Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Murphys in Calaveras County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
 

Mercer Caverns

 
 
Mercer Caverns Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Andrew Ruppenstein, February 7, 2009
1. Mercer Caverns Marker
Inscription. Discovered September 1, 1885, by Walter J. Mercer. Resting at this site and noticing movement of grass near a small hole. Enlarging the opening, he ascended into extensive caverns containing varieties of fantastic crystalline formations. The public tours began September 12, 1885.

In 1900, a display of the rare Aragonite Flos Ferri was awarded the Grand Prize at the Paris World's Fair.

Recognized by the State of California as a Point of Historical Interest on August 2, 1985.
 
Location. 38° 9.111′ N, 120° 28.768′ W. Marker is near Murphys, California, in Calaveras County. Marker can be reached from Sheep Ranch Road. Click for map. Mercer Caverns is located one mile north of Murphys. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1665 Sheep Ranch Road, Murphys CA 95247, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. St. Patrick's Catholic Church (approx. 1.1 miles away); The Compere Store (approx. 1.2 miles away); Site of E.C.V. Saloon (approx. 1.2 miles away); The Heinsdorff Bakery (approx. 1.2 miles away); Independent Order of Odd Fellows Hall (approx. 1.2 miles away);
Mercer Caverns Marker, Cave Entrance, and Historic Office Photo, Click for full size
By Andrew Ruppenstein, February 7, 2009
2. Mercer Caverns Marker, Cave Entrance, and Historic Office
The marker is visible to the left of the historic office building (constructed by Mercer in 1886). The entrance to the cave is between the two, just to the right of the orange signs, with steps leading down into the cave.
William Gordon Huff (approx. 1.2 miles away); E Clampus Vitus (approx. 1.2 miles away); Maj. James D. Savage (approx. 1.2 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Murphys.
 
More about this marker. The marker is by the cave entrance, and is visible from the parking lot.
 
Regarding Mercer Caverns. The cave was first used by the Yokut Indians as a mortuary cave, and then rediscovered some time later in 1885 by a gold prospector, Walter J. Mercer. Tours of the cave began almost immediately, with Mercer making improvements to make the cave more accessible. In 1888, while in the cave, Mercer fell some 30 feet, severely injuring his spine. He died 12 years later of complications from his fall. In 1946, the name of the cave was changed from New Calaveras Cave to Mercer Caverns. Tours are available, and go as deep as 160 feet below the surface.
 
Also see . . .  Mercer Caverns History. A history of Mercer Caverns, as provided by company that provides the tours of the cave. (Submitted on February 10, 2009.) 
 
Additional keywords.
Mercer Caverns - Stalactites Photo, Click for full size
By Andrew Ruppenstein, February 7, 2009
3. Mercer Caverns - Stalactites
Caves
 
Categories. Natural Features
 
Mercer Caverns - Flos Ferri (Aragonite) Formation Photo, Click for full size
By Andrew Ruppenstein, February 7, 2009
4. Mercer Caverns - Flos Ferri (Aragonite) Formation
Aragonite has the same chemical composition as limestone (Calcium Carbonate, calcite): CaCO3, but with the carbonate ion arranged differently. Named after Aragon, the Spanish region in which it was discovered.
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Andrew Ruppenstein of Sacramento, California. This page has been viewed 1,926 times since then and 57 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on , by Andrew Ruppenstein of Sacramento, California. • Kevin W. was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
Paid Advertisement