xt769p2w4158 https://nyx.uky.edu/dips/xt769p2w4158/data/mets.xml Forwood, William Stump, 1830-1892. 1870  books b92-135-29326226 English J.B. Lippincott, : Philadelphia : Contact the Special Collections Research Center for information regarding rights and use of this collection. Mammoth Cave (Ky.) Fishes Kentucky Mammoth Cave. Historical and descriptive narrative of the Mammoth Cave of Kentucky  : including explanations of the causes concerned in its formation, its atmospheric conditions, its chemistry, geology, zoology, etc., with full scientific details of the eyelyeless fishes / by W. Stump Forwood. text Historical and descriptive narrative of the Mammoth Cave of Kentucky  : including explanations of the causes concerned in its formation, its atmospheric conditions, its chemistry, geology, zoology, etc., with full scientific details of the eyelyeless fishes / by W. Stump Forwood. 1870 2002 true xt769p2w4158 section xt769p2w4158 





















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                           -OF-

 THE WORKINGMEN'S CLUB
                  OF GERMANTOWN.


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  No person shall be allowed more than two volumes at one time.

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made good, to the satisfaction of the EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE, by the
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                  J\To.

 
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THE MAMMOTH CAVE.



 




































GOTHIC CETL.

 
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AN



   HISTORICAL AND DESCRIPTIVE NARRATIVE

                     OF THE


MAMMOTH CAVE OF KENTUCKY.

                    INCLUDING



EXPLANATIONS OF THE CAUSES CONCERNED IN I I'S FOR-
      RATION, ITS ATMOSPHERIC COND[TIONS, ITS
         CHEMISTRY, GEOLOGY, ZOOLOGY, ETC.

                     WITH

FULL SCIENTIFIC DETAILS OF THE EYELESS FISHES.



                      BY



       W. STUMP FORWOOD, M.D.,
MEMBER OF THE AMERICAN MEDTCAL ASSOCIATTON, OF THE MEDICAL AND CUIURGICAL
              FACULTY OF MARYLAN'D, ETC.



            WITH ILLUSTRATIONS.



              PHILADELPHIA:
       J. B. LIPPINCOTT  CO.
                   1870.

 


































      Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1870, by

                J. B. LIPPINCOTT  CO,
In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States for the
                 Eastern Distriot of Pennsylvania.

 




























               4his Vork


                  Is

    R ESPECTFULLY     INSCRIBED

                  TO

      JAY COOK EJ, J           XP,


ONE OF TUlE COMPANIONS OF OUR JOURN VY,


    AND A LIBERAL PATRON OF LITERATURE,


              BY BIS FRIEND,



                       THE AUTHOR.
PHILADELPHIA, April, 1870.



1

 
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               CONTENTS.




                 CHAPTER I.

Introduction                    .          .  13

                 CHAPTER II.
The Cave            .   .                     19

                CHAPTER     II I.
Location of the Cave.-Meaus of Approach, and Character
  of the Surrounding Country.-The Indian Cave.-Mam-
  moth Cave Hotel, etc   .   .         .      29

                CHAPTER IV.
Atmosphere of the Cave.   .   .  .     .   .  43

                 CHAPTER V.
The Formation of the Cave, and its Connection with Green
  River   .   .   .  .   .     .   .   .   . 48

                CHAPTER VI.
                THE LONG ROUTE.
The Entrance.-The Rotunda.-The Vats and Water-pipes
  used by the Saltpetre Miners.-The Methodist Church.
  -The Giant's Coffin.-The Bottomless Pit.-Fat Man's
  Misery. - Bacon Chamber. - River Styx, and Lake
  Lethe   .     .   .    .   .   .   .   .    55
                                       (vii)

 










CONTENTS.



               CHAPTER VII.

Echo River.



PAGE
77



              CHAPTER VIII.
The Eyeless Fishes of the Cave..   .   .   .  .  84



                CHAPTER IX.
Silliman's Avenue.-Rhoda's Arcade.-Lucy's Dome, and
  Pass of El Ghor .

