Crystal Cave was opened to the public in 1893 by Englishman Alfred Mann, and his three daughters took over the cave when he died in 1925. They ran it for over forty years (including the time I lived at Fair Grove), until the last one died in 1969 and willed it a family friend, Estel Funkhouser. She ran it until 1982, when her sister, Edith Richardson, and Edith's husband, Lloyd, took over. The Richardsons were still running the place in early 2005 when I visited. However, as far as I can tell, the cave is now closed to the public. Apparently the Richardsons either died or got too old to continue running it and could find no one to take their place. They were in their mid eighties at the time of my visit.
Crystal Cave was never highly commercialized. No drive-through trams or anything like that. No colored lights to try to enhance the beauty of the cave. As Lloyd Richardson told me during my visit, the cave was beautiful enough in its natural state and didn't need any artificial enhancement. Also, the cave was not particularly accessible. It had narrow pathways, several fairly steep climbs, and so forth. However, I have to say that Crystal Cave was one of the neatest caves I've ever seen and my visit to it was the most enjoyable cave tour I've ever taken (not that I've taken all that many).
So, it's kinda sad to see the old cave closed. It had been open to the public continuously (except for a very brief period in 1969) for well over 100 years. But now it's gone. Maybe someone will acquire it and reopen it one of these days.