Tuesday, February 21, 2017

The Myth, The Legend, and the Rare Book About It All

For the last three years, staff members at Bridal Cave & Thunder Mountain Park have been conducting historical research on the cave and the surrounding lake area. This information is being put together for a brand new lantern tour of America's most scenic cave tour beginning this summer 2017. (Keep an eye out for more information about that soon!) 


Bridal Cave was named after a Native American legend which was detailed in the book "Indian Romances" published by Colonel R.G. Scott. Colonel Scott was once the owner of 5,400 acres of land in the lake area, including parts of what is now Ha Ha Tonka State Park, Bridal Cave, and Thunder Mountain Park.

Even though we were in possession of a copy of this Native American legend, in almost 70 years no one at the park had ever seen a copy of the actual book it was included in. It had been searched for over the years, but no one ever had any luck locating a copy of the book anywhere. Some even secretly began wondering if both the book and the legend ever existed or if they were just made up stories.  

Finally, someone had a little bit of luck! While doing a Google search on the cave and Col. Scott, an intriguing website fro the U.S. copyright office was found that listed a copyright for Robert Graham Scott in 1933 for a 141 page book titled "Indian Romances" to be published by Meador Publishing in Boston, Massachusetts. We now had proof that the existence of the book was quite possibly true. 


Further investigation found that Meador Publishing was no longer in the book business. Never ones to give up, our staff continued searching the web and came across a "book head hunter", so to speak. This is a person who searches for out of print, hard to find books. A mere 3 days after contacting this individual, he was able to find proof that the book did go to print, and even better, he located 3 copies! One copy is at the New York Library, another in the Mormon Library in Salt Lake, and the final copy was actually for sale by a rare book dealer in Springfield, OH. 

Bridal Cave immediately contacted the dealer to see if this was indeed the book we had been searching for, and that it mentioned Bridal Cave. Well, not only was it the right book, but chapter 11 is actually titled "THE Bridal Cave!" It includes the Native America legend that we are familiar with, plus an additional four pages of information about this region of the Ozark Mountains. An interesting footnote to this is that when the original cave developers, Mr Krehbiel, Mr. Banner, and Mr. Wilkerson, incorporated the company to develop the cave , the corporation was named "THE Bridal Cave Development Company Incorporated."

After a flurry of online communications, we are proud to announce that your favorite Lake of the Ozarks family attraction is now in possession of the only non-public copy of the book that gave our landmark attraction its name! If we are incorrect about that and you have information about another copy of the book, we would love to hear from you. 


Those of us here at Bridal Cave & Thunder Mountain Park are currently researching whether or not this legendary book can be brought back into publication. It would make an excellent addition to our gift shop, allowing us to share this wonderful piece of historical literature with our visitors. We'll keep you posted if indeed it becomes available once again. 



One of America's most scenic 
cave tours.

Visit us at www.BridalCave.com
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526 Bridal Cave Road
Camdenton, MO 65020
(573) 346-2676

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Another Successful Wedding Vow Renewal For Valentine's Day 2017

As always, our FREE Wedding Vow Renewals at Bridal Cave & Thunder Mountain Park were enjoyed by many happy couples. Every year this event is so very well received, you can bet it will be happening again and again for many years to come! Just in case you didn't have a chance to make it to our unique wedding chapel at the Lake of the Ozarks this past weekend, we've got a few of the highlights for you in today's blog.


Last Sunday, February 12, 2107, we helped 222 couples renew their wedding vows for an early celebration of Valentine's Day. Five different states were represented this year, including Missouri, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, and Tennessee. One of the couples that joined us were able to renew their vows on the 50th anniversary of their honeymoon at the Lake of the Ozarks. They even showed up with some old postcards and brochures from their visit as newlyweds.   

If you combine the years of marriage between every couple that attended our annual event, a total 4,133 years of marriage were represented last Sunday! The couple that had been married the shortest amount of time tied the knot just six months ago. The husband and wife that had been married the longest were married 60 years ago. 


