Mammoth Cave official sheds light on slaves' history at park
Although long gone, the subjects of an award-winning author's book - slaves who gave tours at Mammoth Cave National Park in the 1800s - have left an indelible impression on her. Joy Medley Lyons hopes her descriptions of them in “Making Their Mark: The Signature of Slavery at Mammoth Cave” will do the same for others. It recounts the lives of young men who were bound to the cave during its more than 125 years of private ownership.
The cave and surrounding grounds weren't authorized as a national park until 1926, and only fully established in 1941.
“For a little while, you make them breathe again,” she said, explaining what drew her to “get the story out” about a “group that deserves credit.”
Last month, Lyons, 49, received the Award of Merit for Publication by the Kentucky Historical Society.