National Geographic : 1893 Jul 10
C. D.' Walcott-The Natural Bridge. bridge that extends from the plain above down to the stream below. It is described as follows: "The passage was probably created by a stream of water finding a crevice in the limestone mountain, and by the gnawing of gases, the same causes that created the natural bridge. But it has all the appear ance of design and purpose. A brief description by one who has recently seen it in the light of hundreds of candles shows at the entrance a room about twenty feet by ten, with a ceiling sixty feet in height, then a low, arched doorway into a room narrower than the former and extending forty or fifty feet up a steep flight of steps. The arches here are from fifteen to twenty feet in height, and their color a liquid blue. There are a few stalactities from the ceiling and many crystal forms on the wall. Turning here from a direct course through another arched doorway, beautifully decorated, about six feet in height, there is a round room, twenty feet in diameter and perhaps fifty feet from pit to dome. Out of the side of this springs a stone cascade, perfect as any waterfall, trans parent at the lower edge, about ten feet in length and eight in breadth. As the light is thrown upon this it has all the appearance of a living waterfall. A passage under this, over a bridge, leads to a labyrinth barely wide enough for one to pass. The arch is about fifteen feet in height and the walls glisten like polished marble. These windings extend about thirty feet and open into a well-shaped room not at any point more fifteen feet in diameter and opening, about thirty feet above, to the sky." From the description it is evident that the passage was worn by percolating waters that found their way from the plain above to the baselevel cut by the stream below, along some previously existing crevices. This process of erosion may be seen at the " Underground river " between Natural bridge and Lace falls, where a strong current of water flows through a channel in the limestone that is about ten feet above the level of Cedar creek and only exposed to view for a few feet of its length. All of the phenomena observed at Natural bridge and in the canyon of Cedar creek are repeated in many limestone regions. Some times they give rise to underground caverns, as at Mammoth cave, and more rarely to canyons and natural bridges. The illustration at the natural bridge is one of the finest known, and worthy of study by any one interested in geologic phe nomena or the beautiful in nature.
1894 Jan 31
1893 May 05