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Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 6, page 152, October 3, 1853

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Identifier: DX04168772

Title: Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 6, page 152, October 3, 1853

Description: Describes a visit to Mammoth Cave in Kentucky.


winding one, about three or four high, and people have to progress tripodically, lamp being carried in fore paw. This avenue is 1 1/2 miles in length / But pursuing the regular line of march, from Washington’s Hall, through the Snow ball rooms, the whole low ceiling of which is covered by gypsum incrustations like to damaged snow balls. Mary’s Bower and Virginia’s Festoon follow, also a deep cross fissure in the nipple-studded Mammiliary Ceiling. The last Rose of Summer is another sentimentally named prettiness. A short avenue turns off here to the right, leading to the Grotto of Egeria. But we now enter Cleveland’s Cabinet, which includes, I think, the two miles to the end of the cave. A wide avenue, not very high, its ceilings all curious with carbonate and sulphate of lime mimicries; Acanthus leaves, roses, lilies, leaves, shrud shrubs and I wot not what else. Diamond Grotto is studded with bright sparkling points, which wink and glisten in the lamp glare, rarely; Saint Cecilia’s grotto with various crystallizations, some containing Epsom Salts. Charlotte’s Grotto, (so named by Stephen [Bishop] in honor of his wife,) is also beautifully fantastic. All these names I may have not given in their proper order, — ‘tis difficult to do so, even for those who know the Cave thoroughly. / These grotto avenues past, you issue forth on a savage mass pile of loosely piled rocks, hight the Rocky Mountains. The bluish glare of a Bengal light shews a vast cavern, the remembrance of which might make a Nightmare more horrible. To the right and left, and straight before you, it stretches off into blackness, colossal, jagged, and hideously rent and distorted rocks around; a mount of sharp edged, angular, wickedly-shaped stones rising a hundred feet in height to be first Mdeasscended, then descended, for the Rocky Mountains run sheer across the Avenue. An ugly bit of travelling, where I got about my twentieth fall. Upwards from the Dismal Hollow we climbed, and pursued our way of the avenue straight ahead. Ten minutes or less brought us to where a very hazardous descent over down dank rocks on our left conducted us to Serena’s

Rights: NoC-US


Dates: 1853-10-03

Type(s): Diary

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

Subjects: Diaries
Mammoth Cave (Ky.)


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