Linville Caverns, North Carolina’s Subterranean Wonderland

In my constant search of antique stores, flea markets and vintage book stores, I have acquired a sizable collection of artifacts. One, titled “Beautiful Linville Caverns,” is the subject of today's Yesteryear Column. Attached are excerpts of it along with three photos.

“Drive up beautiful scenic U.S. 221 to Linville Caverns, the Blue Ridge Parkway, the old Yonahlossee Trail, Grandfather Mountain and other scenic delights in the most exciting section of “The Land of the Sky.”

“Linville Caverns is at the head of the verdantly beautiful Linville Valley. Here the mountains rise abruptly from the Valley. Starting with Humpback Mountain, (under which Linville Caverns lie) and Linville Mountain, across the valley, the peaks rise successively higher, until they reached their majestic climax on Grandfather Mountain (5964) said by geologist to be the oldest mountain in the world

“Fine paved highways ascend in graceful curves to the Linville Falls, then on up for miles to the Blue Ridge Parkway, cross-over, then along the Parkway and the Yonahlossee Trail to the Gateway to the Grandfather Mountain road. younger Lucy trail to the gateway of all the grandfather Mountain Road, 15 miles from the Caverns.

“The mysterious beauty of Linville Caverns, the breathtaking panoramic views along the Parkway and the rugged grandeur of Grandfather makes this truly one of the most seemingly scenically exciting regions in America.”

Linville Caverns is one of the highlights of Western North Carolina scenic attractions. The brochure urged its readers to bring their clubs and conventions to the Caverns for a unique, impressive trip to Western North Carolina's subterranean wonderland – Linville Falls.

“Come and enjoy a scenic treat differently from any other in Western North Carolina. Whether you come only to explore and enjoy the Caverns themselves, or to stay a while and relax, and perhaps a picnic on the Capitol grounds, you will long remember your visit to Linville Falls is one of the highlights of Western North Carolina's scenic attractions.

“Why not entertain your visitors and guests with a unique impressive trip to Western North Carolina's subterranean Wonderland – Linville Caverns.

“Arrangements may be made for parties. Complete picnic grounds are available for groups wishing to bring their lunches.

“Western North Carolina on scenic Highway U.S. 221 is 18 miles north of Marion, N.C. and 14 miles south of Linville and grandfather Mountain. It is open your round.

“Linville Caverns are electrically lighted and a level smooth path takes visitors into the innermost recesses of the Caverns this passageway, for the most part, skirts a small crystal clear subterranean stream in which trout are seen.

“The stalactite and stalagmite formations in the Caverns have been developing for untold centuries into fascinating formations, such as the Frozen Waterfall, Natural Bridge, the Franciscan Monk and many other formations limited only by the imagination of the spectator. At one place in the Caverns, there is a bottomless pool of crystal-clear water.

“Courteous and experienced attendants accompany each party through the Caverns to point out the most interesting features and answer questions.

“The Linville Caverns entrance grounds are a delightful scenic retreat. The ample parking grounds, interesting rustic entrance lodge, and refreshment building accommodate the many investors who come to enjoy the Caverns daily Linville Caverns are beautifully illuminated to reveal to read the unique formations.”

The brochure was not dated, but several clues put it in the 1930s and 1940s. Noteworthy is the absence of interstate highways or the Blue Ridge Parkway. Roads include 321, 221, 64, 70, 19E, 19 and 23.