Early Clarksville
Photo Album

Photos taken inside Dunbar Cave

The first picture is of Bryce Runyon, Jr. inspecting the so-called "Counterfeiters Den" followed by a counterfeit Mexican Dollar found in the room. The story goes that after the Civil War, Dunbar Cave became a storage place for counterfeiters that used a small chamber within the cave to store their loot. Counterfeit Mexican coins were made because real Mexican coins were circulated at local horse races.

This is of the largest room in the cave and required elaborate lighting technique. I posted the camera on a tripod, opened the lens and then made my way around the room shooting flashbulbs. Bryce is standing on the steps near the center of the picture and from it you can judge the size of the room. To the upper right of Bryce you can see my silhouette as I set off another flashbulb.

July 8,1948

Jenny Lind, the Swedish Nightingale, was appearing in Nashville and when told about Dunbar Cave she hired a carriage to drive her to the site. To test the acoustics inside the cave she sang "The Last Rose of Summer". Using a lantern or candle she wrote her name in smoke. The year, 1851. It was still visible when I photographed it almost a hundred years later in 1948.


Submitted by Jim Bailey

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