Every couple that renewed their wedding vows received a goody bag full of all kinds of free treats, including a lifetime pass to Bridal Cave. This year we did something a little different and had an additional drawing for a grand prize, and the lucky husband and wife that won are Richard and Amy Caywood, Bridal Cave couple #3,426, from Osage Beach. Their grand prize contained two tickets to the concert of their choice at Ozarks Amphitheater, overnight accommodations at Old Kinderhook Lodge, and a limo ride to and from the concert. 

Grand Prize Winners
Get Married At Bridal Cave
If the reason that you didn't join us this year is because you're not married, but soon will be, then Bridal Cave may be the perfect place for you to say "I do" to each other for the first time. Not only do we have our underground wedding chapel inside the cave available, but you may also get married at the Lake of the Ozarks in our outdoor lakeside pavilion. The cave can accommodate up to 50 guests standing, and the pavilion can hold up to 80 seated guests.

We have some wonderful wedding packages available that take care of many of the wedding planning details for you. If you don't see exactly what you have in mind, give us a call and we will do our best to help bring your wedding dreams to life. Reservations are accepted with a minimum of seven days notice. You can reserve your date or find out additional information by calling 573-346-2676


   
Join Us For Our 2018 Renewal Of Vows
Thank you to everyone that participated in this year's free vow renewals at Bridal Cave. We'd also like to say a special thank you to all of our sponsors. They help to make this wonderful event even better. 
  • Lindsey Webster Photography
  • Janine's Flowers
  • Ozark Amphitheater
  • KRMS 97.5 FM
  • 93.5 Rocks 
Next year's event is already in the planning stages. Mark your calendars now for Sunday, February 11, 2108. There is no limit to the amount of times you may attend our yearly renewal of vows at Bridal Cave. As a matter of fact, we'd be thrilled to see you back here every year. It's a wonderful way to keep the romance alive in your marriage, all set in the beautiful backdrop of our stalactite adorned underground wedding chapel. 



One of America's most scenic 
cave tours.

Visit us at www.BridalCave.com
Like us on Facebook.
Follow us on Twitter.
Follow us on Google+
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526 Bridal Cave Road
Camdenton, MO 65020
(573) 346-2676

Friday, February 10, 2017

5 Reasons to Renew Your Vows

Just in time for Valentine's Day, we are hosting our annual vow renewal ceremony on Sunday, February 12th, 2017. To celebrate a special day with your love, plan to attend our most anticipated annual event at the Lake of the Ozarks! Since there are a TON of great reasons to renew your vows, take advantage of our FREE vow renewals!

1) Rekindle that Flame


No matter how long you have been married, you may need to recreate the spark that brought you together in the first place. A wedding is such an emotional and lovely occasion, and the perfect way to rekindle the flame between husband and wife!

2) Celebrate a Milestone Anniversary


A milestone anniversary is a BIG DEAL!  It does not matter if it is five years or fifty, it is important to honor your years of marriage. If you are reaching a major anniversary, celebrate your love for one another with a vow renewal!

3) A Fresh Start


Many times a marriage will hit a bumpy patch, if you and your significant other need a fresh start, renew your vows at Bridal Cave! We would be honored to help you remember what brought you together and celebrate how far you have come on our special vow renewal day.

4) Incorporate Family Who Missed the Big Day


Whether you have children and didn't before you were married or have family members who couldn't make it to your special day, recapture your love one another at our vow renewal ceremony. To help  cherish your love for each other and be a part of the new memory, it is important to renew your vows.

5) Because You Want To


Do you need any reason at all? If you and your spouse want to renew your wedding vows to one another, DO IT! You won't regret sharing time together, celebrating your love for each other at our vow renewal ceremony.

Who: YOU & that special someone in your life!

What: FREE Wedding Vow Renewal Ceremony

When: Sunday, February 12th, 2017 from 9:00 a.m. through 4:00 p.m.

Where: Your favorite cave at the Lake of the Ozarks!

Each couple will receive fresh flowers for the bride, from Janine's Flowers and Lindsey Webster Photography will take a wedding portrait, available online. You can also enter to win two tickets to a concert at Ozarks Amphitheater with overnight accommodations at Old Kinderhook, a goodie bag with gifts and discounts for area businesses, AND a lifetime pass to Bridal Cave!

