Rambles in the Mammoth Cave, during the Year 1844 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 66 pages of information about Rambles in the Mammoth Cave, during the Year 1844.
in many places.  Doct.  Locke, of the Medical College of Ohio, is, however, of the opinion, that on it was placed a dead body,—­similar contrivances being used by some Indian tribes on which to place their dead.  Although thousands have passed the spot, still this was never seen until the fall of 1841.  Ages have doubtless rolled by since this was placed here, and yet it is perfectly sound; even the bark which confines the transverse pieces shows no marks of decay.

We passed through some Side Cuts, as they are called.  These are caves opening on the sides of the avenues; and after running for some distance, entering them again.  Some of them exceed half a mile in length; but most generally they are short.  In many of them, “quartz, calcedony, red ochre, gypsum, and salts are found.”  The walking, in this part of the avenue, being rough, we progressed but slowly, until we reached the Salts Room; here we found the walls and ceiling covered with salts hanging in crystals.  The least agitation of the air causing flakes of the crystals to fall like snow.  In the Salts Room are the Indian houses, under the rocks—­small spaces or rooms completely covered—­some of which contain ashes and cane partly burnt.  The Cross Rooms, which we next come to, is a grand section of this avenue; the ceiling has an unbroken span of one hundred and seventy feet, without a column to support it!  The mouths of two caves are seen from this point, neither of which we visited, and much to our loss, as will appear from the following extract from the “Notes on the Mammoth Cave, by E.F.  Lee, Esq., Civil Engineer,” in relation to one of them—­the Black Chambers: 

“At the ruins in the Black Chambers, there are a great many large blocks composed of different strata of rocks, cemented together, resembling the walls, pedestals, cornices, etc., of some old castle, scattered over the bottom of the Cave.  The avenue here is so wide, as to make it quite a task to walk from one side to the other.  On the right hand, beyond the ruins, you enter the right branch, on the same level—­the ceiling of which is regularly arched.  Through the Big Chimneys you ascend into an upper room, about the size of the Main Cave, the bottom of which is higher than the ceiling of the one below.  Proceeding on we soon heard the low murmurings of a water-fall,—­the sound of which becomes louder and louder as we advanced, until we reached the Cataract.  In the roof are perforations as large as a hogshead, on the right hand side, from which water is ever falling, on ordinary occasions in not very large quantities; but after heavy rains—­in torrents; and with a horrible roar that shakes the walls and resounds afar through the Cave.  It is at such times that these cascades are worthy the name of cataracts, which they bear.  The water falling into a great funnel-shaped pit, immediately vanishes.”

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Rambles in the Mammoth Cave, during the Year 1844 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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