New Guided Hiking Adventure – Apple Brandy Trail

Now Offering Guided Outdoor Hikes

The Apple Brandy Trail opens across Cardwell Mountain

Cumberland Caverns is known as the place “where adventures run deep,” but beginning May 5 guests will also be taken to great heights when the Apple Brandy Trail opens to the public. The all-new guided outdoor hike will take explorers ages 10 and up on a 2.5-mile moderate intensity trek across Cardwell Mountain. During this hiking excursion, groups will be immersed in nature and entertained and delighted by the history, legends, and secrets of the area.

“People visit Cumberland Caverns from all over the world and are fascinated by the stories and natural beauty of our location. We have been looking at ways to utilize more of our property to offer guests a broader experience and more reasons to stay and play in Warren County. Cardwell Mountain has been such an important part of this community, we knew we had to honor the land by telling her story to the world.” -Robby Black, General Manager

Most people know Warren County as the Nursery Capital of the World, but few know that the local economy staple took root on this very mountain with the thriving peach and apple orchards that grew here. Farmers, looking for a way to utilize and preserve their fruit crops, began what would become a very prosperous endeavor for many years to come making brandy. Therefore, the Apple Brandy Trail got its name from the apple and peach brandy trade in the 1800’s.

On this incredible journey, groups will learn about various other caves located on the property, Native American folklore, area wildlife and foliage, as well as various other facts and oddities of the mountain and its settlers.

“Some of the most intriguing aspects about this hike for me are the legends, stories, and artifacts left behind by the Native Americans who centuries ago called these woods home. And of course, the link we have to the Trail of Tears is both fascinating and heartbreaking. We know of at least one Indian Marker Tree located on our property which is a very exciting discovery.” Kelly Roberts, Marketing Director

Apple Brandy Trail hikes are currently being offered by reservation only. Later in the year, Cumberland Caverns will open another portion of land for guided nature hikes for school children and groups of all ages.

“We are hoping the addition of these trails and nature walks will encourage families to get out in nature and spend quality time connecting with one another by discovering and learning together. Quality time strengthens bonds and not only that but also provides numerous benefits to our health as well.” Kelly Roberts, Marketing Director

Whether you go 333’ below or 1300’ above, your adventure is waiting at Cumberland Caverns!

EmiSunshine Video “90 Miles” Shot At Cumberland Caverns

EmiSunshine Supports Autism Awareness
In New “90 Miles” Video

With her powerful song, “90 Miles” EmiSunshine is helping raise autism awareness. The Tennessee-born singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist selected Cumberland Caverns as the site of a new video to promote the song and its emotional message.

'90 Miles' by EmiSunshine

EmiSunshine brings awareneness to autism with her emotional original song, "90 Miles." #AutismAwarenessMonth #Autism

Posted by Country Rebel on Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Video Credits
Director: Austin Albany
Camera: Nick Johnson
Grip/Production Assistant: Austin Coffey
Editor: Jon Doss
Produced By: Sublime Media Group

About EmiSunshine

Steeped in Appalachian music, Emi is a true vocal stylist. Influenced by legends (Loretta Lynn/Tanya Tucker/ The Louvin Brothers), she is a throwback to earlier eras of country music when trendsetters like Bessie Smith, June Carter, Loretta Lynn and Hank Williams made history. The sassy, strikingly powerful, ultra entertainer is bound and determined to follow in their footsteps, and while she has some pretty big shoes to fill, this little lady fits the bill.

Emi launched her professional career performing at churches, community outings, and local festivals. It’s the spectacular 2014 performance at a Tennessee flea market that skyrocketed her career to become a worldwide phenomenon when a video of her stage show went viral on YouTube. Since her breakout at just nine years old, Emi has garnered more than 14 Million YouTube views and a half million Facebook followers.