                CHAPTER X.
Martha's Vineyard. - Elindo Avenue. - The Holy Sepul-
  chre.-Washington Hall



               CHAPTER XI.
Cleveland's Cabinet, and the Rocky Mountain



103




110



. 117



               CHAPTER XII.
The Maelstrom.-A Perilous Adventure

              CHAPTER XIII.
The Rats, Insects, etc. of the Cave



. 129



. 136



               CHAPTER XIV.
Homeward Bound



               CHAPTER XV.

                 THE SHORT ROUTE.

Gorin's Dome.-Pensacola Avenue.-Sparks' Avenuie, and
  Mammoth Dome.-Roaring River.-Marion's Avenue,
  and the Star Chamber. .   .   .    .



141



144



niii

 










                     CONTENTS.                   iX


                CHAPTER XVI.
                                                PAGE
Proctor's Arcade.-Kinney's Arena.-Wright's Rotunda.
   -Fairy Grotto.-The Chief City, and Great Crossings . 160

                CHAPTER XVII.
Of Ancient Mummies found in the Cave. .   .   . 170

               CHAPTER XV1II.
Instances of Persons becoming Lost in the Cave.-The
   Proper Course to pursue in such Cases. .     . 195

                CHAPTER XIX.
                   GOTHIC ARCADE.
The Register Room.-Gothic Chapel.-Romantic Mar-
  riage.-How    the Stalactites and Stalagmites are
  formed.-Bonaparte's Breastworks.-The Devil's Arm-
  Chair.-Elephant's Head.-Lover's Leap.-Gatewood's
  Dining-T'able.-Napoleon's Dome.-Lake Purity.-Re-
  turn to Daylight       .   .   .     .       200

                 CHAPTER XX.
Sanitary Influences of the Cave. .   .   .   .   . 209

                CIH APTER XXI.
Parting Reflections.   .     .   .   .   .   . 213

                  APPEND IX.
Diamond Cave .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   . 217
Proctor's Cave             .     .       .     222

 
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LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.



1. Gothic Chapel .   .   .   .    . (F'ronti.piece)
2. Entrance to Long Route.   .    .   .   .   .  64
3. Deserted Chamber  .   .   .    .   .   .   .  65
4. Bottomless Pit and Bridge of Sighs. .   .   .   67
5. View from Bridge of Sighs. .    .   .   .   .  68
6. Scotchman's Trap. .   .   .    .   .   .   .  69
7. Bacon Chamber .   .   .    .   .   .   .   .   71
8. Grape Clusters in Martha's Vineyard. .   .   . 110
9. Rosa's Bower    .   .   .    .   .     .   . 125
10. Angelico's Grotto .   .   .   .    .   .   . 149
11. The Altar, in Gothic Arcade.   .   .   .   . 2M2
12. Devil's Arm-Chair .   .   .   .    .   .   . 205



(xi)

 
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   TSHE MAMMOTH CAVE.



              CHAPTER I.
                INTRODUCTION.

  IT is our purpose to describe, from our own
observations made in the spring of 1867, and
from the observations of others, that grand and
weird cavern known as the Mammoth Cave of
Kentucky,-a wonder of its kind, unequaled in
America or in the world,-within whose sub-
lime portals travelers have confessed the most
profound awe at entrance, and the greatest rap-
ture when its glorious mysteries were made visi-
ble to them.
  We did not make the visit with the view of
informing the public what was to be seen, but
simply for the purpose of gratifying our indi-
vidual curiosity.
  Finding the object to be one of greater magni-
tude than was anticipated, it occurred to us, as an
after-thought, that a short sketch might interest
a friend at home. In executing this intention,
                     2           (13)

 







THE MAMMOTH CAVE.



it was soon discovered that a surprising number
of pages were required to give even a brief in-
telligible outline of the great cavern.
   It was then suggested that the sketch which
had been commenced should be extended, and
published in book-form, that the information it
contained might be accessible to the general
public, instead of being restricted to one or two
friends, as at first designed. This suggestion,
though not consonant with our feelings when
first proposed, has, upon reflection, been adopted.
  Desiring to obtain some profitable information
in advance of our visit to the Cave, we applied
successively to the principal booksellers in Bos-
ton, New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and
Cincinnati for the purchase of a descriptive
work, and were greatly surprised and disap-
pointed by the answer in each case,-that not
one of them had any publication on the sub-
ject, neither had they any knowledge of the
existence of such a work. This deficiency in
the book-market appeared to us extraordinary,
for it is presumable that all persons of any
education in this country, and many abroad,
have heard of the existence of the Cave, and
are aware that it is a curiosity of more than
ordinary importance; it is therefore a matter



