Salem State University Tunnels

Welcome to the Salem Tunnel Report. Every Monday we will post new and old tunnel finds along with those who built them. In our posts you will learn how Salem has shaped American history from the profits of the smuggling that happened in these tunnels; sometimes for the good, but more often not.

An Education in Tunnels

Well Salem State University poses a few questions. Did they re-utilize old tunnels or did they conduct in new construction? These tunnels from the Horace Mann Laboratory School, which is closing this year, led to the art department in the Sullivan Building on the Salem State University campus. Many people who are over 50 remember stories of their adventures heading to the gym which used to be in the art department. Some were pretty scurrilous. There is some graffiti left behind from them. Little boys kissing girls and skipping class in these tunnels. Many mention the asbestos pipes have always been there plus it has always been a concrete tunnel and not refaced.

Now leaving the Sullivan Building you can take another set of tunnels to the Administration building, the building with the theater, and the one after that. In many ways they just look like hallways.

Then Dr. Loring’s estate, which is now part of their South Campus buildings,  had a few more secrets that the nuns have kept a vow of silence on… The two buildings at the top of the hill are connected which was the doctor’s residence to the gym below near the cafeteria at the bottom of the hill. The tunnel comes out of the basement of the mansion and through the hill to the building below.

Many secrets in Salem!

For more read info Salem Secret Underground: The History of the Tunnels in the City and its sequel Sub Rosa by Chris Dowgin published by Salem House Press. Available at Barnes & Noble, Remember Salem, The Witch House, Jolie Tea, and Amazon.com.

Old Naumkeag Trust Bank Building

Welcome to the Salem Tunnel Report. Every Monday we will post new and old tunnel finds along with those who built them. In our posts you will learn how Salem has shaped American history from the profits of the smuggling that happened in these tunnels; sometimes for the good, but more often not.

Tunnels under the old Naumkeag Trust Bank on the corner of Derby Square and Essex Street.

This spot originally held the Essex Bank before Charles Bulfinch built them a new bank on Central Street. The Salem Savings Bank, Salem Bank, and the Naumkeag Trust Bank which became Eastern Bank have used this building. The first building used as a bank on this location suffered a fire. Historically this location had six different buildings. Now all of their foundations are joined together in one large basement with several sealed tunnel entrances and tunnels converted into hallways between foundations. Due to the different levels of the original foundations there is a six foot difference between the basement floor near Essex Street and the alley off of Derby Square in the rear. Also there is a tomb of two runaway slaves in the basement.

For more read Salem Secret Underground: The History of the Tunnels in the City and its sequel Sub Rosa by Chris Dowgin published by Salem House Press. Available at Barnes & Noble, Remember Salem, The Witch House, Jolie Tea, and Amazon.com.

Salem Fagin

The First Boy’s Club and Tunnels…

The First Boy’s Club in the country was held in a building attached to this tunnel. In fact the three locations that the club first resided in were all attached to the smuggling tunnels in Salem MA. The first was the Downing Block next to the Peabody Essex Museum. The second location was in the Salem Lyceum that previous housed a lecture series where Alexander Graham Bell introduced his phone publicly at. The third location was in the old Essex County Bank building built by Charles Bulfinch who became the Architect of D.C. who built all the tunnels under our capitol.

The Boy’s Club learned an important early lesson; keep the kids in a brick building. For the one time they were housed in a wooden building, the Lyceum, they burned it down.  The location where James Russell Lowell introduced the Dante Club’s translation of The Inferno was burned to the ground by these children.

So why was it so important to have these economically challenged children in building attached to the tunnels? Were they helping the sailors and captains smuggle in town? Were they assisting in the runaway slaves attempts at gaining freedom? Or were they run by a Salem Fagin who had them act like the Artful Dodger and break into the homes that also were attached to the tunnels?

Who is to say, but it makes you think…

For more info read Sub Rosa to find out how Salem shaped America and your lives! Available at Remember Salem, Jolie Tea, Wicked Good Books, Barnes & Noble, and Amazon.com. Also to learn more stories like this first hand, book a tour with the Salem Smugglers’ Tour!

