I’ve been busy with departmental stuff the past few days, so posting has been light. I thought I’d share this little bit from Leavenworth, Kansas: apparently there’s an old, small underground city underneath the downtown that nobody knew about until recently and nobody knows what it was for!
Details in the news article are sketchy. There isn’t any information on the overall size of the area, the number of rooms, or when it was rediscovered. There’s an accompanying video which doesn’t add much to the tale.
The report suggests that the underground city “was created in the 1800s and could have been used during slavery or for fugitives.” (Again, it doesn’t suggest what evidence suggests this.) I’m not so sure about the slavery angle, myself: Leavenworth was founded in 1854, only a few years before the Civil War and the end of slavery. The earliest settlements presumably came with the foundation of Fort Leavenworth in 1827. It seems unusual that a significant ‘underground railroad’ stop, complete with shops, would have been feasible for a town of 7,000.
The only clue that seems to be present is the remains of a store sign, with 10¢ displayed. Of course, without knowing exactly what that money buys, it’s a bit hard to narrow down the date.
Anyone have their own pet theories? Post ‘em in the comments!