With the glory of Autumn all.. about on the
outside, it was difficult to imagine thousands of fleeing people
jamming the only route to Sunbright, Va.-U.S. Highway 23, 19 winding
miles north of Gate City
WASN'T DIFFICULT AT ALL
But once inside the already-worked portion of
the Foote Mineral Company's big limestone mine in the bowels of
Stone Mountain, it wasn't difficult at all.
Billed as the world's largest fallout shelter;
the Sunbright mine will easily transfer man back to his natural
habitat of cave and campfire; squatting in the dark, fearful of
the terrors on the outside.
The t unnels honeycombing the mountain are
complete with built-in air conditioning, running water (the
waterfall) and enough room to hold 70,000 people instead of
45,000 with the addition of huge ventilating fans with their own
gigantic, haphazard piles in three tunnel locations are enough
food (the graham cracker-like emergency rations) sanitary
facilities (portable toilets) and empty water cans for 45,000
FARE WON'T BE FANCY
It won't be fancy fare, and it might be
monotonous after a while, but it will keep ,body and soul
The shelter comes under the jurisdiction of
Scott County Civil Defense coordinator Ford Hubble. Foote
Mineral Co. granted use of the old mine for a shelter at Uncle
The company is working now underneath another
part of Stone Mountain, and no longer operates the section begun
in 1953, where the shelter is located.
A few tips for anybody planning to strike out
for Sunbright if doomsday comes.
Wear heavy clothing – it's 55 degrees in the
shelter all the time, and those rocks you'll be sitting on are
Wear low-heel shoes, and watch your step. At Some places,
the floor level suddenly drops 20 feet, straight down.
CARRY A LIGHT, BATTERIES
Carry a good light and a supply of batteries for
it. It's dark down there. Take a clock also. Time has a way of
The shelter is fine, for the purpose.
But when we came up again into the bright beauty
of the outside world; the thought that it might all someday
vanish into fire and ash was too much to bear.
drinking in the glory of blue November sky, scarlet tree and
mountainside; praying silently that it would last forever.