Mysterious Tunnel Discovered in Alton, Illinois

An Illinois couple who moved into their home in December 2020 made a surprising discovery while repairing their sidewalk - a 19th-century tunnel underneath the house.
  • "So, it was at least 9 feet tall,” he said.
  • “We’re standing on about a foot of dirt and it’s 9 feet wide and how far back it goes, we don’t know. We know it goes back 60 feet.”
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Whether for ice storage, a carriage, or part of the Underground Railroad, is anyone’s best guess.

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“It’s unique, there are a few tunnels around the Alton area since we checked with the Landmark Historic Society,” Machen said. “It’s been used as an icehouse or root cellar or a lot of other options.
  • “It could have been used for the Underground Railroad. There’s no proof of that but there was a ferry here in the Alton area to the Missouri side and it’s possible it could have been used for that.”
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The tunnel entrance is constructed of limestone while the tunnel itself is made of brick. The tunnel comes to a stopping point with large dirt mound that blocks what seems to be more existing tunnel. Machens has been in contact with various historians in the area and they are "perplexed" on what it could be.



Links and Sources:


KD: Isn't it interesting that this type of tunnels keeps on popping up all over the world, yet "historians" know nothing about their origin?
  • They sure know how to speculate though.
Alton is so close to Saint Louis, that we might as well consider it to be a part of its metro area. Methinks, it could be important.

Tunnel Location
tunnel-map.jpg

Map
Here is 1867 Alton map, in case you're interested.
 
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