Follow EmiSunshine Online

Daily Walking Tours

Take a Daily Walking Tour of the cave where EmiSunshine filmed “90 Miles”. Also see incredible formations, a historic 1812 saltpeter mine, a beautiful waterfall and gleaming pools.

Birds Of Prey At Cumberland Caverns – May 5

Birds of Prey & Snakes in the World Famous Volcano Room

May 5th, $5 Tickets

Bring the entire family out to Cumberland Caverns on May 5th at 4:00 PM for an action-packed adventure deep within the cave. Monica Johnson, Park Ranger with the State of Tennessee, will take center stage in the world-famous Volcano Room with a few of her close friends-Birds of Prey and some well-behaved snakes.

You will be entertained by the unpredictable nature of the birds and reptiles, captivated by their beauty, and educated by fascinating facts. For less than the cost of a movie, you and your family can take advantage of this amazing offer and opportunity to help support the state wildlife program while enjoying nature at its finest.

Tickets to the event are $5 per person with 100% going to support the Birds of Prey program!

Caveman Campout & Birds of Prey

If you are looking for an incredible, memory-making adventure, book a Caveman Campout and enjoy the Birds of Prey show at no additional charge!  Included in your overnight package: Birds of Prey Event, Rocky Topper Adventure Tour, Daily Walking Tour, sleep inside the cave, and wake up to a hot breakfast the next morning.

Call 931-668-4396 to reserve your spot! Take advantage of our special $45 per person pricing by using code: CCBOP2018. No minimum number required to stay on May 5th.


Cumberland Caverns – Where Adventures Run Deep!

Cumberland Caverns Founder, Roy A. Davis, Jr. Passes Away

Honoring Cumberland Caverns Founder, Roy A. Davis, Jr. 

January 18, 1934 – March 31,2018

This week marks the end of an era on Cardwell Mountain with the passing of Cumberland Caverns beloved founder, Roy A. Davis, Jr. Mr. Davis was born and raised in Indiana but would later make Warren County his home after falling in love with a little-known cave in the rural Tennessee hills named “Higgenbotham’s” after the original discoverer in 1810. With the help of his friend and fellow caver, Tank Gorin, and landowner A.W. Powell, Roy’s dream to share the beauty of his special cave with the world became a reality in July 1956 when Cumberland Caverns welcomed its first guests.

World-renowned as an expert in caves, Roy was instrumental in helping to establish, commercialize, and light a great number of spectacular show caves during his lifetime.

Longtime Friends Remember Roy Fondly

“Roy Davis was loved and respected by hundreds of leaders in the cave industry. He not only developed Cumberland Caverns but had huge projects in Meramec Caverns, Ruby Falls, Luray Caverns, Howe Caverns and many other caves in the USA. Roy also developed several caverns in the Caribbean. Many will remember Roy for his faith, his love for others, as well as his love for fun and adventure. He will be greatly missed.”- Jack Herschend, Herschend Family Entertainment


“To many people, Roy Davis was a hero! In the caving world, Roy Davis was known around the world as a master of commercializing and lighting caves. He made a huge time investment here in Warren County opening Cumberland Caverns for commercial tours in 1956. That investment has brought millions of tourists through Warren County and has provided jobs for countless teenagers and adults alike over the 62 years that Cumberland Caverns has been in operation. Roy helped to shape the lives of many of Warren County’s youth including mine. Roy will be missed here on Cardwell Mountain!”- Robby Black, General Manager, Cumberland Caverns


“Roy was more than just a cave explorer and entrepreneur. He was an employer, a trusted guide, a preacher and someone who loved adventure whether it was in the forest on at the controls of a mighty Wurlitzer. Roy’s life touched so many others that the stories will never cease, nor should they, because when eternity comes Roy is likely to be serving as St. Peter’s marketing director.”- Ed Yarbrough, Attorney and Former Cave Guide

Mr. Davis possessed a great amount of talent and successfully wore many hats during his lifetime. His creativity and ingenuity knew no bounds and evidence of that can be found by stepping 333’ below the surface and looking up at the magnificent chandelier he rescued from the Loews Metropolitan Theater in NY that now graces the ceiling of the Volcano Room inside Cumberland Caverns. Roy lived a very full life and to name all his accomplishments would fill several books. It is extremely hard to put into words his contribution to countless numbers of children and their families, not to mention this community and state as a whole.

