Lithgow Mercury June 9th 1899
A few days ago a representative of this journal took a trip to the Caves, and was quite surprised to see the changes and improvements that had been made during the past twelve months under the superintendence of Mr Trickett, the inspector. From a scene of rugged grandeur the place, after passing through the Grand Arch has been converted into quite a sylvan beauty spot. Since the completion of the Caves House everything that human hands could do has been done to make the surroundings as charming as possible. Around and in front of the house, gardens have been laid out and planted with shrubs and flowers in a manner which reflects the greatest credit on the taste of Mr J H Maiden and Mr W Blakeley. Anyone who had visited the Caves three years ago could not realise without seeing them the changes which have been made. The surroundings now are simply lovely and make one wish to spend an unlimited time there. Through the efforts of Messrs Trickett and Fred Wilson, the Caves themselves have undergone vast improvement and the most timid and nervous person in the world need not now be the least afraid of threading the underground mazes and mysterious passages. Everything tending to increase the comfort and easy transit of visitors from cave to cave has been carried out. Inclines have been levelled, depressions filled up, proper concrete steps built in what were once dangerous places, thus ensuring perfect safety. Added to this, all the passages have been completely enclosed with strong wire netting overhead and down the two sides so that no one can now touch the stalagmites and stalactites. Even a little child may go through the Caves now without danger. Our representative had the pleasure of inspecting one of the new caves - the Gem of Jenolan - not yet open to the public. The passage to it is however being made ready as fast as possible. Its beauty is indescribable. Then there is the matter of accommodation. At the Caves House visitors may obtain all the comforts of a leading metropolitan hotel, minus the liquors. Mr Shipway, the manager, is one of the most genial of good fellows and nothing but praise has been bestowed on him by those who have experienced his hospitality. In appearance he is as like Mr G H Reid as it is possible for another person to be and many anecdotes are told of mistakes which have been made by visitors in confounding him with the Premier.
(From our own correspondent)
Owing to the very adverse weather conditions the number of tourists has fallen of considerably during the past fortnight.
Until a few years ago visitors wishing to make their visit conspicuous did so by writing, painting or cutting their names on the rocks specially noticeable in the Grand Archway and Devils Coach-house. These will be grieved to learn that their labors were in vain as the guides, under the direction of Mr Caretaker Wilson during a slack time lately have been eradicating all trace of disfigurement from Nature's work.
Since the roadway has been made through the archway the vehicle traffic by raising dust caused a dirty appearance to the massive rocks therein. The water was laid on some months ago and the dust is now kept down. The boulders and sides have during the past week received a good swilling and now a marked clean improvement is noticeable.
Mrs Shipway of Cave House left on Saturday for the metropolis for a well earned holiday.
The many friends of Miss Maud Wilson will be pleased to learn that she is now getting good health.