Fort Payne Chamber of Commerce held our After Hours at Manitou Cave of Alabama on Thursday, June 28th. What an adventurous After Hours. Annette Reynolds, Founder, Director, and Steward of Manitou Cave of Alabama, hosted a group of thirty-five at the Educational Center.
Annette presented some history and new exciting research about Manitou Cave of Alabama and was joined by Walter Raymond, whose family first made Manitou Cave a tourist destination during the “Boom” years and then again in the 1960-70’s. Mr. Raymond had not seen the cave in 40 years but knows it like the back of his hand. He actually toured with a group of twenty and he and Annette gave a fantastic tour of the cave.
Roger Lee Holt, biologist, Partners Program US Fish and Wildlife Service spoke to the group about the wide variety of flora and fauna found at Manitou Cave of Alabama. Specifically, Mr. Lee spoke about the Antrorbis breweri, or Manitou Cave Snail, a freshwater snail found only in Manitou Cave of Alabama. This species was named “breweri” after Dr. Stephen Brewer, who was the previous owner of Manitou Cave when the snail was discovered in the 1990’s.
Manitou Cave of Alabama, located in Fort Payne, has been a place of early aboriginal shelter, ceremony and Cherokee inscriptions that were invented by Sequoyah. Today the cave is the focus of conservation efforts by Manitou Cave of Alabama, Inc., a 501(c) (3) non-profit, to protect and preserve this living natural museum and world treasure.
Annette is very passionate about Manitou Cave of Alabama and hopes to see the community come together and help rehabilitate the Educational Center (once known as the Visitor Center). She would love to see the Educational Center become a true learning center, so children and adults can learn about our Cherokee Indian heritage, Sequoyah, and the journey of Manitou Cave of Alabama and the lives that have touched it.
For more information about Manitou Cave of Alabama please visit http://www.manitoucaveofal.org.