14

 







THE MAMMOTH CAVE.



of astonishment that no general account of it
can be obtained among the booksellers by those
who are desirous of information regarding its
wonders.
  Upon arriving at the Cave we found a small
pamphlet for sale, entitled "A  Guide Manual
to the Mammoth Cave of Kentucky.       By
Charles W. Wright, M.D., Professor of Chem-
istry in the Kentucky School of Medicine,
formerly Professor of Chemistry in the Medical
College of Ohio." Printed at Louisville, Ky.,
by Bradley  Gilbert, 1860.
  This manual explains very satisfactorily the
chemical and mechanical causes which were
exerted in the formation of the Cave, and
briefly indicates all the chief points of interest
which should attract the notice of the visitor
in his explorations, and, we believe, is thor-
oughly reliable in all these particulars.  Its
circulation, however, is limited to those who
visit the Cave, rarely coming before the general
reader; and it is probable that the majority of
visitors, as in our case, have no opportunity of
examining and profiting by it until after their
departure, and tesn it is generally thrown aside
and forgotten.
  Since our visit we have made every effort to



15

 







THE MAMMOTH CAVE.



procure all that has been written on the subject,
with the hope of thus making our account as
complete as possible. We have, therefore, de-
layed its publication for nearly three years.
  We have succeeded in obtaining four short
articles, chiefly scientific, in as many different
numbers of Silliman's "American Journal of
Science and Arts," written by Professors Lock,
Agassiz, Silliman, and Wyman,-the first dating
back as far as 1842; also a rather lengthy
description given by our great American trav-
eler, Bayard Taylor, who charmingly invests
every sketch of Nature's works touched by his
pen with the glowing light of romance, so
appropriate in this case.
  We have also found a copy of a manual
called " Pictorial Guide to the Mammoth Cave,
Kentucky. By the Rev. Horace Martin." New
York: Stringer  Townsend, 1851; with ten
illustrations, pp. (including blanks for notes)
116,-long out of print.   A brief article on
the Cave, in a book entitled "The Hundred
Wonders of the World," has recently been
brought to our notice; also an article in
Collins's "History of Kentucky" (1847), and
a few pages in Dr. Poucher's work on the
Universe, etc., translated from the French,



16

 







THE MAMMOTH CAVE.



1870.  The pamphlet of Dr. Binkerd ("The
Mammoth Cave and its Denizens: A Complete
Descriptive Guide. By A. D. Binkerd, M.D."
Cincinnati: Robert Clarke  Co., Printers,
1869.-Pamphlet, pp. 96) has appeared since
the greater part of the present work has been
in manuscript; and in completing our materials
for the press we are unable to derive any assist-
ance from the work of Dr. Binkerd.
  Several newspaper articles, worthy of but
little attention, have also come under our
notice.
  At the eleventh hour, since our manuscript
was placed in the hands of the printers, we
have succeeded, through the kindness of Mr.
John R. Proctor, of Maysville, Ky., in procur-
ing a copy of a work entitled " Rambles in the
Mammoth Cave during the Year 1844. By a
Visitor." Louisville, Ky.: Morton  Griswold,
1845.
  This list comprises all the works on the
subject that we have any knowledge of, with
the exception of one by Mr. Lee, Civil En-
gineer, published about the year 1840, said to
be of some value, but the most diligent search
on our part has proved unsuccessful in finding a
single copy.
                     2



17

 







18           THE MAMMOTH CAVE.

  In preparing this history of the Mammoth
Cave, we make as much use as possible of the
materials just mentioned, collating their agree-
ments and disagreements with our own obser-
vations. We are chiefly indebted, however, to
the valuable Manual of Professor Wright for all
measurements and material facts, such as can
be acquired only by a protracted series of obser-
vations; and we trust that this general an-
nouncement of the authorities that we draw
upon will serve us in many instances instead of
quotation-marks.



 













CHAPTER II.



                   THE CAVE.

