Devil's Kitchen (cave)

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Devil’s Kitchen
Cave
182 Devils Kitchen2.jpg
Country United States
State Michigan
County Mackinac County
City Mackinac Island
Coordinates 45°51′16.20″N 84°38′28.86″W / 45.8545000°N 84.6413500°W / 45.8545000; -84.6413500Coordinates: 45°51′16.20″N 84°38′28.86″W / 45.8545000°N 84.6413500°W / 45.8545000; -84.6413500
Mackinac Island topographic map-en.svg
Location of Devil’s Kitchen on Mackinac Island
Devil's Kitchen
Part of Mackinac Island (#66000397[1])
Designated NHLDCP October 15, 1966

Devil's Kitchen is a small cave on the southwestern shore of Mackinac Island in Michigan, USA. The cave was carved during the Nipissing post-glacial period by the waves of Lake Huron. It consists of two hollows in a rocky cliff, one directly on top of the other.[2]

Mackinac Island's brecciated limestone has eroded into a variety of unusual formations. The cave's appearance is comparable to that of a human face with an open mouth.[3]

Although shallow, Devil's Kitchen is much visited because of its location within Mackinac Island State Park on M-185, the state highway that circles Mackinac Island. Local stories allege that the Native Americans of the Straits of Mackinac considered the cave to be a numinous location inhabited by bad spirits. Allegedly, the spirits were cannibals who would capture and eat victims who ventured too close to the ill-omened location.[3]

The cave is blackened with soot to this day, allegedly from the evil spirits' cooking fires; hence the name, 'Devil's Kitchen.' It is not known whether these stories derive from actual Indian legend or were generated after the beginning of the tourism industry on Mackinac Island in the mid-19th century.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "NPS Focus". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. Retrieved August 2, 2010. 
  2. ^ "Mackinac Island State Park Interpretation", accessed April 14, 2008.Mackinac State Historic Parks website
  3. ^ a b Dirk Gringhuis, "Lore of the Great Turtle" (1970; Mackinac State Historic Parks, Mackinac Island MI)