Remarkable Howe Caverns Story
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Remarkable Howe Caverns Story

3.33 (3 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

Just as dramatic as the caverns' features-walls of colored floorstone, gigantic columns of stalactites and stalagmites, murderously tight squeezes and vast open galleries-is the story of their evolution from natural wonder to tourist attraction. Noted natural historian Dana Cudmore examines this spectacular natural phenomenon, which is greeted by nearly a quarter of a million visitors each year. Packed with fascinating historical photographs, The Remarkable Howe Caverns Story is a remarkable and compelling account of man's interaction with nature.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 166 pages
  • 137.4 x 204.5 x 13.2mm | 136.08g
  • Overlook Press
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • Reissue
  • 1585672467
  • 9781585672462

Back cover copy

Back in 1842 in the foothills of the Catskills, the eccentric Scoharie County farmer Lester Howe began to wonder why his cows stood out in the sun rather than under the shade trees nearby. Taking a closer look, he discovered a chill breeze blowing up from a brush-covered hole in the earth. Soon Howe and an intrepid neighbor were making lengthy and primitive explorations below ground, and each time the two returned, mud-covered, to the surface, they spoke of a cavern system that amazed them with its extent and complexity. The cave had long before been known to the Indians, who called it "Otsgaragee"--the Cave of the Great Galleries--but Howe's chance rediscovery is really the first chapter in the dramatic tale of one of America's oldest and greatest commercial caves. One of the first caverns opened to the public, Howe's Cave was an immediate success. The wonders witnessed by those and later tourists were many: walls of colored flowstone, gigantic columns of stalactites and stalagmites, murderously tight squeezes and vast open galleries. Sky-rockets were fired to illuminate the caverns' highest ceilings; Howe conducted experiments in sound in the cave, with fiddle or tin-horn, and later, bands played full concerts in "the Music Room". Visitors, entranced by the cascading waters of the caverns' stream, floated crude rafts cautiously across a crystal underground lake. With Howe, they shared his discoveries: the Harp, the Winding Way, Bridal Chamber, the Rotunda, Bottomless Valley of Jehosophat, Fat Man's Misery--to name just a few of the highlights. But just as dramatic as the caverns' features is its 150-year history. Howe's Cave saw its fortunes fall and rise again; sunken into declinethrough the turn of the century, the cave was closed to the public and partially destroyed when the new owners began blasting limestone in a cement-making venture. But after sinking a 15-foot elevator shaft, building stone steps, and laying 24 miles of wire and cable, the new Howe Caverns in 1929 held its grand reopening and scored a resounding success: nearly a quarter of a million people have toured the caverns every year since.show more

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