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Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 6, page 134, September 30, 1853

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Identifier: DX04152355

Title: Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 6, page 134, September 30, 1853

Description: Describes a visit to Mammoth Cave in Kentucky.


sharp from the gloom of the overarching cave beyond, and a sort of pit twixt it & the mound of rough rocks in front aids the effect marvellously. Immediately above, on the white ceiling is a strangely shaped gypsum incrustation, like to an Ant-Eater on a bough.

And now we quit the Main Cave, branching off at a narrow, partly retrograding passage behind the Coffin. Turning to the right we pass press onwards for the Deserted Chambers, and enter a low, though spacious circular room, perhaps 100 feet in diameter. It is the Wooden Bowl, so called from that article being here found, at an early exploration. To the right, down a ladder, and now the Steeps of Time, twenty feet in space are passed. We are now at the Deserted Chambers. Mocassin tracks have been found here, as elsewhere. Arriving at Richardsons spring, a little pool of clear water, Stephen [Bishop] here deposits our diner-basket, as we intend here to feed on returning; — with unforeseen result, as will here after appear. Along the Cavernous Archway we speed, noticing a small branching passage to the left leading to Covered Pit. This ugly hole is some twelve or more feet across, lidded over by a thin rock strata, a rock mass resting on its centre, and down below we hear water plashing. But a short space there; and back passing by Side Saddle pit, 65 feet deep, irregularly shaped 20 feet long, but not over 8 wide. A brief walk farther and descent down a ladder from above, to the Labyrinth. Winding snake like onwards, one end of this conducts us to Gorin’s Dome. Bidding us go forwards till we come to an oval space, there to look, but by no means get through, Stephen starts off to the right. We gaze out, and above dimly descry an over arching dome, below a black and terrible abyss. Right across in front of us, in sharp clear cut grooves, suddenly abruptly ending a great screen of hanging limestone is seen. But a fizz is heard and a bright glare of light rises from the boulders to the right of the pit, and in a minute the whole place is illumed. Up flaring in clear cold

Rights: NoC-US


Dates: 1853-09-30

Type(s): Diary

Maker/Creator: Gunn, Thomas Butler, 1826-1903

Subjects: Diaries
Mammoth Cave (Ky.)


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