Roy breathed life and poured love into Cumberland Caverns, which in turn has blessed this community and will continue to amaze, excite, and entertain the entire world for generations to come.


Services for Roy A. Davis, Jr will be held at 2:00 pm CST, Wednesday, April 4, 2018, at the First Christian Church of Sparta. Visitation will be from 1:00 CST until the time of service.

World’s Largest Diamond Discovered In Middle Tennessee

Cardwell Mountain Finally Gives Up Her Secrets After The World’s Largest Diamond Is Discovered In Middle Tennessee

The world’s largest diamond has been discovered hidden deep below the Tennessee mountains in a remote area of Warren County located on the Cumberland Plateau. This region, rich in heritage and history, now has another jewel in its crown with this uncovering of momentous proportions.

“When we first laid eyes on the gem, we weren’t exactly sure what we had, but we knew it was priceless and something that needed to be shared with the world. We are extremely excited for everyone to come and experience this once in a lifetime discovery.” -Kelly Roberts, Marketing Director for Cumberland Caverns

Visitors have been pouring in from all around the world to witness the beauty and take in the wonders of the cave for the past 62 years, and with the unveiling of this jewel, attendance numbers are set to skyrocket.

“Gems of this magnitude and clarity are the rarest, but the fact it has been unearthed inside a commercial cave in Tennessee is unfathomable,” said Yardis Alpolfo, world renowned gemologist and former cave guide.

Recently, a contest was held to find a name fitting for a jewel of this magnitude and “Prila Lofo” which is Rapil for “Live” was the overall winner for its beauty and simplicity. The diamond, ‘Cumberland Caverns Live,’ symbolizes the magnificence of growth and hidden treasures 333’ below the surface. The cave welcomes you to come and experience the magic for yourself while making memories that will last a lifetime.


Make sure you prank your family and friends today!

Cumberland Caverns-where adventures run deep!

Birds of Prey

Birds of Prey Show 2018

Learn More About The Birds Of Prey Show

People often ask “what animals can you find inside Cumberland Caverns?” It’s not very often we can reply “birds and snakes have been discovered inside the Volcano Room,” but for three more dates in 2018, that will be our answer as the Birds of Prey take the stage.

Monica Johnson, Park Ranger at Cumberland Mountain State Park, joins us for an hour-long program to introduce and educate guests on the types of predatory birds and snakes found in Tennessee.

Visitors are encouraged to participate by answering questions for prizes, and various feathers, bones, and props are sent around the room for a unique, hands-on experience.

Show Information

Dates: May 5, August 25, October 6
All shows begin at 4:00 pm CST

$5 per person with 100% of ticket sales going to the Birds of Prey program.

The Birds of Prey show is included with the purchase of a Caveman Campout on those dates listed ($47). Check-in times for overnights on those days will be at 3:00 PM inside the cave.


Contact us for more information!

333’ below is a perfect place to combine education, exploration, and adventure,  and we welcome you to join us for this special event. Come for the show and stay for the night. Call 931-668-4396 or email us at for more information.

Spirits of the Caverns Lantern Tours

Spirits of the Caverns Social

Book Spirits of the Caverns Lantern Tour For Oct. 26-31

Are you ready to venture into the darkness of the cave this Halloween?

If you are among the brave, book your reservation for Spirits of the Caverns Lantern Tour. This tour will take you further back into the cave than any other walking tour before. You will enjoy the incredible stories of the caves colorful and eerie past.


