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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near La Vale in Allegany County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Cumberland Bone Cave

 
 
Cumberland Bone Cave Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Bradley Owen, August 12, 2022
1. Cumberland Bone Cave Marker
Inscription.  
In 1912 a Western Maryland Railway cut near Cumberland exposed a small cave. The cave, which became known as the Cumberland Bone Cave was found to contain a remarkable variety of bones from species now extinct. Paleontologists were called in from the Smithsonian Institution and excavation began the same year. Between the years 1912 and 1916, the remains of over 40 species of mammals including 28 thought to be extinct were recovered. Many of the fossilized bones date from over 200,000 years ago during the Pleistocene Epoch. Skeletons from what is known as the "Cumberland" Cave Bear and an extinct Saber-toothed cat are on permanent exhibit at the National Museum of Natural History. Other fauna identified here include mastodons, coyotes, pumas and even a crocodile. Today, very little of this cave is still exposed. Remnants may be seen on the south wall of the railway cut at the level of the roadbed.

The skull and mandible graphics depicted here are from Bone Cave specimens, and include, from top to bottom, the Cumberland Cave Bear, a Badger and a Wolverine.

Sources:
"The Pleistocene Vertebrate Fauna from
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the Cumberland Cave Maryland" by James W. Gidley and C. Lewis Gazin, The United States National Museum, Smithsonian Institution, 1938

Celebrated American Caves, by Charles E. Mohr and Howard N. Sloane, Rutgers University Press, 1955

Caves of Maryland, by Richard Franz and Dennis Slifer, Maryland Geological Survey, 1971

 
Erected by Mountain Maryland Trails and Maryland State Highway Administration's National Recreational Trails Program.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: AnimalsPaleontologyScience & Medicine. A significant historical year for this entry is 1912.
 
Location. 39° 41.458′ N, 78° 47.311′ W. Marker is near La Vale, Maryland, in Allegany County. Marker can be reached from Cash Valley Road south of Stoney Creek Drive, on the right when traveling south. Marker is 1.1 miles northeast of the Cash Valley Road Trail Access Parking Area along the Great Allegheny Passage Trail. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 12340 Great Allegheny Passage, Cumberland MD 21502, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Corriganville Honor Roll (approx. 0.2 miles away); Helmstetter's "Horseshoe" Curve (approx. 1.3 miles away); Brush Tunnel (approx.
Cumberland Bone Cave Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Bradley Owen, August 12, 2022
2. Cumberland Bone Cave Marker
View is looking northeast along the Great Allegheny Passage Trail.
1.4 miles away); The First Iron Rails (approx. 1˝ miles away); The Narrows (approx. 2 miles away); “The Narrows” (approx. 2 miles away); Site of Bridge 1834 (approx. 2 miles away); a different marker also named The Narrows (approx. 2.1 miles away).
 
Cumberland Bone Cave image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Bradley Owen, August 12, 2022
3. Cumberland Bone Cave
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on August 13, 2022. It was originally submitted on August 13, 2022, by Bradley Owen of Morgantown, West Virginia. This page has been viewed 744 times since then and 160 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on August 13, 2022, by Bradley Owen of Morgantown, West Virginia. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.

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Apr. 24, 2024