Salem House Press
http://www.salemhousepress.com

Vintage Salem Morning!

4 Views of a Secret. This tunnel running from Essex Street to the Tabernacle Church under Washington Street was used to hide the loading of contraband from the smuggling tunnels in Salem. The first track on the frog entering the tunnel was built by George Peabody whose plan has bankrupted our country every 20 years up to 2008. The second track on the frog was owned by Thomas Perkins the opium dealer who would smuggle runaway slaves to his sweatshops in Lowell. Eight tunnels met in the back of the Kinsman Building (Opus Underground) and one left the front to this tunnel in the photos. Kinsman was superintendent of the Eastern Railroad owned by Peabody.

For more info read Salem Secret Underground: The History of the Tunnels in the City and Sub Rosa by Chris Dowgin available at Wicked Good Books, Jolie Tea, Remember Salem, Barnes & Noble, and Amazon.com.

Vintage Salem Morning!

Greenlawn Chapel and Greenhouse Salem Ma

Greenlawn Cemetery, Chapel, and Greenhouse. Under this chapel 4 tunnels meet. One heading out to Orne’s Point where the Widow Orne sold bricks to keep her property to be used to create the tunnels in Salem. Her kin Secretary of State Timothy Pickering bought 40,000 bricks from her in one order when a house only needed 8,000 bricks.

For more info read Sub Rosa by Chris Dowgin available at Remember Salem, Jolie Tea, Wicked Good Books, Barnes & Noble, and Amazon.com.

Salem Secret Underground and The Salem Smugglers’ Tour

Chocolate and Peanut Butter

Chris Dowgin Leading the Salem Smugglers' Tour

So what is down there? Within the pages of the book Salem Secret Underground: The History of the Tunnels in the City I tell you. The book is filled with pictures of the tunnels in the city. On the Salem Smugglers’ Tour I take you where the photos were taken and show you them on my tablet while going over the history of the people who built them.

So are any of these smugglers important today, or even then? Well lets take a look…

Joseph Story Smuggler in Salem MA
Man who shaped the Constitution, Associate Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story.
George Peabody in Salem MA
George Peabody orchestrated several economic panics with Rothschild in England. His bank is now called JP Morgan which orchestrated the 2008 Financial Collapse.

 

Timothy Pickering in Salem MA
Timothy Pickering was Secretary of State for Washington and Adams. He wrote the Alien & Sedition Acts which are now very similar to Homeland Security and the Patriot Act.

So these men were the politicians who shaped our country. Pickering was Washington’s general and Secretary of State who helped ratify the Constitution. Joseph Story shaped the Constitution with Daniel Webster. Both were in Stephen White’s pocket defending the Second Bank of the United States and their attempts to create what we call the Federal Reserve today. George Peabody founded the Rockefeller Foundation, sold the majority of shares in our national bank to foreign investors, collapsed our economy several times, founded what became JP Morgan bank, and bailed out the local museum which was renamed after him. He owned the Eastern Railroad that built the Gothic railroad station in town.

Elias Hasket Derby Jr.
Elias Hasket Derby Jr. spent the 10th Largest fortune in American history and extended 3 miles of tunnels in town.

 

Elias Hasket Derby
Elias Hasket Derby America’s first millionaire and tenth richest man in American history.

Who else? Elias Hasket Derby was America’s first millionaire and the tenth richest man in American history to this day. Beyond Gates and Buffet put together. He built a tunnel from his wharf, to his home, and to his cousin’s Hodges house who founded the Peabody Essex Museum. His son Eias Hasket Derby Jr. who extended the tunnels so 159 politicians and businessmen could avoid paying Jefferson’s duties. Thomas Perkins who’s opium empire spurred on the wealth of the Forbes, Russells, and Sturgis families. In fact the Russells purchase his land in New Haven and erect the Skull & Bones crypt on it. Russell will create the fraternity with Alphonso Taft who is President Taft’s grandfather.

