Bulfinch Tunnels

Library of Congress Tunnel

Bulfinch Tunnels. This is part of the tunnel system between the Adams and Jefferson buildings of the Library of Congress that is at least 4 levels deep. Charles Bullfinch gave a tour of Boston’s and Salem’s underground through their tunnels to President James Monroe and was hired to dig Washington D.C.’s tunnels.

Find out more in Salem Secret Underground:The History of the Tunnels in the City and its sequel Sub Rosa.

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Book Early for October in Salem!

Salem Smugglers’ Tour

Chris Dowgin near Salem ArmoryTake the tour based on the books Salem Secret Underground: The History of the Tunnels in the City and Sub Rosa by your tour guide Chris Dowgin. Learn how a series of tunnels made for gentlemen who had shaped our country led to fortunes that controlled our nation’s banking, shaped our Constitution, brought the first drunk elephant to America, assassinated three presidents, and much much more!!! Also learn about the real murder behind the game Clue!
More than Witches!!!
Salem Smugglers’ Tour
http://www.salemtunneltour.com

Founding of a Game Empire

Paid for by Smuggling…

William B Parker was the grandfather of the Parker Brothers and a smuggler in Salem.

 

I am William Parker. I am a Smugglers in Salem and the Parker Brothers’ grandfather. My cousin’s mysterious death before he presided over the famous Joseph White murder of 1830 led my grandson to purchase Cluedo and rename it Clue. The mysterious death of Chief Justice Isaac Parker the night before he was to be in court spurred my grandson’s purchase of the game. 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.Salem House Press
http://www.salemhousepress.com

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!!

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.

Salem Mystery Series Set in Tunnels Using the Surname Dowgin!!!

Grave Errors by Carol Perry Book CoverA Characters Named Dowgin?

My friend Carol Perry has just completed another of her “Witch City Mystery” series. The new one is Grave Errors set inside of Salem on Nov 1st, the Day of the Dead when Salem truly turns into a ghost town. She has graced my family with having characters named after our surname (I hope their good characters). So check out Grave Errors and the other books in the “Witch City Mystery” series which is largely set within Daniel Lowe’s.
One book featured the tunnels she read about in Salem Secret Underground.  I wonder if the tunnels return in this book… She even beat Janet Evanovich in using the book on the tunnels in her mystery series. Evanovich used my research in Wicked Charms set in Salem and Marblehead. Check Carol’s series out now, and then be all caught up when Grave Errors is released!

Here is Carol mentioning me in the Acknowledgements:

Check out Salem Secret Underground: The History of the Tunnels in the City and find out where all the mystery writers are getting their secrets from!

Available at Barnes & Noble, Amazon.com, and various local shops in Salem, MA!

Pre-orders for: Grave Errors on Amazon.com.

New Tunnel Finds

Tunnels in Salem MA photos

TUNNELS IN SALEM AND BEYOND

  Through the years since Salem Secret Underground has been written I have kept looking for new homes that are connected. Sometimes when I find them they come with funny stories. There was a home on Northey Street that housed a woman who was a horrible cook. Next door was an excellent cook. They would meet in the tunnel in between the houses and the one woman would deliver home cooked meals for her neighbor. These were passed off as her own.

  Around the corner on Woodbury Court I met a family that had a tunnel running ¾ of the length of their home that was used to smuggle to and from the North River. The only thing blocking the entrance was a tall hill of sand.  There was this great kid who would light up every time he would see me. I was that guy who told him he had a pirate tunnel in his basement. I kept hoping he would take his sand shovel and dig the entrance open…

  Other times I would just schedule an appointment to see a house that was on the market. Several real estate agents would hand me their info and I would go and investigate the basements of these homes. Sometimes the agent forgot to bring the keys to the basement.  When they did not I would get images of these sealed up ways. I found more houses on Oliver, Andrew, Federal, and Chestnut Streets. Sometimes I just confirmed homes I speculated about in the first book. With each confirmation I got to make updates to the book. Salem Secret Underground was a living book, it changed from week to week, or month to month for seven years.

  In one of those houses I confirmed on Pickman Street had turned one of the tunnels into a bomb shelter. All of the stored water from the 40’s or 50’s were still in large wine bottles. Where the addition was added in the back there was a well in the basement where they used to drop gold fish into. This property was on the edge where Collins Cove used to be on the corner of Milk and Pickman streets, so the tunnel in the back of the house was flooded.

