The Ohio Caverns – Air Conditioning the Old-Fashioned Way


It all started when a young 17-year-old farmhand decided to explore a sinkhole in West Liberty.

“So he decided to go digging and hit a crack in the limestone that blew a gust of 54-degree air out at him,” explains Anna Byrd, a tour guide at the caverns. “He was the first living thing to be inside the caverns and it happened August 17, 1897.”

Anna says she prefers the cool temperatures of the caverns to those of the surface, especially in the summertime.

“There is an immediate temperature change,” she says.” That is because the limestone around us holds Ohio’s annual average temperature of 54 degrees, so no matter what time of year it is, it will always feel nice down here.”

Described as the nation’s “most colorful caverns,” the Ohio Caverns offer not only a cool reprieve from the hot summer days but also a rainbow of colors and thousands of calcite and iron oxide crystals in pristine condition.

They offer two tours of the nearly 3 miles of caverns in Mount Tabor and, according to operations manager, JD Harshfield, they offer much more.

“The Ohio Caverns is a generational attraction,” he explained. “People come with their parents, then when they’re parents they come with their kids. When they get older they bring their grandkids. it’s just a great generational attraction. People just love returning. We have a good product. We have a good experience and people appreciate that. And, of course, when it’s really hot out, it’s a cool place to visit.”

If you’re concerned with costs, don’t be. You can go online to the Shopping Show at, and pick up tickets at a discounted price.