As early as 1802, pirates began accumulating on the Ohio River with the express intent of relieving settlers passing in flatboats of all their goods and money. Because the Ohio spilled into the Mississippi River which led as far south as New Orleans, it was a popular way to travel long distances for many families. Before the invention of the steam ship, people would hire flat boats which were nothing more than huge rafts to carry them and their possessions down stream with the current.
|Actual picture of inside of the Cave|
|Actual picture of outside|
Pirating continued from Cave-in-the-rock until 1816 when steamships began to traverse the river in full force. With too many passengers to resist and traveling at faster speeds, the steamboats discouraged the pirates from taking the risk and eventually they gave up and deserted their hideout. By 1818 Cave-in-the-rock was deserted.