Manitou Cave is a mile-long cave near Fort Payne. It was a ceremonial site for Cherokees in the nineteenth century, and inscriptions in the Cherokee syllabary, created by Sequoyah, describe rituals for the traditional stickball game and call out to ancestors. During the Civil War, the cave was a primary source for the saltpeter in Confederate gunpowder. In 1888, the cave was opened to tourists and remained so off and on through the 1970’s. Today, conservation efforts are underway to preserve the cave.
Photos courtesy of: Footage