Dates & Tickets

  • Available Oct. 26-31 beginning at 5:30 PM (CST)
  • Call (931) 668-4396 to make reservations
  • $21 Adult Ticket
  • $13 Children (ages 12 and under)
  • Not recommended for children under 10

Mysterious Footprints

Spirit of the Caverns FootprintsStories have circulated for years about the appearance of bare footprints appearing inside Cumberland Caverns in the 10-acre room and beyond. The footprints always spring up from nowhere, without a beginning or an end. They appear where no living soul has been for days. The footprints also lead and then vanish, into nothingness. Some are very distorted while others are near perfect. Often there’s only one print and other times there’s a cluster of uncertainty going in many directions all at once. Join us to see these mysterious footprints for yourself!

Cumberland Caverns Primitive Camping Adventure

Book Your Primitive Camping Spot At Cumberland Caverns

We now offer primitive camping spots at Cumberland Caverns. Take advantage of our beautiful setting here on the Cumberland Plateau. Bring your camping gear to enjoy caving and wildlife in your own little backyard. Water/electric hookups are not available. However, we do have restrooms and showers on site.

How It Works

Our Primitive Camping spots are just $5 a day and require a Driver’s Licence and Licence Plate Number at check-in. Reservations must be made over the phone at (931) 668-4396.

Trick Or Treating & Movie Night In The Cave – Oct 21

Trick or Treating & Movie Night Oct. 21

Bring your family to Cumberland Caverns for a family-friendly night of Trick or Treating in the cave! Wear your favorite costume and be ready to have fun. Plus, we will also have a special showing of “Goosebumps” the movie! It’s a Halloween tradition for kids of all ages!

Trick or Treating starts at 4 p.m. CST
“Goosebumps” movie starts at 6 p.m. CST
$5 per person
$15 Family Four Pack Special

Our friends at 105.3 WOW Country will be at the cave doing a live remote broadcast from 1 p.m. – 3 p.m. During this time they will be giving away lots of great prizes including free movie passes, adventures, concert tickets, and even four tickets to the Tennessee/Vanderbilt game!

New Lantern Tour Unveiled At Cumberland Caverns For October

Lantern Tour At Cumberland Caverns

Join us to see what waits beyond the darkness in our all-new Lantern Tour!

People have often asked what is just beyond the darkness of the 10-acre room? Now that question will be answered when you join us during the month of October for our brand-new Lantern Tour.

The warm glow of the lantern will guide you further into the cave than ever before on the Daily Walking Tour. In this 1.5 hour excursion, you will experience stories of the caverns before electricity made it into the caves, witness fascinating historical graffiti, catch a glimpse of gypsum lining the walls and maybe even see a bat that lives in the caverns! Also, discover stories of how the community would come together for ‘Hay Wagon Parties’ to enjoy fellowship, music, and friendship long ago.

Departs Daily at 5:30 PM (CST)
Reservations Required

  • $35 Adult Ticket with Lantern Purchase
  • $21 Adult Ticket
  • $13 for Children Ages 6-12
  • Free for Children Ages 5 and under

Lantern Tour

Departing every day at 5:30 pm CST, we will step back in time and trace the footsteps of early explorers to show you the cave like you have never seen it before. Exploration and imagination are heightened amidst the warm amber glow of a natural flame as you are guided further into the cave than has ever been offered on our Daily Walking Tour.

This extended walking tour will take you back to the Devil’s Quarry (a spectacular breakdown area) and will lead you past the entrances to our most popular adventure tours. The Lantern Tour is for anyone wanting to see more of what waits just beyond the darkness, but are not quite ready to make the leap into spelunking.

Purchase Guidelines

During the month of October, this tour will be available by reservation only, limited to groups of 20 or less. This brand new tour will be offered at a special Daily Walking Tour price. Thinking about bringing your group? Call about our special rates for groups!

Book online or call Andrea today at 931-668-4396 to reserve your spot.

Cumberland Caverns-where adventures run deep!

