Southern Scribe
    our culture of storytelling


 History Review   



Natural Tunnel: Nature's Marvel in Stone
by Tony Scales
The Overmountain Press, 2004
Paperback, $19.95 (150 pages)
ISBN: 1-57072-287-0
  Legend has it that Daniel Boone was the first man to see the Natural Tunnel on his way to Kentucky on the Wilderness Trail, but historians note that there is no record in Boone's writing and that from his known path, he would have just gone near it. Cherokee and Shawnee hunting parties were likely the first to explore the tunnel in western Virginia. In 1814, Mathew Carey's map of Virginia is the first to mark the location of "Natural Tunnel." 

Geologist and local historian Tony Scales in his debut book shows how man uses what nature provides and also celebrates the phenomenon that created it. Scales points out that the tunnel is slowly wearing away from exposure to the elements, which makes the book a wonderful preservation of the awe-inspiring spectacle it was a century ago.

Natural Tunnel: Nature's Marvel in Stone is a combination history and guidebook for those visiting Natural Tunnel State Park. Historical maps, photographs, and illustrations of the tunnel enhance the historical accounts through explorer entries, journals, and letters. Some of the graphics that stand out in the book include: the variety of postcards; a stock certificate from the Natural Tunnel and Caverns Corporation; train schedules; and photographs of the interior of the tunnel.

Tony Scales is a Certified Professional Geologist, who has spent his professional career in the coalfields of Southwest Virginia.

Joyce Dixon
Southern Scribe Reviews


2005, Southern Scribe Reviews, All Rights Reserved