The Tunnels – Pictures Please!

I’ve written quite a bit about the smuggler tunnels; and as we get closer to solving the mystery with research and a whole lot of sleuthing, we need something desperately to fill in the blank parts of the quest.

Tunnel entrances.

I have heard since I moved here in 1987, about walled up tunnel entrances in people’s basements.      It seems someone has one in their cellar; or they know someone who has one in theirs.       It’s almost becoming a standard part of conversation when anyone ventures into the subject of our mysterious tunnels.

It reminds me of one of the reality shows that airs on television.     A show about explorers determined to find evidence of big foot.      They were pretty convincing that basic, big foot smilingscientific evidence was going to finally reveal solid proof of the Big Man of the Forest.      Well, it didn’t take only a few episodes to figure out they were never going to find any such thing; if they did so – oops, there goes the profitable series!      They are just wasting our time.

I am getting really exasperated at the reluctance of those who supposedly have seen these entrances around Newburyport.      We now live in an era where everyone is walking around with a camera in their hand.

Take a picture of these entrances!

You may say, “Why, what’s the point?”      First, it proves they actually exist, and not someone’s romantic notion.      Two, the structure of the entrance, the size of the entrance and the type of brick around the framing plus what was used when it was walled up; tells us reams about the tunnels.       The brick used, the shape of the entrance – all reveal clues that are badly needed.     Plus, the final element is the location – who’s basement which gives us a hint as to the size and extend of the network of the tunnel across town.

Smart phones are becoming common – start using them.

If you take a picture of one of these doorways, please send to        If you need the house location to be confidential and not shared; definitely indicate clearly in the e-mail.

WE NEED PICTURES – please send them along.

-P. Preservationist

PS. The recent Newburyport Magazine issue on tunnels is excellent reading. (though I wished they had a picture of my face!)    The usual doubters and critics though are included which is fair since it was a very balanced and informative article.     But alas, these people do not take into account the terrible state of Newburyport from 1807 to 1825; when the population radically reduced in size and the city went from extreme wealth to extreme poverty literally overnight.  Newburyport became infamous during this period for being heavily involved in smuggling.    So why no records?  Much of Newburyport’s involvement with the Revolutionary War was secret or hidden because of the danger of the enemy knowing; the same case with Smuggling – unlike classic cartoons, the smuggler is not broadcasting his activities.      The merchants in town in 1807 had the money to build the tunnels – and if we can eventually locate these subterranean entrances, early accounts indicate they had a rail system much like mining carts to haul up from the waterfront.        Now to find them!

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One Response to The Tunnels – Pictures Please!

  1. John Harwood says:

    Thanks, Jerry. Let me know how you do.

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