  IN order that the reader may form, at the
outset, some idea of the general outline and
physical character of the Mammoth Cave, we
will ask him to imagine the channel of a large
and winding river, with tributaries at intervals,
some of them the size of the main stream,
emptying into the chief river, like, for instance,
the Missouri and Ohio joining the Mississippi;
these tributaries also receiving their support
from creeks, branches, and rivulets, some of
them quite small and extending but a short
distance, while others are much larger, longer,
and more beautiful. Now, it is easy to imagine
these rivers as being under ground, or having
a surface-covering of earth and rock, and that
their rugged channels and banks have ceased,
from some cause, to be bathed with the waters
which, in ages long past, flowed so freely along
them; in fact, that they are perfectly dry, except
in a few of the avenues.
                                    ( 19)

 







THE MAMMOTH CAVE.



  By the aid of this illustration it may also be
comprehended why so much travel is neces-
sary, as will be presently stated, to visit the
different parts of the Cave. We are obliged to
follow each tributary of the chief river to its
source, and to return by the same route to its
mouth, at the point of our departure; thus
duplicating the distances of all the rivers,
creeks, etc.
  It is exceedingly difficult to obtain informa-
tion regarding the early history of the Cave,
simply from the fact that it was not explored to
any great extent for several years after its dis-
covery, and that the early explorers did not
regard it as a curiosity of sufficient importance
to call for the publication of any detailed ac-
count. It has been stated by Bayard Taylor,
and others, that the discovery of the Cave
dated back as far as the year 1802; but we are
fortunate in possessing a highly'interesting and
valuable letter from Mr. Frank Gorin, a former
proprietor of the Cave, addressed to the author
some months after his visit, and, with permis-
sion, hereto appended in full, which fixes the
date of the discovery in the year 1809. The



 At Home and Abroad: A Sketch-Book of Lfe, Scenery, and
Men. By Bayard Taylor. New York, G. P. Putnam  Son, 1867.



20

 







THE MAMMOTH CAVE.



letter contains several facts that will here
anticipate their regular order, and will again
be adverted to:
                       "GLASGOW, Ky., Feb. 9, 1868.
"W. STUMP FORWOOD, M.D
    " DEAR SIR:
  "I am in receipt of yours of the 27th ultimo.
You desire all the information I can give re-
specting the date of the discovery, the early his-
tory, the operations of the saltpetre miners, etc.
of the Mammoth Cave.
  "This part of Kentucky was peopled and
settled in the latter part of the eighteenth and
early part of the nineteenth century.   The
Mammoth Cave is situated on the south side of
Green River, and not far from its banks. It
was discovered in the year 1809, by a man
named Houchins, by running a bear into it.
The entrance was small, although there was a
large 'sink' at the mouth. This is not the
original mouth or entrance: the original mouth
is about one-fourth of a mile north, or north-
west, from the present entrance. It is a deep
hole, perhaps fifty feet across at the top, and was
doubtless the site, years, years ago, of one of
those large springs so often found near the
south bank of Green River. There is a spring



21

 







THE MAMMOTH CAVE.



at the present entrance of the Cave; the water,
no doubt, caused the falling of the roof, and
closed up at that place the channel leading
from the former mouth.
  "Very few persons know of the original
  mouth,' as the Cave at its present mouth is
filled up with rocks, dirt, etc.
  "When first discovered, the Cave was not
considered of much value. It sold, with about
two hundred acres of land, for about forty
dollars.
  " McLean, I believe, was the first person who
attempted to make saltpetre there, perhaps in.
the year 1811. He sold to Gatewood, who en-
larged the works.  le, in turn, sold to Gratz
 Wilkins (Gratz of Philadelphia, and Wilkins
of Lexington, Ky.); they, during the War of
1812, made large quantities of saltpetre, and
wagoned it principally to Philadelphia. Their
agent at the Cave was an Irish gentleman by
the name of Archibald Miller. The work
during the War of 1812 was mostly done by
negroes, some of theni working in the Cave
without coming out for an entire year. They

 This is singular, as they were rarely ever more than one
mile from the entrance.-W. S. F.



