The hotel at Carter Caves that burned last summer will not likely be rebuilt but it is reported that a $10,000 hotel will be built at Carter City and also a park and fish pond. Carter City is located on the K&F branch of the C&O railroad and is destined to become one of the greatest summer resorts in the United States. It is within 3 miles of Carter Caves. The forests abound with wild turkey and other small game, the hillsides and valleys are decked with beautiful shrubs and flowers almost all the small fruits such as strawberries, raspberries and huckleberries grow in profusion
The newly discovered caverns on the Kinniconnick branch of the C&O railroad have been given the very odd but just title of Oligonunk. This is an old Indian name which means the place of the caves and from many curious Indian relics found in them, and a reference to American history, it is reasonable to assume these caverns were the secret abode of the Lenape tribe of Indians several hundred years ago. Since then, wind and weather closed the entrance with earth and forest trees. Oddly enough, situated where they are in the sparsely populated section of Carter County, they were only recently re-discovered by a party of Cincinnati amusement seekers, who where lost in the cave nearly the whole day, and during their wanderings, which led them through many canyons, chambers, winding avenues, domes, etc. they were greeted on every hand with wonderful formations, curious in shape, and their fears of never seeing daylight again were greatly lessened by intense interest, consequent of the many stalagmite formations from the drippings of water for more than a thousand years.
The property has been purchased and the caverns have been put in acceptable shape so that visitors, accompanied by the company's guide, may view with astonishment the works of nature in the very bowels of the earth. A visit to the caverns will not only be interesting, but instructive as well as gaining a day of enjoyment.
The management has built a large pavilion, to accommodate 1,000 people, at the base of the Honeycomb mountain, in which the four caverns are located, and has it equipped with a fine restaurant and dancing platform. It is their intention to make these caverns the most popular and interesting excursion resort on the line of the C&O railway.
HAMILTON OHIO Dr. Walker, of Oxford College, has arranged a very attractive holiday for his pupils. On next Saturday almost the entire school and faculty will visit the Oligonunk Cave near Maysville, Ky. The party will travel by special train and will return to Oxford in the evening. The faculty of our public schools has been invited to join the company.
Postscript By G. Haney
Oligonunk Caverns would be only mildly successful. It operated intermittently until the flood of 1934 washed out the railroad, which was the main transportation link to the northern tourists. Oligonunk's biggest unsolvable problem was the location of the caves high on top of a steep hill. A trail would crisscross the hill nearly to the summit, a forty five minute uphill hike that could only be undertaken by the very hardy. Half way up the hill there was a short cut down and many took it back down to the hotel where they were content to fan themselves and sip lemonade on the porch while waiting for the train to take them home.
A favorite part of my childhood was a few years that I spent in Carter City, where Olignunk is located. In the summer my brothers and our friends made numerous trips to the caverns. I remember there being only three caverns, not four as stated in the news article. All three were all different. One was spectacular; a large room immediately inside the opening faded into a smaller passage that meandered off into the hillside and as I recall was endless. Another was shored up with beams as though it had been a mine rather than a cave. It went almost straight through the hill and exited on the other side.
There was another cave, not a part of Oligonuk, which was located almost directly across the road from Carter School. There, one of our friends, Rex English, found an Indian skeleton that was the following year confiscated by the University of Kentucky. I am convinced that this part of the country was a destination for Native Americans for hundreds of years. Flint rock abounds and they would come there to re-supply their tools and weapons and to practice their shooting skills. Ralph Haney, an old timer who died a few years ago, aged 90 years, lived and gardened on the ground that was formerly the Cartee Hotel. He told me that every spring, year after year, he would plow up arrow heads.
The photo of the pavilion is taken from George Wollford's book Carter County a pictorial history. The Oligonunk caves were located to the right of the pavilion and are not in view.
The Cartee Hotel was almost directly in front of the pavilion. The photo is taken from the book, The Heritage of Carter County Kentucky 1992.