Tunnels: X marks the spot

Tunnels - the approach

In my last post on tunnels; I posed one of the questions I would like to know answered, “How deep are the tunnels?”      Well, I took a GPS to the Oak Hill Cemetery and on the flat top of the former Maid Hill Cemetery section; I received a reading of 83 feet above sea level.         I went down to the lowest lane that issues out directly to State Street. (It is presently blocked by the Water Department Building), and travelled to several mausoleums along the path.

Smuggler's path to the westTo tunnels - Question Mark

Mausoleum with no nameFrom this point down to the pond, it is precipitous.        So even if it is not behind one of these mausoleum doors; the likelihood is that it isn’t any lower.        There I received a reading of 68 feet.      So approximately the depth of the tunnel is around 15 feet below the surface.     I took a picture of what height that would be by showing this tree where 15 feet up is where the 2nd fork in the branches is clearly seen.

15 Feet comparison

Now for the subject of the bottleneck which I proposed in the earlier post.        If you see this picture, it would be easy for the tunnel to run under the lawn of the Ellen T. Brown Chapel.   Yard Path The GP radar would probably miss locating it.     So no matter how you look at it, it must be beneath the roadbed of the approaching lane to the Zombie Gate (Tappan Gate).       To the east the land drops away precipitously and to the west, State street lies far below with even the back yard of the house right up against the roadbed.

Sharp lowland to the west Sharp lowlands to the east

After seeing the right and left side of the lane; I have determined that the best point to use the Ground Penetrating Radar is right between two large trees.

X MARKS THE SPOT.Tunnels - the bottleneck

Later, if the radar (if it can be obtained) does detect the presence of the tunnel; we will need to find out if this is a private road owned by the cemetery association or by the City of Newburyport.     Then comes trying to figure out how we can obtain permission for a dig.

But I don’t want to get too far ahead in planning.

It will be devastating enough if it turns out the radar indicates there is nothing present!

-P. Preservationist

This entry was posted in Archeology, Education, History, Landscapes, Planning. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Tunnels: X marks the spot

  1. John Harwood says:

    Good work, Jerry.

  2. The Oak Hill Cemetery Board has confirmed that the roadbed is part of the cemetery.

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