In 1994 I was treated to a extremely special vacation to Lookout Mountain Cave, down below Ruby Falls. We were acquiring supper at a friend’s dwelling, and at our table we satisfied a couple from Lafayette, Georgia. We began conversing about caving and Pettyjohn Cave in close proximity to Lafayette, when he explained to me that he was heading on a specific excursion to Ruby Falls. He realized a cave guide there who was getting a group of town official from Lafayette to the lessen cave in Ruby Falls on the pursuing Tuesday, April 19th. He invited me to arrive if I would like. I experienced to consider off from get the job done and drive up early, but I understood that it would be well worth it. A once in a life time practical experience and my only probability to see Lookout Mountain Cave!

When I arrived I was the only a single gown in caving equipment, the others only experienced hand held flashlights, but they were amazed as we enter the foyer and the elevator.

Just after a extended slow ride to the bottom, we exited the elevator into a passage of Lookout Mountain Cave. The electric powered lights had been turned on. A string of lights with 50 percent of them burnt out and spread significantly aside. I remember wanting thoroughly at the rusted frame of the elevator and was amazed that it was nevertheless performing in the soaked disorders of the cave.

Whilst Lookout Mountain Caverns has not been open up to vacationers for rather some time, the administration of Ruby Falls did allow for researchers to choose the elevator (the shaft excavated in 1928-1929) down to Lookout Mountain Caverns by prior arrangement. This access resulted in the discovery of new passages given that Barr’s description was released in 1961. It also resulted in the discovery of prehistoric bones dating back to the final Ice Age (Pleistocene). A lot of old names and dates in this cave are of excellent curiosity to historians. The map of the cave in Barr’s guide implies the existence of “Andy Jackson’s Signature.” Sadly, in 2005 the Point out of Tennessee’s elevator inspectors needed the Ruby Falls operators to seal the part of the elevator shaft beneath Ruby Falls and the cave is now completely inaccessible in 2006.

Just one of the 1st things the tutorial confirmed us was the Signature of Andrew Jackson, The protective glass was very long absent but the bolts that held it in location had been nonetheless there, and you could just make out the signature.

The lessen component of the cave was flooded and the stairs led down to the h2o. As we have been searching at the passage beneath, the guideline discussed that the h2o crammed passage connected up with the dry passage in the direction we were heading. I questioned if we could choose it and join up with the group at the junction. Two of us, my close friend I achieved at the dinner and I followed the stream passage with the h2o over our waistline. Following what seem to be like a prolonged drinking water hike, we heard voices and joined up with the rest of the group, soaking wet.

We continued by way of the cave toward the first entrance which is now blocked by the railroad tunnel, we read a single prepare pass as a result of although we were there. We took a fantastic glance at the rock ballet containers that had been along the facet of the passage and ended up advised that they have been employed for early voting. Even though tough to imagine, they did have a square gap in the best.

In 1905 the entrance to Lookout Mountain Cave was forever sealed by the railroad tunnel, and in 1928 an elevator shaft was dug by Leo Lambert 420 feet down into the acknowledged cave. At the 260 foot stage an opening of eighteen inches superior and five feet vast, was found. This led to the now clearly show cave, Ruby Falls named immediately after Mr. Lambert’s wife Ruby. In 1929 the tours were being opened to the decrease authentic cave. A yr later Ruby Falls was open up to the public. And in 1935 the excursions to the original cave were discontinued, in 2006 the rusty elevator was changed and the shaft to the decrease cave sealed off.