Celebrate your Love at Bridal Cave!


Bring your loved one out for a romantic day in which you make new memories, together. Love will certainly be in the air at our annual vow renewal ceremony! No matter what your reasoning, renewing your vows is a lovely gesture to celebrate your love for one another.  Bridal Cave is the place to be for your wedding vow renewals at the Lake of the Ozarks!

One of America's most scenic 
cave tours.

Visit us at www.BridalCave.com
Like us on Facebook.
Follow us on Twitter.
Follow us on Google+
Follow us on LinkedIn

526 Bridal Cave Road
Camdenton, MO 65020
(573) 346-2676

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

BRAND NEW - Season Passes For Bridal Cave!

One trip through our scenic Lake of the Ozarks attraction simply isn't enough! Visitors are always asking us if they can purchase a season pass to Bridal Cave so that they can come back throughout the year. We love making people happy, so season passes are now available! 


It's inexpensive to upgrade.
A tour of Bridal Cave currently costs $18 for adults, $9 for ages 5-12, and children ages 4 and under may enter for free. If you have an amazing time and want to come back for more, turning your entry ticket into a season pass is easy and extremely inexpensive. 

For only $5, you can upgrade your one-time admission ticket into a season pass that will allow you to come back as many times as you like for an entire year! These season passes are good for one year from the date of purchase, and the number of tours you may take within that year are unlimited. They are not transferable, and we will ask for a photo ID when you use it. 


Why come back? 
If you live in the lake area, own a second home here, or regularly travel through the Lake of the Ozarks, a season pass is perfect for you. There are most likely plenty of days throughout the year that you want to do something fun, but don't feel like spending a lot of money. With a season pass, enjoying one of America's most scenic cave tours is always an option. 

When the kids aren't in school, a visit to Bridal Cave & Thunder Mountain Park is a great way to spend an afternoon and burn off some of that energy young people always seem to have. Pack a picnic to share in our lake view pavilion, head to the dock and feed the fish, and make an entire day of fun out of the trip. 

If you entertain guests from out of town often, bringing them here is a wonderful way to entertain them, and it will only cost you the price of their ticket. Exploring the beauty of Thunder Mountain Park in every changing season is amazing. With a season pass, you can swing into the cave each time you are here and enjoy the cave adventure in addition to your nature walk. 



See you soon... again & again!  
Now that we are offering season passes to Bridal Cave, we expect to see more of you many times throughout the year. Do you know a nature lover that would appreciate this deal? Season passes to the best family attraction at the Lake of the Ozarks make an excellent gift! Now is the time to explore family fun... as it should be... any time and as many times as you like.   



One of America's most scenic 
cave tours.

Visit us at www.BridalCave.com
Like us on Facebook.
Follow us on Twitter.
Follow us on Google+
Follow us on LinkedIn

526 Bridal Cave Road
Camdenton, MO 65020
(573) 346-2676

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Love Is In The Air (Again) at Bridal Cave & Thunder Mountain Park

Bridal Cave is getting ready to once again host our most anticipated Lake of the Ozarks annual event. Every year, right around Valentine's Day, we provide FREE wedding vow renewals, and couples flock from all over to participate in this romantic celebration of love. (Yes, you read that right ... IT'S FREE!) 


Renew Your Vows For FREE!
On Sunday, February 12, 2017, celebrate Valentine's Day a couple of day's early with your spouse by renewing your wedding vows inside our beautiful, stalactite adorned, underground wedding chapel. We will have an officiant on hand to take care of the words, and all you have to bring is the love (and your spouse, of course!) No reservations are needed to renew your wedding vows. Simply show up and we will get you in with the next ceremony. 

Over the years, this has been one of the most popular events at the park. Couples have joined us from 24 different states, and ranged in years married from as many as 60 to less than one. One bride & groom had only been married for one week! 

