The Tomstown Dolomite,
in which the cave is developed, is a massive blue-black dolomite about
1000 feet thick that becomes light gray on weathering. The cave lies in
beds 100 feet above the base of the formation. It is located on the east
limb of a minor anticline dipping 20º E. The strike is due north.
A major joint system trends N. 60º E., and subordinate systems strike
N. 20º E. and N. 55º W. All joint planes are vertical.
Snivelys No. 1 Cave
was more extensive at one time but a great part has been removed in quarry
operations carried on over a generation ago. The back room of the cave
is a veritable guest register with its walls and ceiling covered by names
and initials. The oldest is dated 1908 but most are 1921 and 1925.
The entrance to Snivelys No. 1 Cave is a
horizontal hole 1 to 2 feet in diameter. Projecting spines from the ceiling
make it difficult to crawl through it. At 10 feet the crawlway ends in
an overhanging ledge with a drop of 8 feet to a room. The room is 15 feet
in diameter and 20 feet high with a conical cross section. A passage,
8 feet high, leading from the room pinches down beyond 50 feet to a small
crawlway 10 feet long. Midway along the passage a short side passage connects
with a room on the east. From this room a narrow passage leads to the
third and largest room in the cave. Midway along this passage a formation
blocks the way, making it necessary to crawl a short distance. The large
room is 40 feet long, 10 to 15 feet wide, and 8 feet high. At the end
of the room a beautiful, pure white flowstone, resembling a frozen waterfall,
is developed. This formation is among the largest and prettiest in any
of the caves of Maryland but, unfortunately, has not escaped defacing.
A narrow low crawlway leads behind the formation and trends towards the
second room of the cave. It is 20 feet long and ends in a pool.
The cave is relatively
dry except for a small poolroom that is floored with wet clay, the floor
of the cave is soft dry earth or broken stone. Air circulation in the
cave is poor, and large parties (8 people) have raised the temperature
from 57 to 70ºF. in a short time.
The second cave, Snivelys No. 2 Cave, is
located on top of the bluff a short distance to the east and north of
Snivelys No. 1 Cave. It is in a steep-sided shallow ravine, 10 to 20 feet
below the surface of the hill, that has formed by the settling of rock
into large solution channels. The surface of the ravine is covered by
large broken rocks, and entrance to the cave is gained through passages
in the debris. The drop at the entrance is about 15 feet vertical. The
cave is a fissure, 5 to 10 feet wide at the entrance, becoming progressively
narrower until beyond 100 feet it is too narrow to traverse. The fissure
is vertical and continues to the surface. The roof of the cave is broken
limestone blocks that are wedged in the fissure. The floor is covered
by a 6 inch layer of black dirt and leaves under which is yellow clay
mixed with small chips of decayed limestone. The cave is dangerous and
should be traversed with caution because of loose rocks.
In the rocky upland adjacent to the caves
are several smaller passageways. Fifty-five feet to the east of Snivelys
No. 2 Cave is a narrow ravine at the head of which is a fissure-like passage,
but it is too narrow to traverse. At the north end of the upland is an
elliptical pit 35 feet deep, 50 feet long, and 20 feet wide that probably
leads to passages but is now filled with debris at the base.
Snivelys No. 3 Cave is approximately 100
feet north of Snivelys No. 1 Cave and is located near the mouth of a ravine
under a mass of breakdown. The entrance is now a crawlway but prior to
quarrying the cave was undoubtedly much larger and easier to enter. The
entrance crawlway which is 2 to 4 feet in diameter trends northwest for
10 feet and intersects a larger passage which is 6 to 10 feet high and
4 feet wide. This passage trends northeast for 20 feet to breakdown.
-Caves of Maryland)