Pass of El Ghor—Silliman’s Avenue—Wellington’s Gallery—Sulphur Spring—Mary’s Vineyard—Holy Sepulchre—Commencement of Cleveland Avenue—By whom Discovered—Beautiful Formations—Snow-ball Room— Rocky Mountains—Croghan’s Hall—Serena’s Arbor—Dining Table— Dinner Party and Toast—Hoax of the Guide—Homeward Bound Passage— Conclusion.
Having now left the Echo, we have a walk of four miles to Cleveland’s Avenue. The intervening points are of great interest; but it would occupy too much time to describe them. We will therefore hurry on through the pass of El Ghor, Silliman’s Avenue, and Wellington’s Gallery, to the foot of the ladder which leads up to the Elysium of Mammoth cave. And here, for the benefit of the weary and thirsty, and of all others whom it may interest, coming after us, be it known, that Carneal’s Spring is close at hand, and equally near, a sulphur spring, the water of which, equals in quality and quantity that of the far-famed White Sulphur Spring, of Virginia. At the head of the ladder, you find yourself surrounded by overhanging stalactites, in the form of rich clusters of grapes, hard as flint, and round and polished, as if done by a sculptor’s hand. This is called Mary’s Vineyard—the commencement of Cleveland’s Avenue, the crowning wonder and glory of this subterranean world. Proceeding to the right about, a hundred feet from this spot, over a rough and rather difficult way, you reach the base of the height or hill, on which, stands the Holy Sepulchre. This interesting spot is reached at some hazard, as the ascent, which is very steep, and more than twenty feet high, affords no secure footing, owing to the loose and shingly character of the surface, until the height is gained. Having achieved this, you stand immediately at the beautiful door-way of the Chapel, or anteroom of the Sepulchre. This Chapel, which is, perhaps, twelve feet square, with a low ceiling, and decorated in the most gorgeous manner, with well-arranged draperies of stalactite of every imaginable shape, leads you to the room of the Holy Sepulchre adjoining, which is without ornament or decoration of any kind; exhibiting nothing but dark and bare walls—like a charnel house. In the centre of this room, which stands a few feet below the Chapel, is, to all appearance, a grave, hewn out of the living rock. This is the Holy Sepulchre. A Roman Catholic priest discovered it about three years ago, and with fervent enthusiasm exclaimed, “The Holy Sepulchre!” a name which it has since borne. Returning from the Holy Sepulchre, we commence our wanderings through Cleveland’s Avenue—an avenue three miles long, seventy feet wide, and twelve or fifteen feet high—an avenue more rich and gorgeous than any ever revealed to man—an avenue abounding in formations such as are no where else to be seen, and which the most stupid observer could not behold without feelings of wonder and admiration. Some of the formations in the avenue, have been denominated