How do I know these tunnels exist? Because I have been in them!

Chris Dowgin in Tunnel in Salem MA

Chris Dowgin in Tunnel in Salem MA

Chris Dowgin in Tunnel in Salem MA

Chris Dowgin in Tunnel in Salem MA

Chris Dowgin in Tunnel in Salem MA

Can I get you in…no! One day though so keep checking back, but for now there is so much more about this tour than witches. Stuff that still effects you today! Plus the tour is filled with vintage photos of town from the 1800’s, old car crashes, comedy, ghost stories and a famous murder!!!

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Also you will learn how Stephen White who had the East India Marine Hall in the Peabody Essex built got away with murdering his uncle with the involvement of Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story and Secretary of State Daniel Webster. A murder that empowered them to murder presidents Harrison and Taylor to secure the Third Bank of the United States so George Peabody could sell more of our country away to the Rothschilds.

President Taylor. Second to president to be murdered because of the Third Bank of the United States.
President Taylor. Second president to be murdered because of the Third Bank of the United States.

 

President Harrison. Murdered by people in Salem.
President Harrison. The first president murdered by people in Salem.
Daniel Webster Murdered Two Presidents.
Daniel Webster who murdered two presidents in a failed attempt to create the Third Bank of the United States.

Here are some of the cool tunnels in Salem you will see in the book and on the tablet on the tour.

Crypts

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Door that led to compartments runaway slaves could sleep in on the tunnel route in Salem, MA.

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So book a tour today at www.salemtunneltour.com and head over to Barnes & Noble to buy Salem Secret Underground: The History of the Tunnels in the City. If you buy the book on the tour you will save $5 and will have it signed and doodled in by the author for no extra cost! What a deal!!

Jacob Rust Store in Salem MA

Lords of Salem

Jacob Rust

Jacob Rust Store

216-220 Essex Street

This building was built for the Salem Commons Improvement Fund subscriber Jacob Rust in 1801. This is the first storefront from the time of Elias Hasket Derby Jr’s tenure at digging tunnels that was connected. Jacob rust had owned Rust Wharf that had a prison ship docked there from 1812 to 1815 during the War with England. Where I grew up in NJ there was this Chinese house. Who ever bought it bought the restaurant with it. It was a package deal. Only thing cooler in Salem was, when you bought the house you got to walk through a tunnel to work. The Jacob Rust house on the corner of Hamilton and Essex Street was also connected to the tunnel along with his neighbor on Beckford Street. Next door on Essex Street is the house Rob Zombie’s wife’s apartment in Lords of Salem.

Essex Street in Salem MA
The House rising out of the rear of the bus is the Apartment house from Lords of Salem.

Now the the Jacob Rust store is owned by Cabot Money Management. The Cabot Farm in north Salem is a private place on a public road owned by Cabot Money Management’s owners. Orne’s Point was bought by Joseph Cabot. Joseph Sebastian Cabot (October 8, 1796 – June 29, 1874) was a Massachusetts banker and politician who served as the fourth Mayor of Salem, Massachusetts.Cabot was president of the Asiatic Bank,the Salem Savings Bank, and the Massachusetts Horticultural Society that resided in Greenlawn Cemetery. He was also the Massachusetts State Bank Commissioner.

Now Lords of Zombie was filmed in the Greenlawn Cemetery too, but they did not get to film in the coolest part. In the basement of the chapel there is three tunnels. One leading to Orne’s Point. The one heading north opens up to a chamber that was once used to house corpses in the winter. The one heading southeast heads toward Manning’s house where Hawthorne and his mother used to live. Manning had owned part of the cemetery for hi nursery. This tunnel terminates on an old staircase.

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If you are caught walking on that public road with its public park and you wake up the Cabot’s guard rooster you are in trouble. Someone from their house will drive up and down the road and they will call the police. That public road is badly humped from the erosion of the tunnel leading from the chapel in Green Lawn Cemetery to their field. Then in their field you can see further erosion as a path raises out of a marsh and then forks to their homes. The path exposes the two tunnels leading to their homes on the farm. The homes have several secret passages in them I am told. Plus they have easy access to the North River where they could land goods to smuggle into town. Or at least the Orne’s Could.

