Though Indiana and Kentucky seem like peaceful lands, full of undulating countryside and endless vistas, back in the late 1700s when the Daniel and Squire Boone boys first came here, they were treacherous areas, full of hostile American Indians who rightfully were resentful of the invading frontiersmen.
Of the first eight white men to enter Kentucky, Squire and Daniel were the only two to come out alive–and it was Squire that rescued Daniel.
During one of his forays into southern Indiana in 1790, Squire, being chased by angry Shawnees, discovered the cave and was able to hide there. Feeling a sense of awe about it, he asked his children to bury him there, and so they did when he died in 1815.
After his bones were discovered more than 160 years later, a coffin was shaped out of walnut to hold them in one of the cave’s vaults.
Visitors who descend into the cavern and move through its rooms, past cascading waterfalls where a million gallons of water flow each day, eventually come into a room where the coffin and a tomb stone marker sit in front of a set of bleachers. It is here that the cave guide tells the story of Squire and his caverns.
For more adventure, take one of the zipline adventures.
The mill Squire Boone built in 1804 has been restored. The 18-foot mill wheel, powered by water flowing from the caverns, turns the 1,000-pound grinding stones. Watch as the miller demonstrates how corn is ground into cornmeal and grits.
Some of the mill’s original foundation stones, into which Squire Boone carved designs and verses, are on display in the mill. One stone bears this inscription: “My God my life hath much befriended, I’ll praise Him till my days are ended.”
Boone’s Mill is listed on the Indiana State Register of Historic Sites and Structures.