First Boy’s Club and the Tunnels of Salem

Have you heard of Fagin and the Artful Dodger?

Tunnel under Downing Block

Tunnel under the Downing Block in Salem. In this building the Boys & Girls Club was founded. The building on top was recently removed exposing where the tunnel went beyond the iron door. In every location this club was in, the buildings gave these poor boys access to the tunnels in town. Also rooms off of this tunnel was used for the Underground Railroad.

Read Salem Secret Underground The History of the Tunnels in the City to find out more. The book everyone digs!!

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What is PEM hiding?

Secrets of the Museum….

Recently on the PEM expansion they uncovered this tunnel. Originally it preexisted the Downing Block in which it was up to recently just a hallway in the basement. Originally there were previous buildings to the left and right of this tunnel. Until 3 months ago this section of tunnel was under the addition to the rear of the Downing Block (owned now by the PEM) which was the original location of the first Boys Club in the country. Now it is exposed as the addition has been demoed. A construction worker said they were preserving the iron door; but the question is, did they open up the tunnel beyond the door?

The original buildings attached to this building were rumored to be part of the Underground Railroad. In either building Runaway Slaves were welcome to stay for a respite. Also this tunnel was heated by a furnace under the left section of the Downing Block. This building is also haunted and the Salem Paranormal Convention has done investigations in the tunnels. Part of the investigation was Scott Gruenwald “the Naked Ghost Hunter”.

Now in front of the PEM to the far right they are digging a new cellar for their expansion which will be done in 2019. Once they did so, they uncovered another tunnel. This lined up with their mock quarter slotted viewer designed into the display above the Jersey Barriers. Now a front end loader and a big pile of dirt blocks our view of the tunnel. Also in front of the East India Marine Hall, paid for by Stephen White who engineered Presidents Harrison’s rise and assassination,  it seemed they uncovered another tunnel. Within the next year they will be reopening a tunnel that had once led from the Essex Institute to the Armory where they house many of their collections. In that collection are Romanov Crown Jewels, possibly acquired by  a member of the Crane plumbing empire when he was Minister to Russia during the Bolshevik Revolution. The jewels might be right next to Blackbeard’s Skull cup…

So what is the PEM hiding?

To find out more read Salem Secret Underground:The History of the Tunnels in the City which is available at Barnes & Noble, Amazon.com, and local shops in Salem, MA for all you tourists and locals alike. Also you can get an advance reader collectible edition of its sequel Sub Rosa on Amazon.com. Later its official release will be sold at Barnes & Nobe on July 4th 2017.