2017 McMinnville Mountain Crawl – September 23

Mountain Crawl at Cumberland Caverns – September 23

The Mountain Crawl

Are you up for the challenge of the 2017 Mountain Crawl? Get ready to test your abilities deep within Cumberland Caverns as you run, climb and crawl your way to find hidden treasure, bicycle across the beautiful countryside of middle Tennessee and then set sail on a kayaking trip that leads to the finish line and some amazing prizes! If you think you and your friends have what it takes, register today!

Racers will enjoy three legs of the race beginning with a run through Cumberland Caverns (approx. 2 miles). Once leaving the cave, racers will transition twice starting with a cycling leg (bring your own bike) including a scenic ride into downtown McMinnville, then a kayak race courteous of Smooth Rapids Outfitters. *New route 2017: Participants will bike from Cumberland Caverns to Smooth Rapids (7.4 miles) and grab a supplied kayak there and paddle to the VFW (Approx 6 miles)!

Mountain Crawl is set for September 23, 2017, at 9 AM (CST). Register as an individual or a team.

Race Day Registration
Individual: $45
Team: $75

A FREE event t-shirt is included in the registration fee. There will be live entertainment and refreshments available at Smooth Rapids following the event!

Learn more about the course, equipment needed, prizes and more at

Free Kid Fridays This September!

Cumberland Caverns is hosting Free Kid Fridays throughout September!

Free Kid Fridays at Cumberland CavernsJoin us every Friday in September and enjoy two FREE child Daily Walking Tour tickets (ages 12 and under) with one paid adult ticket purchase.

On this tour, you and your children will witness the beauty of nature nestled safely under our feet. Watch your child’s eyes light up with wonder as they experience an underground world as vibrant as their imagination!

Not only is this tour visually stimulating, but entertaining and educational as well.

Making learning fun, the Daily Walking Tour is designed to educate kids and adults alike with explanations behind the forming of the cave, how to tell the difference between stalagmites and stalactites, identifying cave critters, and tales of our place in Civil War history- just to name a few!

If rocks are your passion, you could host an entire geology lesson in our amazing gift shop where we have several large museum quality geodes on display. You can also mine for your own gems in our Gem Mining Sluice-prices start at $5.99 plus tax. Our premium bags of gem rich soil are guaranteed to make any kid feel like a real gem miner and leave with the bounty of a pirate!

Open daily 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. The Daily Walking Tour leaves every hour on the hour.

Purchase Guidelines

Free Kid Fridays are only valid on the day purchased – any Friday in September. Tickets cannot be purchased for use on a future date. The adult ticket holder must accompany children on the Daily Walking Tour. Children will not be permitted to enter the cave without a guardian. Large groups, please call for reservations so we can schedule additional guides.

Cannot combine this offer with any other Cumberland Caverns offers. Only valid on Daily Walking Tours. Not valid on prior purchases. ©2017 Cumberland Caverns


Cumberland Caverns-where adventures run deep!

CavEclipse 2017 Solar Eclipse Tailgate Party At Cumberland Caverns

Join Us For A Once-In-A-Generation CavEclipse Viewing Aug. 21

In celebration of the Solar Eclipse, we are hosting a CavEclipse Tailgate with amazing prize giveaways!

This once-in-a-generation solar eclipse event truly is a must see! Gather your friends and family for an exciting CavEclipse Tailgate at Cumberland Caverns! We are giving away some exciting prizes including Bluegrass Underground concert tickets, Season Passes and much more!

Book your spot now and get ready for CavEclipse 2017! All reservations must be made online! Gates open at 8 a.m. CST on Aug. 21. Walking tours available throughout the event every 30 minutes!

Earlybird Tickets


Standard Tickets


School Groups


*FREE cave tours for children 5 & under. There is a $4 per child fee for the meal and eclipse blackout glasses.

Parking Spaces

Fifty (50) shaded tailgating parking spaces are available for only $10! You may bring your grills, coolers, etc. to observe this historic event with your family and friends! Green space is available and included in admission cost. Tents and picnicking welcomed. Restroom access is available.

