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Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 6, page 150, October 3, 1853

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Identifier: DX04166946

Title: Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 6, page 150, October 3, 1853

Description: Describes a visit to Mammoth Cave in Kentucky.


Crossing Echo River from the arch to the end you pass over 600 yards space. The Eyeless fish are caught here, eyeless crawfish also. Some of the former I saw at the New York Crystal Palace; they are white, about five inches in length, sans all wrinkle or intimation of sight, as may well be; a generation of fish succeeding generation in these rayless caverns. That there’s unknown cavernous communication, larger than crevices and dripping places, with Green River is also made manifest by the fact that these eyeless fish have been caught in the river. But to our journey. Landing on the other side of Echo River, we pass through a dank filthy region, rendered so by the recent rising of the waters. The rocks over which we progressed were all coated with dank mud; it covered the jagged side walls, the ledges, and holes; all seemed mud in intermediate progress towards becoming rock. Silliman’s long Avenue, over a mile in length, (and so called after the Professor of that name;) follows Clay’s Cave, in which are the rivers. ‘Twas at first monotonous and filthy. A Cascade dimly seen to the right, rushing down with angry roar indicated Cascade Hall. Wellington’s Gallery and the Infernal Regions follow. And about here, on huge mud covered slabs of rock, chaotically piled on every side, we ate a hearty dinner; picking chicken-limbs with great content and demolishing cold pies. With lightened spirits and heavier stomachs, onwards we then sped. Through, or by, Stephens Galleries; noticing the Valley way, a winding side cut turning off to the right, and again joining the Gallery, to Ole Bull’s Concert hall; where that Ingenious Norwegian did, it is said, once draw forth inspiriting strains from his inspired cat-gut. On the left we spy a great rock-mass fancifully shapen like to the Stern of a vessel, the Great Western, as ‘tis called. Another, adjacent, though smaller, whimsically like a Sitting Rabbit. Hereabouts ends Sillimans Avenue, and the Pass of El Ghor commences. In part of this the path serpentines beside a wildly piled mass of Titanic fragments of rock which have fallen from above, a Stonehenge thrown down about the ears of the Troglodytes. One place

Rights: NoC-US


Dates: 1853-10-03

Type(s): Diary

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

Subjects: Food
Mammoth Cave (Ky.)
Crystal Palace (New York, N.Y.)


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