RE: John Decatur Houchin Hi, the story about the cave was handed down through the Houchin family and others who lived in the area. It was even mentioned in a newspaper article some years ago in a Louisville KY newspaper. The first time I heard about it was from my grandparents who told me one day it was John Houchin's birthday and that he had discovered the Mammoth Cave while hunting a bear. However, Mr. Norman Warnell (a very good genealogist and long time resident of the Edmonson County area) has done research that shows people owned the Mammoth Cave years before our ancestor had supposedly "discovered" the Mammoth Cave. Evidently ownership had passed a few times before the time John "found" the cave. There are deeds on file that mention the cave when the land is sold. Its in one of the local books Norman has written. Norman's wife is also a descendent of John Decatur Houchin. Maybe John Houchin tracked the bear to the large entrance of the cave in that area of Edmonson County and that's how the story started? The cave system is huge and has many openings. So that part could be true. The only evidence to the story is a rural oral story handed down and a newspaper article which was written by talking to people who lived in the area and taken from folklore of the Mammoth Cave. The story was in the park literature and there was a sign outside the main cave entrance, but when they started the Mammoth Cave Park, a lot of the first workers were from the area and that story was what everyone had heard, so it had to be true.