22

 







THE MAMMOTH CAVE.



came out healthy, and had a beautiful gloss,
with shining faces and skins.
   "After the War of 1812-14 it was no longer
profitable to make saltpetre at the Cave, on
account of the importation of the East Indian
article in the Eastern market, at rates much
cheaper than it could be wagoned from the
Cave.
  "When Messrs. Gratz  Wilkins ceased to
make saltpetre, after having acquired sixteen
hundred and ten acres of land over and around
the Cave, they continued their faithful, true,
and honest agent, Miller, to overlook and take
care of the property and to show the Cave to
the curious. About the year 1816, Mr. Miller
placed the Cave and other property in the
possession of his brother-in-law, Mr. Moore, and
his wife, both Irish, of the old stock. Mr. Moore
had been wealthy, and a large merchant in
Philadelphia. Unfortunately, he was seduced
into unlawful acts by Blennerhassett, the friend
of Burr, and was pecuniarily ruined.   The
Moores left there some time afterward, when
Gatewood took possession, and showed the
Cave to all visitors for years; but it did not
pay, and he left.
  " In 1837 I purchased the Cave and prop-



23

 








THE MAMMOTH CAVE.



erty, when it was in a dilapidated state, and
placed Mrs. Moore there (Mr. Moore having
previously died), together with Archibald Mil-
ler, her nephew, and son of the previous oc-
cupant of the same name, as my agents. They
were residing there when I sold the Cave and
property to Dr. John Crogan, who continued
Mrs. Moore and Mr. Miller, Jr. in charge
during  their lives.   Dr. Crogan    devised  the
estate to Mr. Gwathmey and Judge J. R.
Underwood, for the use of eleven nephews
and nieces. Judge Underwood is the surviv-
ing trustee, and is now managing the estate.
  "It was while I owned the property that a
nephew of mine, Mr. Charles F. Harvey (now a
merchant in Louisville, Ky.), was lost in the
Cave for thirty-nine hours. After he was
found, I determined to have further explora-
tions made. At that time no person had ever

 We remember having seen a statement in the newspapers,
years ago, to the effect that Dr. Crogan, while visiting objects
of interest in Europe, was repeatedly asked for information
regarding the Mammoth Cave; and, as the result of the mor-
tification induced by his total ignorance of the subject, on his
return home he visited the curiosity, and purchased the prop-
erty, with the view of imparting more extended knowledge
of this great American wonder to his countrymen and to travel.
ers from other lands.-W. S. F.



24

 






THE MAMMOTH CAVE.



been beyond the 'Bottomless Pit.' We dis-
covered 'Gorin's Dome,' covering    nearly  an
acre of ground, and perhaps five hundred feet
high.
   " I placed a guide in the Cave,-the celebrated
and great STEPHEN,-and he aided in making
the discoveries. He was the first person who
ever crossed the 'Bottomless Pit;' and he, my-
self, and another person, whose name I have
forgotten, were the only persons ever at the
bottom of ' Gorin's Dome,' to my knowledge.
  "After Stephen crossed the 'Bottomless Pit,'
we discovered all that part of the Cave now
known beyond that point. Previous to those
discoveries, all interest centered in what is
known as the 'Old Cave,' the chief points of
attraction being the 'Star Chamber,' the
'Cataract,' 'The Chief City,' ' Robber's Cave,'
'Lover's  Leap,'  ' Bonaparte's  Breastworks,'
'Gatewood's Dining Table,' 'Black Chambers,'
'Grotto,' etc. etc.; but now many of these points
are but little known, although, as Stephen was

 Mr. Gorin, in a subsequent letter to the writer, states that
possibly this estimate of the dimensions of the Dome is too
great, as our own observations confirm; but he believes that Dr.
Wright's estimate, which we will hereafter give, is much below
the actual measurements.-W. S. F.
                      3



25

 








THE MAMMOTH CAVE.



wont to say, they were 'grand, gloomy, and
peculiar.'
   " Many attenmpted descriptions of the Cave
have been published in the newspapers; and
several pamphlet publications have been made;
but I know of none now existing. Many of
the newspaper articles were utterly false.
  " Stephen was a self-educated man; be had
a fine genius, a great fund of wit and humor,
some little knowledge of Latin and Greek, and
much knowledge of geology; but his great
talent was a perfect knowledge of man.
  "I have been compelled to write you this
letter in great haste, but you may rely upon
the facts as stated.
                           "Yours truly,
                                    "1 F. GORIN."

