Listen to the
Cellphone Audio for Stop #1
spoken by Mayor Randall Curry

Pre-historic Native Americans explored Hidden River Cave and Horse Cave’s early settlers were attracted to the abundance of clean water available at the cave’s mouth. Beginning in the late 1800s thousands of visitors arrived by train to visit the cave. But cave tourism was fraught with feuds and controversy, as you will soon learn.

Horse Cave has an intriguing African American history. The Horse Cave Colored School (as it was known before integration), was renowned for its high academic standards as well as its outstanding basketball team, which won the state championship four years in a row. Graduates of the team went on to play for the Harlem Globetrotters.

Next Stop: Stop #2 – The Bookstore

Stop #1 – Rich Heritage of Horse Cave

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Historic District Designation Report (.pdf 356k)


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Oral Histories about the
“Rich Heritage of Horse Cave”

Sandra Wilson

Sandra T. Wilson, Executive Director
Hart County Tourist Commission

“Tobacco, commerce, and”

“Off-kilter streets and triangular buildings”


Ken Russell, President
Horse Cave Development Corporation

“Tobacco town

Newton Thomas

Newton Thomas, Principal of “Horse Cave Colored School” (retired)

“Basketball champions and academic achievers”

Curtis Wilson


“Growing up in Horse Cave in the 1930’s and 1940’s”

“The championship team”

“Clarence Wilson and the Harlem Globetrotters”

Randall Curry,
Mayor of Horse Cave

“Horse Cave Colored School”

“Basketball champions play for Harlem Globetrotters”

“Professor Thomas – it takes a village”

“Athletics and academics