* You must have a valid proof of purchase to claim your tailgating parking space the day of event.

Tailgating Parking Spaces

(Only 50 shaded tailgating parking spaces available)

Each Ticket Holder (Including Teachers) Receive:

  • Same Day 1.5 Hour Walking Cave Tour
  • Viewing Glasses
  • CavEclipse 2017 Glow in the Dark Bracelet
  • Hot Dog, Chips, Bottled Water or Sun Drop Soda, Moon Pie & Milky Way!

*FREE cave tours for children 5 & under. There is a $4 per child fee for the meal and eclipse blackout glasses.


Over 20 prizes will be given away during the event including:

  • Bluegrass Underground Concert Tickets for Two
  • Cumberland Caverns Season Passes
  • Walking Tours
  • Caveman Dolls
  • Rocky Topper Adventure Tours

WATCH: Travel Channel’s Epic Campsites Featuring Cumberland Caverns

Travel Channel's Epic Campsites Featuring Cumberland Caverns

We made the Travel Channel’s list of Epic Campsites airing July 1 and July 6!

Watch the Travel Channel’s Epic Campsites airing July 1 & July 6. They searched far and wide for the most “mind-blowing campsites in Mother Nature’s best spots” and Cumberland Caverns made the list.

  • Saturday, July 1 at 1 p.m. Eastern / 12 p.m. Central
  • Thursday, July 6 at 12 p.m. Eastern / 11 a.m. Central

Set your DVR and tune in for an up-close view of the extraordinary underground camping experience here at Cumberland Caverns. Also, check out the other Epic Campsites they visited.

Are you ready to explore? Stop waiting for the time and start making the time for new adventures. Book an exciting caving experience today!

Cumberland Caverns – where adventure runs deep!

Cumberland Caverns: Top contender for this year’s STAYCATION award!

Visit Middle Tennessee for a Staycation at Cumberland Caverns

The perfect staycation getaway awaits in Middle Tennessee!

Are you looking for an out of the ordinary vacation destination this year? If so, Cumberland Caverns has the perfect getaway just waiting for you in the heart of Middle Tennessee!

Spend the day enjoying great entertainment at a Bluegrass Underground show, take on one of our adventure tours, hike the beautiful Trail of Tears on our property, and finish it all off with a Caveman Campout inside the cave.

If you are looking to extend your stay, check out these great attractions within 30 mins of the cavern:

  • Smooth Rapids Kayak Rental
  • Fall Creek Falls
  • Rock Island State Park
  • ISHA

Also remember to visit picturesque downtown McMinnville where the community’s rich history comes alive. Come for the day or stay for the week. There’s always plenty of outdoor activities, fresh air, and beautiful landscapes to make your vacation into a memory of a lifetime.

Cumberland Caverns-where adventures run deep!

Cave Life May 2017


Cave Life May 2017

Coming Up On June 6: National Day of Caves and Karst

The National Caves Association has declared June 6 as National Day of Caves and Karst to increase awareness of the roles, both play in our lives and the environment.

“There’s just so much to see, learn and discover under-ground,” says Patty Perlaky, president of the National Caves Association. “Our hope with the National Day of Caves and Karst on June 6 is to encourage people to tour at least one cave this summer.”

Five Reasons To Visit A Cave



According to the NCA, here are five reasons to visit a cave near you

  1. See things you have never seen before. No two caves are alike. There are many caves with water features, such as underground rivers, pristine lakes, and raging waterfalls. Cumberland Caverns has the waterfalls, sparkling pools and so much more to experience and enjoy.
  2. Spend quality time with family. Some of the best memories are made during summer vacations and staycations.
  3. Cave tours are educational and teach you about the history of the cave and surrounding areas.
  4. Spending time in nature has many benefits. Multiple studies show that nature boosts our mental and physical well-being.
  5. Caves are fun. These aren’t your grandfather’s cave tours. Options for exploring and spending time in caverns are increasing each year. In addition to walking tours and spelunking, guests are now treated to concerts, boat rides, and even kayak rentals inside some caves.

