Known as the first show cave in Texas, Wonder World Cave and Adventure Park provides family fun for all ages through educational entertainment and community involvement.
Wonder World Cave & Adventure Park, a natural theme park located in San Marcos, Texas, has a rich history that dates back to its discovery in 1893 by Mark A. Bevers, a former cowboy and freight hauler. Bevers was drilling for water in what is now the parking lot of the park. In 1903, W.S. Davis took over Bevers’ Cave and began operating it as a tourist attraction. The cave eventually became the property of Judge Will G. Barber, who sold the property to Arthur B. Rodgers in 1916 for $50, a gray horse, and a saddle.
Rodgers installed electric lighting, gravel paths, handrails, and ladders, and renamed the cave Wonder Cave. In 1955, Ralph Marker leased the cave from Paul Rodgers, son of A.B. Rodgers. Marker began an extensive advertising campaign which boosted business so much that the cave operation had to be enlarged. In 1958, Paul Rodgers sold the cave to a local family. The cave was then bought by TJ Mostyn in 1956. Mostyn and his wife Phyllis ran the park until the 1970s when their son, Buddy Mostyn, took over the operation. Buddy Mostyn and his wife Karen ran the park for over 40 years before retiring. In 2017, Kristin Mostyn Williams, Buddy’s daughter, took over the park. She has been running the San Marcos tourist spot since then. Kristin represents the third generation in her family to run what is today known as Wonder World Cave and Adventure Park. The park has been family-owned and -operated ever since.
Wonder Cave, the primary attraction of the park, is an ancient earthquake cave and a Recorded Texas Historic Landmark. It is known as a dry-formed cave, as the fissure was opened by an earthquake and not by erosion. The quake had produced the Balcones fault, and the fault is visible in the cave ceiling. This makes it the only commercially operated dry cave in the U.S., and the first show cave in Texas opened to the public.
The cave offers a glimpse into the past geological eras of the Earth’s history. It houses fossilized prehistoric life encased in various strata formations and huge boulders suspended in mid-air. The tour guides are thoroughly trained to tell you stories of these past geological eras.
The cave is now home to Wonder World Park, with an in-house wildlife park. It continues to provide a lot of fun and entertainment for the entire family. The Wonder Cave is unique and markedly different from other show caves, making it a must-visit attraction for all age groups.
Today, in 2024, Wonder World Cave & Adventure Park is a thriving tourist spot, welcoming thousands of visitors each year. Under the leadership of Kristin Mostyn Williams, the park continues to provide educational entertainment and connect people to the rich history and natural beauty of San Marcos. As the park celebrates its 121st anniversary, the Mostyn family looks forward to continuing their legacy of stewardship and sharing the wonder of this unique natural attraction with future generations.