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This Sign Stands Near the Finley River in Ozark's City Park

Ozark Park Sign


(Below) From Indians of the Ozark Plateau, Dr. Silas Scruggs Stacey was a Cherokee Indian who stayed in Smallin

Cave along the trail of tears with his family. He later recieved training as a surgeon during the Civil War for the Union.


(Below) A map of explorer Henry Rowe Schoolcraft's route.


(Below) An early Bristly Cave Crayfish study.


(Below) "Tip" Smallin's Obituary.

Smallin Cave was the first documented cave in the Ozarks. It was written about at great length in Henry Rowe Schoolcraft's journal in 1818. Schoolcraft was a significant explorer in the United States. Smallin Cave was considered to be noteworthy enough that it was cited by major publications, including the 1923 National Geographic and 1948 issue of the Ecological Society of America. The town of Ozark was a centralized location of union activity during the civil war. There is strong evidence that Smallin Cave was used for war related activities.


Smallin Cave was home to Osage Indians, and it is likely that members of the Cherokee tribe also lived here. There is much that could be learned about native Americans from an archaeological dig and further study. Smallin Cave is teaming with life, much of it is unusual and endangered. Blind cave salamanders and bristly cave crayfish live here. Studies on our blind cave crayfish have been held here since 1898. Much has been learned because of these studies.


The local community has held this cave in high esteem for generations. Church groups, school groups, and local families have used this cave for social activities, clay gathering to chink their log cabins and make their pottery, a fruit and vegetable cellar during the summer, a "laundry mat", and a mysterious, larger than life setting for stories that have been passed down through generations.

For more in-depth information about Smallin Civil War Cave's history, click Historical Landmark Information.

Smallin Cave Old Photos


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