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Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 6, page 153, October 3-4, 1853

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Identifier: DX04169685

Title: Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 6, page 153, October 3-4, 1853

Description: Describes a visit to Mammoth Cave in Kentucky.


dome or Arbour, a very well of place with beautiful stalactites and stalagmites, surrounding a little Spring, hight Medora’s. Like unclarified ice, of a yellowish color, sometimes solid, sometimes hollow, they drip, depend and rise, stone-impregnated water drops hanging from their solid icicle-like points. Their beauty is however much marred by the dank yellowish misty mud coating covering them. Standing in this pit well like spot, shut in as it were, for the descent is high and almost steep as a wall; and knowing ‘tis the End of the Mammoth Cave is a sensation in its way, — something to be remembered. Back returning to Dismal Hollow we now go to the left Avenue, Croghan’s Hall, a huge one in dimensions, with more Stalagmites and Stalactites; — a screen of them barring all progress further. There’s a hideous pit here, to the right, perhaps the deepest throughout the whole range of caves; and into its black abysses a sooty cascade rushes, roaring down unseen from the roof behind. Ugh! to listen there to its sullen continuous plunge downwards —

Back we turned, leaving the right Avenue unexplored, (it presents but a range of Rocky Mountains,) and by 7 or so we saw the stars and heaven’s vault again. Two and twenty miles cave walking, creeping, climbing and crawling had we done. I was wet to my knees, somewhat cut and bruised, my sturdy boots torn irrecoverably, not very tired, but satisfied with the Underground World.

4 3. Tuesday. Passed in doors, in my room, for the most part, writing. At evening by the cheery wood fire below, with [Oliver] Kellam and his friends [Addison Keane Richards and Maurice Keane]. They, having made another Cave visit to day, start for Louisiana on the morrow; and Kellam again renewing an invitation he had before made, that I should accompany them, it was cordially seconded by the other two. The notion had flustered me a little before, — to progress on horseback through part of Kentucky Tenesee [Tennessee], Alabama, Mississipi [Mississippi], then to cross the mighty Father of Waters [Mississippi River] and spend a week or so on a Louisiana cotton plantation, with good

Rights: NoC-US


Dates: 1853-10-03

Type(s): Diary

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

Subjects: Diaries
Mammoth Cave (Ky.)
Mississippi River


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