Friday, September 7, 2012

Cave of the Mad Poetess-Part 2

The cave in which Maude Phillips and her bohemian tribe lived in 1917/18 is described in some detail in a contemporary newspaper account. 

We shall have to imagine a flag pole with Old Glory out front, but the fallen tree makes a nice remembrance.

The furnishings are all gone.  That little pile of twigs in the center is a fire pit from recent visitors, but probably occupies the same spot and serves the same purpose as a "boiler" that Maude put there to create smoke and repel mosquitoes.  Note the dark notch along the left wall.  The newspaper article describes this as being packed with books.  I was a little surprised to see no real trace of any gate system.  It is a bad idea to leave kegs of beer unsecured.  It is a really bad idea to leave dynamite accessable!

Artistic types still seem to find solace and inspiration at this spot.  Here are some interesting gargoyle faces.  Maude would have liked 'em.

If you go way to the back you can find traces of the cave's earlier use.  Remember E.R. Hantzsch, the guy who ran beer down a pipe to store it here?  Well, here is where the pipe used to run.

Various bricks and such suggest that there was some sort of man hole at one point.  But I also see the small pipe sized opening in the top still there after 142 years!

The fill pipe of course was at the back of the cave.  It seems to have been cut into a small extension of the natural cave, so there was a ledge and a little space that I could not see up into.  But, I could lift my camera  and take a flash photo.  Ever get that weird sense that there just has to be something hidden somewhere?  Well, sure enough:

A stashed key!  I wonder what it opens?

The cave is in a tranquil spot.  A heron fishes in the water below.  No city noise rises above the rippling sounds of a small rapids.  While scampering up and down the river bank I saw nobody other than a woman who seemed to be picking up broken bits of tile and brick.  I am pretty sure she is one of the local artistic community.  Whether she is the re-incarnated spirit of Maude Phillips is less certain.

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