   I have been under the chapel in Greenlawn Cemetery. We filmed those tunnels for a documentary. Another documentary on the tunnels airs on YouTube and Winthrop Cable. A tunnel led 20 feet from the basement heading southeast under the old greenhouse. A greenhouse, I wonder if it was the one Elias Hasket Derby Jr. sold in 1811 that was part of the Derby Mansion on Derby Square. The tunnel is blocked off at a staircase. This tunnel at one time was lit by electricity, much like the one coming out of the old Naumkeag Trust building on Essex Street. Heading Northwest from the basement is a long corridor leading to a chamber that used to house corpses in the winter. Now its stalls houses weed whackers. There is another tunnel leading south. Next to it is a toilet that had a ton of bricks dropped on it. I hope no one was using it at the time.  One tunnel leads to Orne’s Point.

  Other Tunnels in the Nation

There are many tunnels in Georgetown, another Peabody hunting ground. On the  3300 Block of O Street Col. Alf Heidberg found an arched tunnel when digging out the basement for a bomb shelter.  He lived there in the 50’s. His wife’s second husband was General Douglas MacArthur.  Also the Halcyon House in Georgetown has what they call a slave tunnel which is haunted. Plus, Healy Hall Georgetown University.

  Then the Water Street Custom House and under Federal Hill in Baltimore. This was the town Peabody moved to before he left for London.

  Then the most interesting is Joseph Bonaparte’s mansion in Bordentown, NJ off of the Delaware. He moved to NJ in 1815 buying 1,800 acres in town. He was once king of Spain and Naples when his brother loomed over Europe. In 1816 he built his mansion Point Breeze that burned to the ground in 1820, but not before creating a paradise. An avid gardener Bonaparte installed a park on the grounds which was the forerunner to Central Park that he kept open to the public. The park was improved with trees, twelve miles of bridle paths and carriage drives, and an arched brick causeway across a man-made lake was constructed, all at a cost believed to be over $300,000 (over four and a half million in today’s dollars).

  Many powerful people would visit his home. One was Stephen Girard. Stephen Girard who purchased most of the stocks of The First Bank of the United States when it lost its charter opened his own bank known as Girard’s Bank in the same building. He underwrote 95% of the loans to pay for the War of 1812. He then became a major stockholder and director of The Second Bank of the United States in Philadelphia along with Joseph Story. Girard bought Joseph Bonaparte  a 16 oar barge to row his guests up the river.

  Henry Clay Sr. had just took the last room in the City Hotel in NYC when Bonaparte arrived in America. Clay just returned from the signing the Treaty of Ghent to end the War of 1812. Upon hearing Joseph was in the hotel he offered him his dinner and suite. This was the beginning of their friendship.  Could of Clay brought Daniel Webster and John Quincy Adams to Point Breeze. All have known to visit, but at the same time? If they did indeed visit together, I wonder if they compared the quality of his tunnels to the ones in Salem?

  Then the Hoosac Tunnel outside of Fitchburg, MA in 1819. Originally proposed as a canal to connect Boston to Upstate New York via the Deerfield River on the east of the Hoosac Range and the Hoosic River on the west. That project was shelved, and later reborn as part of the new Troy and Greenfield Railroad. The project was nicknamed “The Great Bore” by future Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr., who said he’d like to “wall up a dozen lawyers at one end of the tunnel and put a good fee at the other.” One of which is the lawyer Elias Hasket Derby III. He was the lawyer for the Fitchburg Railroad. His father might have engineered long tunnels, Junior was set to make huge tunnels.  The Hoosac was built after Derby received a loan for $650,000 to build it. His other railroad from Boston to New Bedford was the Old Colony. The Old Colony rail will soon be restored as a commuter rail by my friend Adam who is working on the engineering plans for the State.

  I looked up this reference after an acquaintance in the basement of an old underground smuggling train station now called Opus Underground in Salem. He had mentioned walking in long tunnels in Fitchburg and ending up under a grocery store.  Also Fitchburg State University has a tunnel leading from Palmer House through the new Hammond Campus Center second level to the Thompson Hall’s basement. Thompson Hall was the original building built in 1896 that the college was housed in at its beginning. It is much like the Loring Mansion (St. Chretienne Academy) now part of Salem State University South Campus with the tunnel leaving the basement through the side of the hill to the old girls high school.

Here are some of their pictures:

To find out more and other fabulous stories about how Salem, MA shaped American History read Sub Rosa by Christopher Jon Luke Dowgin published by Salem House Press.