Historic Stone Walls At Mammoth Cave National Park To Be Documented, Rebuilt

One of the four walls to be rebuilt can be seen in the left-hand corner of this NPS photo.

In advance of work to redesign the Green River Ferry landing in Mammoth Cave National Park, workers will be documenting historic stone retaining walls that will be taken down, and then rebuilt in their original design.

For about the next month, visitors to the Green River Ferry area of the park will see workers on or around the historic stone retaining walls, removing sediment and vegetation. Section 106 of the Historic Preservation Act requires documentation of historic features prior to disturbance, according to park officials.

“The rehabilitation plans for the ferry landings call for the historic rock walls to be removed before reconstruction begins, and then rebuilt according to their original purpose and pattern,” said acting-Superintendent Bruce Powell. “Documenting them now will help us to replace them in the same manner once the road work is complete.”

The walls were constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the late 1930s, after the ferry crossing was moved downstream to its present location. The four walls hold the river bank in place as Green River flows and floods.

Over the years, flood sediments and debris have covered the stones, allowing plants to sprout and take root on the walls, according to park staff.

A park maintenance crew this week has been removing sediments, debris and plant growth, laying the walls bare. Later in the month workers from the Park Service's Historic Preservation Training Center in Frederickburg, Md., will travel to Mammoth Cave to measure, photograph and sketch the walls.

The park has not secured funding for the entire ferry landing project.

“This work is preparatory for the larger project,” said Superintendent Powell. “Documenting the walls now will allow the park to proceed with altering the ferry landings once funding becomes available.”