Timothy Pickering Salem MA
Timothy Pickering. Secretary of State for Washington and Adams.

On this lot was a widow desperate for income who started a brick yard. Could she of been making bricks for the smugglers? Timothy Pickering ordered 200,000 from her. Mr. Orne who the Orne’s Point is named after had Richard Derby and George Crowninshield start off their careers in his counting house. He also had a famous tavern here at one point.

Rust’s store displays the regular exterior chimneys that can be found on most homes connected by the tunnels. It’s the first brick store front from the time of the Salem Commons Improvement Fund subscribers secret tunnel digging expedition and below are pictures of the sealed up entrances.

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Get the book everyone digs before its sequel comes out!
Salem Secret Underground:The History of the Tunnels in the City!
Available at Barnes & Noble, Remember Salem, and Wicked Good Books in Salem on Essex Street. Also on Amazon.com!

Then for a great time take the Salem Smugglers’ Tour to find out all of the secrets one can dig up in town!

Secrets From the Vault

A Jacob’s Ladder

Naumkeag National Bank Salem MA

Samuel Ward Lot

217 Essex Street and Derby Square

The lot was originally developed by Samuel Ward who had his warehouse on the corner of Essex Street and Derby Square. He sold the lot that included the next building to the right, to George Dodge and John Derby (Southern Essex County Registry Bk 143 Pg 260) in 1785. In 1795 they sell the left portion of the lot to the Essex Bank (Southern Essex County Registry Bk 168 pg 70). In 1805 the Essex Bank will be in the Central Building and in 1811 have their own building built on Central Street (Boy’s Club Building). The Essex Bank will sell their portion in 1839 to William Kimball.

In 1858 Kimball sells this portion to the Salem Savings Bank which was founded by Edward Augustus Holyoke, one of the smugglers in town. In 1899 the Kimball Block as it is called then burns down. This will be the second fire on this location. The first was Young’s hat Shop where the widows Beckford and Manning die in. In several paranormal investigations entities have been found. Many have been moved on. Under the front basement stairs is a tomb for two gentlemen who died on the Underground Railroad. A Jacob’s ladder. A highway to Heaven. Very similar to Sheriff Curwin’s burial in his house. The tomb is 12 feet long, concrete, 3 feet wide, and 3 feet high. We have had a water witch declare they reside there. Someone hammered a hole into the base and the basement smelled like dead rats for weeks. Commemoration has been tried for these souls, but stalled. Once an EVP had recorded an entity saying they were afraid when asked if they were scared. Beyond the men looking for freedom, many others might of died in the fire in 1899. Do the two widows still haunt the property?

Hoyt Building Salem MA orb
Hoyt Building Salem MA Tunnel Entrance and Orbs

In 1900 W.E Hoyt Company buys the lot and builds the current building for their clothing and furnishing company. In 1910 Naumkeag Trust Company buys the building. They refit the interior to better suit their bank.

In 1858 John Derby still owns the right portion of the estate. The building to the right was erected in 1873 and was the first cast-iron faced building in Salem utilizing the technology that would develop into the modern skyscraper. In 1874 the fifth floor was added. The Hale (Mercantile) Building was also bought by the Naumkeag Trust Company in 1910.

This building is a cornucopia of entrances, mazes, trapdoors, and more. Starting in the back left corner is a door that leads into Derby Square facing Old Town Hall. As you walk down these steps and through a little hallway you enter the subbasement of the building. On the right behind what seems to be a furnace is an old tunnel entrance. If you look in the ceiling here you will see round glass panels set in a piece of wrought iron. This was used to illuminate this entrance while someone looked for their keys to unlock the door into the tunnel. Such light apertures can be seen on entrances to Daniel Low’s, the old Sacon Jewelry store basement ceiling, and outside the Gulu Gulu. This light aperture is now sealed off by a layer of tar in the flower bed on Derby Square.

