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According to the tour operators, the cave was discovered by two boys in October 1879, while hunting rabbits on the property of Ruben Zirkle. The boys cornered a rabbit behind an outcropping of limestone rocks, and began moving some of the loose stones to flush the rabbit from his hiding place. After doing this they discovered a hole in the ground and ran back to the house to grab some ropes and candles. After going into the hole the boys found that there were many chambers and rooms. Not long after the discovery, the Zirkles began doing candle lit tours through the cave. In 1919, the cave was bought by Colonel Brown who had the cave fully electrified for the August 1920 grand opening with a lighting design by Phinheas Stephens. In 1928 more electric work was done in collaboration with Samuel Hibben and W.A. Oglesby.
The present mapped extent of Endless Caverns is 5.5 miles, making it the 20th longest cave in Virginia and the 176th longest in the USA. Its deepest measured point is 160 feet below the surface.
- Oglesby, W. A. Illumination of Endless Caverns. Illuminating Engineering Society Transactions, v. 23, 1928, p. 1231-1240.
- NSS GEO2 COMMITTEE ON LONG AND DEEP CAVES
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