Sunday, June 1, 2008

1878 Cave Mummy Discovery

From the Freeborn County Standard, July 18, 1878:

"The Glasgow Junction, (KY.) correspondent of the Cincinnati Commercial says: "Another wonderful cave has recently been discovered near this town. It has already been explored for a distance of twenty-three miles in one direction, called the long route, and sixteen miles in another direction, called the short route.

"The avenues are very wide, a span of horses can easily be driven through for a distance of eleven miles. Three rivers, wide and very deep, are encountered on the long route. One of them is navigable for fourteen miles, until the passages become too narrow to admit a boat. This forms the third, or river route, which has to be explored in a boat.

"This cave is wonderful beyond description, and far surpasses in grandeur the Mammoth, or any other cave ever before discovered. Several mummified remains have been discovered in one of the large rooms. They were reposing in stone coffins, rudely constructed, and from appearances, they may have been in this cave for centuries. They present every appearance of the Egyptian mummies.

"Great excitement prevails over this very important discovery. Mr. Edwin Mortimore, of Chestnut street, Louisville, Ky., purchased three of the mummies, and has them now in his possession.

"Maj. George M. Proctor, of Glasgow Junction, Ky., purchased the remainder of the mummies from the owner of the cave, whose name is Thomas Kelly. He is, or rather was, a few days ago, a very poor man, struggling to make a payment on a farm of twenty-four acres, upon which, by mere accident, the entrance of this wonderful cave was discovered.

"He realized about $400 from the sale of the mummies, and is now offered $10,000 cash for the cave.

"The entrance to the cave is within the town limits, and is only about two minutes' walk from the depot, which makes it very valuable indeed, as visitors will not be compelled to travel five miles in a stage coach, as they do if desirous of visiting Mammoth cave, which is five miles from the town. In fact, all the celebrated caves of Kentucky are located in this immediate vicinity. The surface is very much broken, full of great elevations and depressions, with everything to indicate that there were volcanic eruptions or violent upheavals of the earth at some period."
So exactly what cave is being referred to here? And where are these mummies now? And who the heck is Edwin Mortimore?


Barturtle said...

Until the early 1900's most of Mammoth Cave was considered to be many separate cave, not one huge system. it is likely that this cave they refer to was one are of that are now part of Mammoth, or there are also several caves in the area that are closed to visitors to protect the bat population

JSH said...

Update: turns out this story is a fake. It's one of hoaxster Joseph Mulhattan's made-up news reports.