We had 240 couples join us last year. As a matter of fact, we even had a brand new wedding that day once the event was over! Love was definitely in the air. Here is what one guest had to say;     

"My husband and I came and renewed our vows yesterday (last year, 2016) with you. Ed and I Want to thank you so much for inviting us and making our 25th the a most special Valentine's day . The staff made me feel like a young bride all over again. The ceremony was perfect!! As we said our vows, I felt like I did 25 years ago saying them for the first time full of love and joy. Thank God for this beautiful cave and thank you the staff of Bridal Cave, for using Gods gift in such a special way on Valentines. Thanks!"  
~Donna Madewell

FREE Goodies, Plus a Chance to Win Big!
In addition to getting the chance to promise your love to your spouse once again, many lake area businesses have joined us to make your vow renewal extra special. All participating couples will receive:   

  • Fresh flowers for the bride from Janine's Flowers
  • A downloadable wedding portrait from Lindsey Webster Photography
  • A goodie bag filled with gifts and lake area discounts
  • A lifetime pass to Bridal Cave


This year we have also added a grand prize for one lucky couple. Everyone joining us for this special event will be entered to win:

  • 2 tickets to a concert of your choice at Ozarks Amphitheater 
  • Overnight accommodations at Old Kinderhook Lodge 
  • Limo service to and from the concert 

Mark Your Calendars Now!
Make sure that you do not miss this year's FREE renewal of vows at Bridal Cave & Thunder Mountain Park. It's only a short trip from home if you live in the lake area, and it can be a perfect romantic weekend trip if you don't live here but would like to spend Valentine's Day at the Lake of the Ozarks.

You will also be some of the first people to see new things that we have in store for our 2017 season. The Rock Shop and the Sportswear Shop will both be open, and all of the wonderful new items that we've picked out will be on display. We'll see you soon for vow renewals, and we expect to see you often after that. (You are getting a lifetime pass, after all!)   


One of America's most scenic 
cave tours.

Visit us at www.BridalCave.com
Like us on Facebook.
Follow us on Twitter.
Follow us on Google+
Follow us on LinkedIn

526 Bridal Cave Road
Camdenton, MO 65020
(573) 346-2676


Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Show Caves to Visit in Missouri - Part 2

Our Lake of the Ozarks family-fun attraction isn't the only cave tour to enjoy in Missouri. Last week our blog, Show Caves to Visit in Missouri - Part 1, featured eight exciting caves full of natural wonders in addition to Bridal Cave. This week's blog continues that look with seven more show caves that help to give our state it's nickname of "The Cave State."  


Round Spring Cave (photo from www.visitmo.com) 
Round Spring Cave
This cave is a part of the Ozark National Scenic Riverways, one of our national parks located in Van Buren. During the summer months, park rangers take up to 15 people at a time on this 2-hour, somewhat strenuous cave tour. 



Current River Cavern (photo from www.cavspringpark.com) 
Current River Cavern
Also in Van Buren, you will find the cave formerly known as "Big Spring Onyx Cavern." There is a year-round stream flowing through the tour passage below the boardwalk, and after heavy rains there is a beautiful small waterfall to enjoy flowing from a side passage. The entire cave is lit by battery powered LED lights that give off a restricted light spectrum. There are flashlights available in the gift shop to borrow and use during this 30-40 minute cave tour. 




Fantastic Caverns (photo from www.fantasticcaverns.com)
Fantastic Caverns
Springfield boasts America's only ride-through cave. Visitors take the tour in jeep-drawn trams. This helps to preserve the natural features of the cave while allowing you to experience the magnitude, the stillness, and the splendor. Each tour lasts about an hour, and they depart every 20-30 minutes all year long.  



Smallin Cave (photo from www.smallincave.com) 
Smallin Cave
Just south of Springfield in Ozark, you will find Smallin Cave. There is strong evidence that this particular cave was used for war related activities during the Civil War, and they even offer a historic Civil War Tour which includes a lantern -lit walk through the cave. The regular 1-hour, half-mile cave tour is given year-round. Guides will tell you all about the history, folklore, and geology of Smallin Cave, and you may be lucky enough to see rare bristly crayfish, endangered blind cave salamanders, and various species of bats.     