   It has been said that Stephen was partly of Indian ex-
traction. In reply to a subsequent letter addressed to Mr.
Gorin, on this and other points, he remarks, "There was not
any Indian blood in Stephen's veins. I knew his reputed father,
who was a white man. I owned Stephen's mother and brother,
but not until after both of the children were born. Stephen was
certainly a very extraordinary boy and man. His talents were of
the first order. He was trustworthy and reliable; he was com-
panionable; he was a hero, and could be a clown. He knew a
gentleman or a lady as if by instinct. He learned whatever he
wished, without trouble or labor; and it is said that a late pro-
fessor of geology spoke highly of his knowledge in that depart.
ment of science."



26

 








THE MAMMOTH CAVE.



   From data that we have obtained from
various sources, we learn that the " Bottomless
Pit" was not crossed, nor the great curiosities
beyond dreamed of, for about thirty years after
what is called the "Main Cave" had been
explored.    Indeed, it   is  known    that many
avenues, with their hidden treasures, have not
to the present day been trodden by mortal
footsteps. So much has already been explored
that curiosity appears to be satiated.
  It is said that about one hundred and fifty
miles of travel is required to visit the parts of
the Cave that have already been traversed; and
we were informed by the guides that avenues
were known to them which would probably
increase the extent of travel to two hundred
miles.

 Since the foregoing was penned, we have been informed by
the proprietor of the Cave Hotel, Mr. L. J. Proctor, in a letter
dated March 12, 1870, that " Two years ago three of the guides
at the Cave, Messrs. F. M. De Monbrum and Charles and A. Mer-
ideth, discovered a new avenue in the Mammoth Cave, branching
off from the Pass of El Ghor, just beyond Ole Bull's Concert
Room. They first entered a narrow crevice, through which they
passed some seventy yards, when they entered a large cave,
which they explored for many miles, and from which many
branching avenues led off, which they did not explore. They de-
scribe this newly-discovered avenue as extremely grand, and in
many places beautiful. They crossed a large, and as yet unex-



27

 










28               THE MAMMOTH CAVE.

plored, river. and found that the main avenue terminated in a
dome more extensive than any that they had ever seen. What was
beyond this dome they could not conjecture, as they were unable
to enter it from the avenue. They estimate that they traveled
eight miles in this one avenue. I have not seen it myself. The
explored portions of the Cave that I have visited constitute
within themselves an under-ground world; and I am satisfied that I
have traveled from 150 to 200 miles in the different avenues, upon
the Long Route especially. There is a perfect wilderness of Cave
that is never seen or dreamed of by visitors generally, and many
parts more beautiful than those ordinarily seen by parties making
the Long Route. I refer particularly to Marion's Avenue, Ali-
da's Avenue, Murdock's Pass, and out Boone's Avenue and the
regions of Mystic River."



 
















CHAPTER III.



LOCATION OF TIE CAVE, MEANS OF APPROACH, AND CHAR.
  ACTER OF THE SURROUNDING COUNTRY.-THE INDIAN
  CAVE.-MAMMOTH CAVE HOTEL, ETC.

  THE Mammoth Cave is situated in Edmonson
County, in the southern part of Kentucky.
  It is most readily approached from the North
by way of Louisville, by the Louisville  Nash-
ville Railroad, which has long since super-
seded the old stage-coaches. The distance from
Louisville is about ninety-five miles, or about
one-half the distance between that city and
Nashville.
  The station at which passengers left the rail-
road at the time of our visit is called Cave City,
a point about ten miles from the Cave.
  Visitors from the South come by way of Nash-
ville to the same point. The high-sounding
name of " City," as applied to this place, re-
minded us forcibly of the vest of the hero of
the comic song, which, he said,
                      3            (29

 








THE MAMMOTH CAVE.



