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Branson Area --Marvel Cave Postcards
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Click on Pictures to Enlarge

     The Osage Indians called this cave, near Branson, Missouri, Devil's Den. Local residents changed the name to Marble Cave after explorers in 1869 reported (incorrectly) that the cave walls were of  marble. In 1893 William Henry Lynch bought the cave and opened it for public tours. In an earlier edition this page, I mentioned that Lynch's daughters changed the name of the cave to Marvel Cave in 1927, when Lynch, but that is not correct. In 1918 the Stone County News-Oracle consistently referred to it as Marvel Cave, and even Lych called it Marvel Cave when he advertised it for sale that year:

Marvel Cave for Lease.

To the end of devoting a part, at least, of the time to National service, in special ways that will help, I am open to negotiations for leasing Marvel Cave. The time is opportune. I have just completed a new road of easy grade to Roark Station, which gives excellent auto service, for railroad connection, and on to Springfield. An inviting business opportunity for the right parties. Address,
WM. H. LYNCH
Reeds Spring, MO

Stone County News-Oracle
Volume 33 # 41 Wed 02 Jan 1918 Pg 4 col 5

For more 1918 references to the cave see www.eons.com/groups/group/harold-bell-wright. The Lynch daughters operated the cave and other tourist attractions until 1950. In the early 1950s Hugo Herschend leased the cave for 99 years. In 1960 the Herschend family introduced the Silver Dollar City theme park. built around the cave. The cave plays an important role in Harold Bell Wright's novel, "The Shepherd of the Hills." For more information about the cave click here and here.

Click to enlarge Marvel Cave brochure from about 1930. Courtesy of Japheth Campbell.

Marble Cave (to 1927)

branso19.JPG (25719 bytes) 1. Entrance of Marble Cave. AZO. gc
branso20.JPG (31252 bytes) 2. Entrance, Marble Cave. AZO. gc
brans202.JPG (20650 bytes) 3. Batt (sic) Room, Marble Cave. AZO. gc
branso17.JPG (34599 bytes) 4. White Throne, Marble Cave.  ["White Throne" is an earlier name for what is now called "Liberty Bell."] gc
branso18.JPG (22058 bytes) 5. Spring Room Sentinel, Marble Cave. gc
6. Cathedral Room, Marble Cave. AZO. gc
7. Sphinx Nose, Marble Cave. Courtesy Larry Allen.
8. White Throne, Hall Photo Co. 106 Hall Photo Co. AZO arrows up and down. Along the back edge it says "Marble Cave Stone Co. Mo. Series" [Stone County, Missouri.] Courtesy Larry Allen.
 

Marvel Cave (after 1927)

brans204.JPG (41113 bytes) 9. Lynch Home at Marvel Cave. AZO. gc
10. Cave Lodge, Marvel Cave Camp, Notch, Mo. Courtesy Larry Allen. May be same structure as above, with additions?

 

11. Marvel Cave Office on Hy. 80. Shepherd of the Hills Country, MO. C-475. eb
12. Marvel Cave Lodge Cafe. Courtesy Dave Hadsell
13. Marvel Cave Lodge from South Garden. Courtesy Dave Hadsell
14. Tea Room, Gift-Shoppe Camp, Marvel Cave, Payne, Branson. (Postmarked at Garber, MO, 1928. Courtesy Dave Hadsell
brans203.JPG (15834 bytes) 15. (blank, nothing on back either). AZO. (See next card for identification) gc
16. The Kewpie Lake or Head of Waterfall, Marvel Cave, Branson, MO. (reverse: White River Art Station, A. K. Bishop, Branson, MO) C.T. American Art.  gc
brans205.JPG (23783 bytes) 17. Marvel Cave Shepherd of the Hills Country 375106 (C) L. L. Cook. gc
marvelcave1.jpg (44090 bytes)  18. Waterfall on Lost River, Marvel Cave on Highway 80, Shepherd of the Hills Country, Mo. Copyright 1939, M. and G. Lynch,  C-473
brans206.JPG (19258 bytes) 19. Fountain of Youth, Marvel Cave on Hy-80 Shepherd of the Hills Country, MO   C-464. gc
20. "Liberty Bell" Marvel Cave on Highway 80.  Shepherd of the Hills Country, MO.  Courtesy Dave Hadsell 
marvelcavet70.jpg (42422 bytes) 21.  The Sentinel, Marvel Cave on Highway 80, 8 miles West of Branson, MO. T-70.  Copyright 1951, Marvel Cave Assn., Inc. Courtesy Dave Hadsell.
brans207.JPG (23924 bytes) 22. Spring Room Sentinel, Marvel Cave on Hy-80 Shepherd of the Hills Country, MO   C-465   (C) M. and G. Lynch 1939. gc
marvelgreatc.jpg (22309 bytes) 23. © M. and G. Lynch - 1939, Entrance to Great Cathedral Room, Marvel Cave on Hy. 80  Shepherd of The Hills Country Mo.  C-462All Rights Reserved - The L.L. Cook Co.  Milwaukee.  Photo Courtesy Dave Hadsell. [gc]
24. Entrance--Marvel Cave.  120 Hall Photo Co Photo Courtesy Dave Hadsell.
25. Arrowhead entrance to Egyptian Room Marvel Cave on HY. 80 Shepherd of the Hills Country, MO. C-468. Courtesy Dave Hadsell
 

26. (Cathedral Room) Marvel Cave, Shepherd of the Hills Country, 175108   Courtesy Larry Allen.

27. (Liberty Bell) Marvel Cave, Branson, Mo.  83 B.  Courtesy Larry Allen.
28. The Sphinx, Marvel Cave, ©Waltz.  Courtesy Larry Allen.
29.  Marvel Cave, ©Waltz Studio.  (AZO stampbox) Courtesy Dave Hadsell
30. The Waterfall. Marvel Cave on Hy. 80 - 8 miles West of Branson, MO D-72. ©1951 Marvel Cave Assoc, Inc. L.L. Cook. Courtesy Larry Allen
HBWcaveStudio.JPG (51413 bytes) 31. Harold Bell Wright Studio, Marvel Cave, at the bottom of Grand Canyon, Branson, Mo. gc
32. Harold Bell Wright Studio, Marvel Cave. ©Waltz. Courtesy Rick Gunter. Rick adds: "This is supposed to be the original “Devil Head” or Bald Knobber mask that Harold Bell Wright made from clay when he was explored Marvel Cave. There is another clay face visible in the photo, as well as a triangle and other symbols."
33. "Liberty Bell"--Giant Stalagmite, Marvel Cave. Payne. Branson, Mo. Courtesy Dave Hadsell
marvelcaveentrance01.jpg (28342 bytes) 34. Entrance to Marvel Cave, Payne, Branson MO. AZO. Courtesy Larry Allen
35. Marvel Cave, Branson, Mo. Foil card.
36. Hibernating in Marvel Cave, Reed's Spring, Mo. A-62. Courtesy Dave Hadsell
37. Three Wise Men in Travertine [?] Rock [?], Marvel Cave - Payne Photo. Courtesy Dave Hadsell

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This Harold Bell Wright web site is written and produced by Gerry Chudleigh with the help of many friends.
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Last updated 05/26/11