Marvel Cave (photo from www.visitmo.com)
Marvel Cave
Silver Dollar City in Branson features Marvel Cave. The theme park actually evolved around the entrance to this show cave which can be toured seasonally March 15 - January 1. The trail in this hour long, wet limestone cave tour consists of ramps and nearly 600 stairs. A trained guide will host your journey with anecdotes of historical and geological features. After descending nearly 500 feet below the earth's surface, a unique cable train will bring you back up.   



Talking Rocks Cavern (photo from www.talkingrockscavern.com)
Talking Rocks Cavern
You will find this incredible cave in Branson West. It was first named "Fairy Cave" by early cave developer Truman Powell because he commented that it looked like "a subterranean fairy land." In 1969 the name was changed to Talking Rocks Cavern based on a quote from Truman's son, Waldo Powell, who noted that the physical evidence inside the cave would tell him a story about how it was formed. The hour long tour is both fun and educational (what they call "edutainment.") You will see and learn all about the cave's discovery, history, mineral deposits, and other geological information. 


Bluff Dwellers Cavern (photo from www.facebook.com/bluffdwellerscave)
Bluff Dwellers Cavern
This show cave in Noel was discovered in 1925, and it began from an opening only as large as a person's head. A network of subterranean corridors were found channeling through the layers of rock like a subway system. Public tours began just two years after the cave's discovery, and today descendants of the original Browning family that discovered the cave still own it. You can experience this show cave year-round, witnessing its Crystal Dam, Musical Chimes, Balanced Rock, and much more.




If you have had the chance to visit our scenic Lake of the Ozarks attraction, then you have some idea about the wonders that are in store for you when you visit the rest of Missouri's show caves. While similar, each of these has something unique to see and learn about. Bridal Cave is a great place to start your adventure, but we hope that the information in this blog series inspires you to keep exploring all of the wonders of our magical cave state. This type of outdoor activity is family fun... as it should be!    





One of America's most scenic 
cave tours.

Visit us at www.BridalCave.com
Like us on Facebook.
Follow us on Twitter.
Follow us on Google+
Follow us on LinkedIn

526 Bridal Cave Road
Camdenton, MO 65020
(573) 346-2676

Friday, January 13, 2017

Show Caves to Visit in Missouri - Part 1

Bridal Cave can be found in the middle of Missouri, aka "The Cave State." We've talked about the "Show-Me-State's" other nickname before, and discussed the reasons that Missouri earned it. (There are 18 show caves located in our state, and 6,950 wild caves!) 

Today, our Lake of the Ozarks cave tour has decided to share the spotlight with some of the other show caves in Missouri. Cave exploring is an excellent winter activity due to the fact that you can experience nature and the great outdoors, but in a sheltered and climate-controlled way. If you couldn't decide on a good New Year's resolution for 2017, why not make yours trying to visit every show cave in this blog series? January is a great time to get started! 


Bridal Cave, Thunder Mountain Park, Missouri show caves
Bridal Cave
Bridal Cave
We figured that a good place to start would be our very own Lake of the Ozarks family attraction. Located in Camdenton, we have been rated as one of the most scenic cave tours in America! Tours leave every few minutes all year long. Our guides are thoroughly educated about the cave's real history and tall tales, and you will hear all about it as you travel from room to room enjoying the natural beauty.

True to its name, Bridal Cave is also a very popular and unique place to get married. Since the very first wedding in the underground chapel in 1949, over 3,300 couples have tied the knot here! In addition to that, couples flock to the free annual vow renewals hosted by the cave every year around Valentine's Day.


Ozark Caverns (photo form www.mostateparks.com)
Ozark Caverns
Inside Lake of the Ozarks State Park in Kaiser, not too far from Bridal Cave, is this beautiful show cave. It contains an environment where geologic processes can proceed unhindered by many of the erratic, erosive forces that shape the surface landscape. In addition to viewing soda straws, helictites, stalagmites, and a host of other geologic wonders, Ozark Caverns contains Angel Showers. This is an unusual cave phenomenon which is a never-ending shower of water coming out of what seems to be a solid ceiling of rock. The interpretive tour is a half-mile round trip and lasts about an hour.    


