and homesites dismantled had been reclaimed by the large forest. Many of the descendants moved away eventually. There are many that have stayed and have been buried here, at the church. It is known that hundreds of gravestones are hidden among the trees of the forest.
The church building that is here today was constructed in 1927, after the original church was destroyed by a tornado. The infamous Floyd Collins, a resident and famous cave explorer from the 1920’s is buried here.
The Baptist church would still be used up until the 1970’s for gatherings and special occasions by the relatives of the early community.
One of the few pre-park structures that is still standing, is the lovely Mammoth Cave Baptist Church.
I have enjoyed exploring the old abandoned houses, forest roads, cemeteries and lovely natural landscape of the Mammoth Cave Kentucky area and communities for many years; I suppose I will, for many more to come.
I imagine as I wander through the hills and forest, the people that were here before, living their lives through the seasons. I am only able to imagine their joy and hardships because their stories are lost to us. I am able though to see the sizable community they shared by the large amount of gravestones in the cemetery.
I hope you enjoy a piece of history and relive this adventure through some of these photographs I am sharing with you.
(c) 12/30/2020 By Tommie F Baskis