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If you take a left you will notice how this subbasement was part of the original tunnel. After 4 paces to your right is an arch you can walk through to access an iron staircase bringing you into the basement. Now if you walk till the end of this room and take a right you will enter a small foyer to a bathroom. In the stall to the left is a trapdoor made of heavy marble. If you back track through the foyer to the room and head straight you will enter another level of the basement.

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Take a right and head toward Essex Street. In front of you is a bathroom. Its ceiling has a section of bricks displaying the original grade of the sidewalk above. Beyond that is more corrugated steel holding up the sidewalk which is quite rotted. If you leave the bathroom and take a left you enter a room in which the wall facing Essex Street and the wall facing Derby Square is attached to glass panes that stretch 3 feet across the ceiling. They have broke into the tunnel on two sides of this room. When you enter either closet on the wall facing Essex Street you will notice that the rain has pulled the sheet rock off the wall and ceiling exposing the brick of the building and the rubble used to seal the tunnel off.

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Now if you leave this room and take a left and quick right you will pass the possible tomb of two runaway slaves. The story goes that somewhere in Salem two gentlemen died and were not allowed a proper burial because their existence might hinder others who longed for freedom. So they encased them in a concrete tomb. There has been an attempt by people in town to consecrate the area as a national memorial, but they failed. In this basement is a 12 foot slab that is 3 feet wide and 3 feet high. It is open in part and then runs under a staircase. It is on the wall where one old basement connected to another. We have had several mediums say this was their final resting place and when someone dug into the base of this slab the basement smelled like dead rats for weeks afterwards. More runaway slaves have also been buried under the tunnel running from Daniel Low building to his warehouse. Daniel Low in the 1930’s refitted the floor of the tunnel to prevent the state having access to a burial ground they could commemorate.

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Take another right again you will find another tunnel entrance within an arch. Under the arch is a hole similar to the one in the Downing Building and the Naumkeag Block. This one is covered by plywood hiding the sewer lines access to the building. In the roof of the arch is a hole similar to all the arched entrance ways to the tunnels. If you exit the arched entrance and head to your right you will enter another room under Mud Puddle Toys. To your left facing Essex Street is a workbench. Above the workbench is a little door that leads you into another tunnel entrance. You have to climb down from the workbench through the door into the tunnel. This shaft goes 12 feet and is littered with building debris. Near the back of the shaft in the ceiling is another hole that terminates into a small manhole in the sidewalk. When you exit the doorway above the workbench you can walk to the back right corner to a stairway to Higginson Square. This is also another sealed tunnel entrance. Between the last two mentioned rooms is a hallway which was the original tunnel that separated the two buildings.

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To enter the second half of the basement you must apply to the rear of the building. In the alley way in between the Goddess Treasure Chest and this old building there is an old iron door made to fit a Hobbit. Once inside you climb down an iron ladder. There you will see a subbasement before you with another iron ladder leading you down. Now to your right you will see a window and a sealed off tunnel entrance, made once more for a Hobbit, that is in line with the Goddess Treasure Chest tunnel patio. This would of been the way to enter that building. If you walk to your left you will find two chambers. The one closest to the alley is quite empty and runs to Higginson Alley. The other one goes past another chamber with a spiral stair. Both chambers terminate at a Mosley vault made by the Hamilton company in Ohio. DSCN0383

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Get the book everyone digs before its sequel comes out!
Salem Secret Underground:The History of the Tunnels in the City!
Available at Barnes & Noble, Remember Salem, and Wicked Good Books in Salem on Essex Street. Also on Amazon.com!

 

 

 

 

Vietnam Tunnels and Underground Villages

Check out this link.

During the Vietnam War this village went 10 meters underground. Houses, hospitals, wells, and kitchens were all move below. When the US sent a bomb designed to borrow down 10 meters failed to blow up they used it as a ventilation shaft and moved the village 30 meters down. Read more and click the link!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vinh_Moc_tunnels