The Cave House Museum of Mining and Geology will be open on Fridays and Saturdays from July 5-September 1 from noon-4pm.
This museum is a non-profit educational institution focused on providing information regarding the history of Howes Cave, the underground natural cement mine, the above ground Portland cement mine and plant, the current aggregate mining operation and the geology of the area and New York State.
The museum is located in a hotel built by Lester Howe for guests coming to visit the world famous Howes Cave that he discovered in 1842.
Visitors would come from all over the world and stay in the four star hotel.
People would arrive by horseback, in wagons, by car and by often by train.
The hamlet of Howes Cave was built at the base of the hill and had its own train station.
Visitors would walk up the hill from the train station and enter the cave through a grand tunnel that is currently being renovated, or stay in the hotel and enter the cave through the basement.
At one time, the hotel may have covered the entrance to the cave.
Cool air from the cave was pumped into the Cave House as a source of air conditioning in the summer and heating in the winter.
The hotel was quite extensive and at one time extended well beyond where it does today.
That part of the hotel, called the Pavilion Hotel, was made of wood and burned down.
Commercial cave tours operated here from about 1842 until about 1900.
This overlapped with the operation of the nearby underground mine from 1865 to 1890 and the Portland cement plant and mine that operated from about 1890 until 1976.
After 1900, the Cave House served as a boarding house and then an office and chemistry lab for the cement plant before falling into disrepair.
Work has been ongoing since 2005 to repair and restore the Cave House. Recently we have begun to restore the roof with the placement of slate shingles. That work is still in process.
We welcome you to see this historic structure.
Admission is free.