Published June 13, 2011 Submitted by: Renee
New underground lake is found in Wonder Cave of the Ozarks
Springfield Leader January 27, 1921 page 1 and 10.
“…pool of undetermined size discovered by explorer in Marvel Cave, Stone County
By Harold Nelson
“The natural wonders of Marvel Cave, located in Stone County, 50 miles south of Springfield, have gained further interest through the discovery of another underground lake of considerable extent. The lake connects with Lake Genevieve [note: see page 157 in Caves of Missouri for map], formerly considered the end of the waterway in the great cave.
“The lake was discovered last week by Pete Alexander, owner of a drug store at Branson. A partial exploration of the lake has been made and Alexander is building a special collapsible boat to continue the exploration. A small passageway near the entrance of the cave makes it impossible to take a larger boat into the cave. R. H. Condie, Springfield Boy Scout executive, Dr. G.D. Callaway, director of the Greene county health association, T. Stanley Skinner, dean of the Drury College School of Music, E.S. Shipp and a representative of the The Leader visited the cave yesterday to explore the new found lake, but due to the lack of equipment were unable to get to the shores of the lake.
Joins Lake Genevieve
“The lake is beyond Lake Genevieve, which connects with No Name river, a stream which was discovered many years ago. Seven years ago a group of men from Chicago and a St. Louis newspaperman carried two air tanks through the passages of the cave leading to No Name river and improvised a float on which one of the party floated down the river several hundred feet. He discovered Lake Genevieve, a lake a few hundred feet in width and in length.
“That Lake Genevieve was the end of No Name river was the belief of the men who explored the cave. Last week Alexander on the same float went 750 feet down the river, across Lake Genevieve and in the new lake. [Two or three lines missing.] …entrance to the river or there is danger of becoming lost in the underground waterway.
pSize not determined
“Alexander said after his trip to the lake that he was unable to determine the size of the lake or the height of the ceiling over it. He was equipped with only a small carbide light.
“The Springfield men who visited the cave yesterday in an effort to view the new found lake were unable to reach its shores, although one of the number went down the river for some distance.
“Exploration work difficult.
“It is with great difficulty that the river is reached from the outside. The distance is slightly more than 1,000 feet from the chamber at the entrance of the cave. The first passage encountered on the trip to the river is known as the Rock Crawl. The passage is just large enough for a man to crawl through. The floor of the passage is rough and irregular and is made up of large rocks. It is [300?] feet in length. Water is encountered on the floor of the crawl.
“At the end of Rock Crawl are two chambers probably a hundred feet in height and as much in length, while they vary in width from 25 to 50 feet. These chambers are known as the Epsom Salts chambers on account of the outcroppings of the salts on the walls.
“At the end of the chambers another crawl, the Dry [Dust?] crawl 200 feet in length is encountered. Unlike the first crawl this one is filled with a dry dust and bats, hundreds of them. This crawl ends in a chamber called Pandemonium on account of the irregular shapes of the rocks in it. It is 60 feet high.
“Descend rope to river.
“At one end of this chamber is found a ledge at the foot of which is the river. It is necessary to be lowered over this ledge to the river’s edge, 40 feet below. Only a slender person could visit the river as the crevasse in the ledge in which the visitor must be lowered is only a foot wide in places and extremely hard to squeeze through.
For travel on the river a float has been constructed. It is made of two air tanks held together with ropes and boards. The passenger lies down on the float and with a light fastened to his hat, paddles his way with his hands. A sudden turn to the side with the body would mean falling off the float and a bath in the cold water of the river.
“Cave is wonder place.
“Marvel cave, probably the most wonderful cave in the world, was purchased 31 years ago by W. H. Lynch at that time connected with the diplomatic corps of the Canadian government. He visited the place every year until seven years ago, when he and his daughter, Miss Mariam, went there to live. They reside in a quaint old log cabin a quarter of a mile from the entrance to the cave. He owns not only the cave but 800 acres of timber land around it. Although now nearly 80 years of age Mr. Lynch seldom misses a daily visit to the cave.
“Entrance to the cave is gained by descending stairs 150 feet in length. Here the visitor alights on a pile of debris, millions of tons, which has fallen onto the floor of the great chamber. This chamber is between 165 to 185 feet in height [missing lines] The chamber, without removing the debris, could easily accommodated the ten-story Landers building and still there would be room left.
“Monster stalagmite in cave.
“In the chamber, among other features, is a stalagmite, 100 feet in diameter. It is called Liberty bell on account of its bell shape. The size of this stalagmite raises some question as to the largest one in the country. Recently newspaper articles stated that a stalagmite 30 feet in diameter in a cave at Ha Ha Tonka was the largest one in the country. There are two rooms within the Liberty bell in which the stalagmite at Ha Ha Tonka would rest with room to spare.
“Residents of Branson are now making efforts to interest members of the legislature in the cave and surrounding country as a state park. They point out that no official visit has ever been made in the cave by a state official although at several times they have been within a few miles of it.”
In a letter from Kevin S. Lotter, Senior Manager, Attractions & Guest Services at Silver Dollar City, “The article makes reference to the area of the cave we now call the Lakes Passage. Originally called No-Name River, the body of water explored in this area of the cave consists of two connected underground lakes. The smaller Lake Genevieve is connected to the larger Lake Miriam.”
One of the classics,Caves of Missouri, is now available on line and has a map of the cave. Or see some of our other books about caves. http://thelibrary.org/blogs/article.cfm?aid=1395&lid=62