Author Topic: Museum investigates mysterious tunnel  (Read 4178 times)

Devious Viper
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Museum investigates mysterious tunnel
« on: August 13, 2006, 12:04:05 PM »
(by Scott Kulah  10 Aug 2006)
    

LOCK HAVEN, Pa. On a rainy day late in June, a group of youths attending a summer camp at the Heisey Museum were in the basement learning the finer points of a proper archaeological dig.

They weren't expecting to find much more than a few old artifacts buried in a dirt section of the floor. But after putting in a good half-day's work, it was what they didn't find that caught their attention.

They came across an empty hollow underneath a small section of the basement floor. And as they kept digging, they realized it was more than just a hole but appeared to be some sort of tunnel, according to Heisey Curator Lou Bernard.

"The first thing that went through my mind is, 'What is all this?' Then I went over, and I looked and yeah, damn if they hadn't found something... At which time I got really excited," Bernard said.

Museum officials are still uncertain about what exactly the tunnel may be, or where it may lead, but they are thrilled about the possibilities.

As of now, the tunnel is just a tiny hole under the floor that appears to go back a few feet then drop, Bernard said.

"We haven't had the chance to excavate it yet. Honestly, that's a process. Every shovel full of dirt has to be pulled out of there and searched and sifted through for any artifacts that might be in it," he said.

As for what they'll find, Bernard said, "Honestly, I could speculate all day, it really is a mystery."

The tunnel appears to run toward the neighboring Jaycees Hall, which was originally a church, and according to Heisey Museum Executive Director Anne McCloskey, is also rumored to have tunnels running underneath it.

McCloskey said while researching a completely different topic she came across documentation of the tunnels under the former German Lutheran Church.

"There have been rumors about the tunnels possibly being used during the underground railroad days," McCloskey said. "But they're all rumors. We don't have any written documentation. So far the only real written documentation we have is the obituary for Maria Molson."

That documentation, however, does not suggest that the tunnels were used to transport or hide slaves, just that Molson, who lived at 19 E. Water St., a few blocks away from the Heisey, was involved with helping slaves when they traveled through the area.

"There were several buildings on this street that were rumored to be on the underground railroad. There is one property that I can just about prove was involved," Bernard said.

"In the woman's obit, it tells the story of the underground railroad. It tells how she sheltered slaves and bandaged them from their wounds. And at one point had 17 slaves in her home," he continued.

At this point, Heisey officials aren't ruling out any possibilities.

Bernard also suggested the tunnel may have been something as simple as a passage for water to travel though, noting that there may have been some kind of spring house in the basement of the Heisey, which was built in 1831.

"A lot of old houses have water running underneath them like that," he said.

Heisey officials also suggested that the tunnel could have been a place used to hide alcohol in the days of prohibition and noted that several empty bottles of Jumping Jack apple-flavored wine were found hidden in the museum's chimney last summer.

"We don't really know any of this for sure, we're still making guesses at this point," he said.

One thing they are sure of, however, is that there is a new piece to the historic puzzle of the Heisey Museum. The next step is to find exactly where that piece fits and what it means.

"We are continuously stumbling upon things. I love that. Every day there is something interesting and exciting going on here," Bernard said.

"Like I told the kids at the time, I feel like they chose the right program to participate in. No other kids are going to be able to go back to school in the fall and claim that they helped dig up a tunnel that dates back probably over 100 years," he said. "These kids really got to go out and play Indiana Jones and they'll really have something to brag about."

Bernard plans to continue digging toward an answer whenever possible but until that day he can only wonder what lies beneath the Heisey Museum.

ImmortalKain

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Re: Museum investigates mysterious tunnel
« Reply #1 on: May 30, 2008, 01:32:14 PM »
Updates??? :?
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Kadesh

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Re: Museum investigates mysterious tunnel
« Reply #2 on: August 20, 2008, 04:59:37 PM »
 Not likely.. Unless we research it ourselves....  :spy:
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bandersnatch
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Re: Museum investigates mysterious tunnel
« Reply #3 on: August 20, 2008, 05:15:23 PM »
It was probably just storage for liquor.
Nothing too special about that. They're most likely just going to find some jugs of moonshine, and not a whole lot else.

Kadesh

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Re: Museum investigates mysterious tunnel
« Reply #4 on: August 20, 2008, 05:49:36 PM »
 That's still interesting! Spirits can attach themselves to anything...
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bandersnatch
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Re: Museum investigates mysterious tunnel
« Reply #5 on: August 20, 2008, 09:34:51 PM »
That's still interesting! Spirits can attach themselves to anything...

yeah, like my ulcer.

OHHHHHH, you meant the ectoplasmic kind of spirits. I thought we were still on the subject of party liquor.

Kadesh

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Re: Museum investigates mysterious tunnel
« Reply #6 on: August 20, 2008, 09:36:28 PM »
Potato.. potatoe   :roll:
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ImmortalKain

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Re: Museum investigates mysterious tunnel
« Reply #7 on: August 20, 2008, 09:44:50 PM »
I iike potatos! I think I'm allergic to potatoes though hehe
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