In Middle Tennessee, we live in a karst area. There are five unusual surface features in a karst region, which includes: springs, sinkholes, sinking streams, cave entrances, and underground streams. Living on land with Karst features is like living on Swiss cheese.

There are about 17,000 known caves in the United States. They occur in every State except Rhode Island and Louisiana. About 125 caves have been opened to the public for study and enjoyment. Of these, 15 are in national parks or monuments, and 30 are in State parks. The remainder is privately owned and operated. Most of these caves are in the Appalachian Mountains, the Ozark Mountains, the Black Hills, and the limestone regions of Kentucky, Tennessee, and Indiana.

Make plans to go underground this year and experience a magnificent world hidden just beneath your feet.

Special thanks to the NCA and USGS for contributions to this article.




Summer adventure awaits!

Join us each Tuesday and Thursday, June 1st through August 31 at 12:45 p.m. CST, for our spelunktacular Rocky Topper Adventure Tour.

Twist, turn, climb and wind your way through passages deep within the cavern as you and your group enjoy the cool 56-degree climate, share lots of laughs, and make many happy memories.

The Rocky Topper adventure is about 3⁄4 of a mile, takes approximately 2.5-3 hours to complete and is of moderate intensity.

Cost: $40 per person

Ages: 6 and up

Difficulty Level: Moderate




Bluegrass Underground

  • June 3 – The Revelers
  • June 17 – Larry Stephenson Band
  • June 24 – Peter Rowan
  • July 15 – Jesse McReynolds Band
  • August 12 – Tennessee Mafia Jug Band
  • August 26 – Maura O’Connell

Contact Bluegrass Underground for the latest updates.

Meet The Grand Lady



Grand Lady of the Ballroom

Every cavern boasts unique qualities not found in any other cave, but Cumberland Caverns took it to another level when a stunning 8.5’x15’, 3⁄4 ton chandelier was raised to light the Volcano Room in 1982.

The grand lady of the ballroom was acquired from the Loew’s Metropolitan Theatre in Brooklyn, NY. She had been rescued by Roy Davis, who just so happened to be at the location to purchase a massive pipe organ during one of the theater’s final renovations in the early 1980’s. The story goes, workers had intended on cutting the cable and letting the beautiful antique hit the floor, but upon hearing of their plans, Mr. Davis offered to take the chandelier along with the organ, and the manager agreed to include it in their deal.

The chandelier hung at the historic theater for over 50 years and witnessed the evolution of film from the time it opened on September 15, 1918, until its closure in 1996. During that time, it accumulated a lot of smoke, dust, and popcorn grease. How do you clean a chandelier? Well, according to Roy Davis, you spray it off at the carwash. Roy also tells a funny story of chasing crystal beads all over the parking lot as well.

After the chandelier was in place inside the cave for a year, employees noticed beads accumulating on the floor underneath. Upon closer inspection, it was learned the wires holding them in place were rusting in two. The Grand Lady had to be removed and underwent a complete restringing of the metal wires to copper line. This process was done over a two-year period with friends gathering on weekends for dinner stringing parties. She now has a solid foundation that will last for years to come.

And that is the tale of how a beautiful, priceless crystal chandelier from New York came to call a cave in Middle Tennessee home.

On a side note, the Loew’s Metropolitan Theater underwent a massive restoration from 2000-2002 and is now the Brooklyn Tabernacle Church.


Grand Lady of the Ballroom at Cumberland Caverns

Loew’s Metropolitan Theatre: Brooklyn, NY 1918-1996

Grand Lady of the Ballroom at Cumberland Caverns
Volcano Room at Cumberland Caverns Home of Bluegrass Underground

Cumberland Caverns: Volcano Room 1982-present