Discovered in 1893, Joplin’s Crystal Cave was a popular destination for some time. Located 80 feet below the surface at 4th Street and Gray Avenue, it measures 225 feet in length and its cavern is completely bedazzled with giant crystals. Formally opened to the public in 1908, one could take in the wonder by purchasing a ticket and following a tour guide down a long flight of wooden stairs. Or perhaps one was lucky enough to be invited to a private party or attend an occasional dance. This “subterranean dance hall” fell out of step when local mining ceased, as it became full of groundwater. All access to the cave was sealed and so it remains.
Visit the Post Memorial Art Reference Library for more information on Crystal Cave, as well as Joplin’s other historical wonders.