Mammoth Cave Saltpeter Works, Mammoth Cave, Edmonson County, KY
Significance: Mammoth Cave Saltpeter Works represent the most complete example known of the equipment used in the processing of cave saltpeter, a major component of gunpowder during the War of 1812. The works were constructed in their present form while under the ownership of Charles Wilkins of Lexington, Kentucky, and his partners, Fleming Gatewood of Warren County, Kentucky and Hyman Gratz of Philadelphia. The saltpeter manufactured here, perhaps as much as 115,000 pounds during 1814, was sold to eastern gunpowder manufacturers to meet American military needs. The works were abandoned about 1815, at the end of the war. Presently nine leaching vats, two collecting tanks, a portion of one pump, about fifty sections of wooden water pipe, and several pumptower timbers remain.
Unprocessed Field note material exists for this structure: FN-2
Survey number: HAER KY-18
Building/structure dates: ca. 1810 Initial Construction
Building/structure dates: ca. 1815
National Register of Historic Places NRIS Number: 91000503