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Parking Lot Series: The Lodge at Mammoth Cave, Kentucky

Today’s feature image which apparently was taken in the late-1930s is a view of the parking lot at The Lodge at Mammoth Cave, a private hotel at the time located in Mammoth Cave, Kentucky. Tours of the Cave have been ongoing since as early as 1816. The first efforts to consolidate the land holdings and farms above the largest known system of caves in the world were those of wealthy residents residing in the State. The Mammoth Cave National Park Association was formed in 1926 with the goal of having the attraction become the Mammoth Cave National Park which officially opened on July 1, 1941.

The parking lot at The Lodge in this photograph is filled with cars owned by tourists and visitors. The earliest vehicle, a Chevrolet sedan at the beginning of the center row dates back to 1929 or ’30, with the latest automobiles dating from the late thirties to perhaps the early-forties. Tell us what you find of interest in this scene.


7 responses to “Parking Lot Series: The Lodge at Mammoth Cave, Kentucky

  1. In the lead photograph, on the far right, 5th car back, is a four-door 1937 BUICK trunk-back, either a Century or Special; on the far left, 2nd car in, is a two-door 1937 PONTIAC Deluxe Eight Touring Sedan.

    • It looks like the Pontiac is from Ohio. The license plate format (123AB) is , as best as I can tell, unique to Ohio from 1935-1948 (in 1949 they switched to six characters on all plates). Colors were all over the place, but were mostly dark-on-light, so the only years that can be eliminated because they were light-on-dark are 1940, 1941, 1944, and 1947. That does suggest sometime between 1936-39, though, based on the identified model years.

      The third car in is also not from Kentucky, since it has a six number plate, but that was an extremely common format, so I don’t know what state it was from. Kentucky was using a five character format where either all five were numbers or one (and only one) of the first four characters was a letter and the others were numbers.

  2. Over all I think there are about as many Chevrolets as all the others put together. One relative rarity is the 1936 Graham parked beside the 1937 Ford Tudor in the upper row of the picture 1. The side mounts on that ’34 Chev roadster at the front would be not a common sight.

  3. Try as I might, I don’t see a car newer than 1937. The 1937 Buick had me fooled for a minute tho. The Chrysler in the second row left might be a ’38; but only the grill knows not the trunk

  4. “Mammoth Caves” appears to be have been: An up-scale Lodge, (according to the cars in the lot). The Fords, from Model “A” on up,— appear to be in two areas, “all together”. This indicates : Employee’s parking areas, so that the Customer’s Packards & Cadillacs, etc,, can be: “seen together”. Edwin W.

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