                 "was big enough for two;
            But there is nothing strange in that,
          For the tailor saw, without a doubt,
            I some day would grow fat 1"
   This "City" consists of about a dozen ordi-
nary-looking houses; but, possessing an ample
title in advance, it may be presumed that it will
some day grow large.
   The hotel from which the stage-coach line
starts is small, but the traveler is very comfort-
ably entertained.
   We were conveyed from this "City" to the
Cave in coaches, the distance being, as before
stated, about ten miles,-by some estimated at
nine, and by others at eleven.-t
  The surface of the country over which this
road passes is high, hilly, rocky, and the soil of
an apparently poor quality. It is interesting to
note the surface-appearance along the route, for
the reason that, for some distance, this road is

 Since the above was written, we regret to learn that this little
city was, on January 17, 1870, almost totally destroyed by a tor-
nado, during which several of the inhabitants lost their lives.
t We have recently noticed in the newspapers that, to the great
comfort and convenience of visitors, horse-cars have been substi-
tuted for the stage-coaches on the route from Cave City to the
Cave; but our inquiries, addressed to parties in the neighborhood
for a confirmation of this report, have not yet (April 1, 1870)
been replied to.



30

 







THE MAMMOTH CAVE.



supposed to pass directly over a considerable
portion of the Cave. At the date of our journey
-the latter part of May-this road was in a
comparatively good condition; but in the winter
and early part of the spring it is said to be al-
most impassable to travelers. The greater part
of the soil is a light-colored, sticky clay, with
a little sand at intervals. The rocks are com-
posed chiefly of soft white limestone, easily
acted upon by chemical and mechanical agen-
cies; hence we find them excavated and jag-
ged, presenting rough, irregular outlines; their
outside color is of a dirty, grayish character,
owing to exposure to the elements, but the inte-
rior is white.
  There are small cultivated patches of ground
here and there, scarcely deserving the name of
farms. The country generally is covered with
straggling forests, consisting chiefly of " black-
jack," white oak, chestnut, etc.  Frequently
along the road may be seen small circular de-
pressions in the ground, called "sinks," the
surface having fallen in in consequence of sub-
terraneous excavation. The whole of the sur-
rounding country appears to be of a cavernous
nature; and, if the traveler should be so unfor-
tunate as to possess a timid disposition or large



31

 







THE MAMMOTH CAVE.



development of caution, he might be apprehen-
sive of a sudden disappearance of the stage-
coach into the bowels of the earth.
  There are several caves in this vicinity,
-namely, Proctor's Cave, about three miles in
length; White's Cave, Diamond Cave, and the
Indian Cave, each of which is about one mile
in length.
  The Indian Cave opens directly on the stage-
route; an(d, as the coaches halt sufficiently long
to give visitors an opportunity of examining it,
we embraced the occasion for preparing our
senses, in this minor cave, for witnessing the
stupendous curiosities yet in store for us. An
exceedingly loquacious young man acted as our
guide. He stated that he discovered the Cave
himself, six years previously, and was joint
proprietor with his father, who lived near by.
  The ingress to this Cave is quite difficult.
The descent fronm the road to the mouth of the
Cave is almost perpendicular, and the distance
is about one hundred feet. The mouth itself
consists of a circular passage about three feet in
diameter, and eight feet deep. The descent is
made at this point by the aid of rude wooden
steps. In answer to an inquiry why greater
conveniences for entrance were not provided, we



32

 







TH1 MAMMOTH CAVE.



received the unsatisfactory reply that he did not
wish to disturb the original appearances of nature.
  Upon reaching the foot of the ladder, we
found ourselves in an open space, somewhat
higher than a man's head, and about ten or
fifteen feet wide.
  This cave apparently extends in nearly a
direct line. We say apparently, for it is impos-
sible for an individual who enters a dark hole
under ground, for the first time, to form a cor-
rect idea of direction or distance.
  The length of this cave, as before remarked,
is about one mile. The floor being compara-
tively smooth, and nearly level, there was but
little fatigue attending the exploration.
  There is a considerable number of very hand-
some stalactites and stalagmites to be seen in
this Cave, the beauty of which will fully repay
the visitor for the time thus occupied.
  One of the chief curiosities of the Indian
Cave is the Pool of Bethesda. It is a fountain
of pure, limpid water, about four feet in diameter,
and nearly circular in form, and is mantled
around with delicate, coral-like formation stalag-
mites, giving it the appearance of a rustic work
of art. We partook freely of the water, and
found it agreeable to the palate.



33

 







THE MAMMOTH CAVE.



  Another point of inte