Jacob's Cave (photo from www.jacobscave.com)
Jacob's Cave
This natural wonder can be found between Versailles and Gravois Mills. It is famous for its depth illusions, reflective pools, ceiling sponge-work, prehistoric bones, and the world's largest geode. During the mile-long tour, you will be able to witness evidence of six ice ages and three earthquakes. Jacob's Cave is completely handicap accessible to wheelchairs and baby strollers.   


Meramec Caverns (photo from www.americascave.com) 
Meramec Caverns
Traveling east of the Lake of the Ozarks, you will find Meramec Caverns in Stanton. It is filled with complex mineral formations and colors as rare and unique as they are beautiful that took thousands of years to grow. Rangers lead guided tours year-round along well-lighted walkways. You will learn how the ancient limestone "Wine Table" was built, as well as an entire 7-story mansion, all underground!   


Fisher Cave
You can find Fisher Cave inside Meramec State Park in Sullivan. Seasonal tours are led by naturalists, featuring one outstanding cave scene after another. Among some of the highlights are well-preserved bear claw marks, cave wildlife, and a vast array of calcite deposits ranging from intricate helictites to massive columns that are 30 feet tall. 
Fisher Cave (photo from www.mostateparks.com) 


Onondaga Cave (photo from www.mostateparks.com) 
Onondaga Cave
Onondaga Cave State Park in Leasburg offers visitors the chance to drop into a world of wonder in a National Natural Landmark. Guided tours are given to see towering stalagmites, dripping stalactites, and active flowstones. On the surface, you will find a panoramic view of the Meramec River. 


Cathedral Cave (photo from www.mostateparks.com) 
Cathedral Cave
Also located inside Onondaga State Park, Cathedral Cave's lantern tours last about two hours. You will begin by taking a short 1/3-mile walk up Deer Run Trail to reach the cave's entrance. Most of the cave, if not all, is hollowed in the Gasconade dolomite, which was laid down about 440 million years ago! This tour is limited to the first 30 people that sign up and is available May through Labor Day.   


Mark Twain Cave (photo from www.marktwaincave.com)
Mark Twain Cave 
Traveling north, you will discover Mark Twain Cave in Hannibal. The first organized guided tour took place in 1886, and in 1972 it officially became a National Natural Landmark. This tour begins with a short video about cave formation, and also about how this particular cave inspired the writings of Mark Twain. Five of his books mentioned it, most notably "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer." Experienced guides will then take you on an hour-long tour with smooth walkways and no steps, regaling you with the rich stories that surround the cave.  


Cameron Cave (photo from www.marktwaincave.com) 
Cameron Cave
This wonder is actually a property of Mark Twain Cave and offers two types of tours from May through September. The "Lantern Tour" offers a geological look at the labyrinth of passages which are very tightly woven together. There is no electricity inside this cave, thus the need for all visitors to carry a lantern. The other tour offered is a "Total Eclipse Tour." This one is physically demanding. Knee pads and elbow pads are suggested, and everyone wears a helmet with a headlamp. Experienced guides will lead you on a 2-3 hour tour that includes walking, climbing, crawling through damp glacial clay, scrambling about on rocks, and exploring the Swamp. Space is limited and reservations should be made several weeks before your visit.   


map photo from www.missouricaves.com
Well, those nine show caves should get your Missouri caves adventure started. Next week's blog will cover seven more that can be found south of our scenic natural attraction at the Lake of the Ozarks. Caving is a wonderful way for people of every age to enjoy the beauty that nature has to offer in a fun and educational way. Bridal Cave encourages everyone to get out, get active, and experience the exciting adventure that awaits you in all of these amazing Missouri caves. It's family fun... as it should be!  


One of America's most scenic 
cave tours.

Visit us at www.BridalCave.com
Like us on Facebook.
Follow us on Twitter.
Follow us on Google+
Follow us on LinkedIn

526 Bridal Cave Road
Camdenton, MO 65020
(573) 346-2676