Demo on old house reveals mystery tunnel

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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – This is not something you see every day. “I think it’s pretty interesting. I’d like to know what’s on the other side of that wall,” Scott Lantz said. “It’s kind of exciting; I heard that it could be the Underground Railroad,” Robin Malcolm said.

Workers tore down an old house as part of the blight elimination program. But what those workers didn’t know: this tunnel was underneath it, at the front of the house. The house was on the 2000 block of Thompson Avenue and Taylor Street in Fort Wayne.

Scott Lantz says his friend’s sister was told about this when she looked into buying the home three or four years ago. “It was rumored that there was a tunnel that tunneled from here all the way over to Taylor Street,” Lantz said.

We were told there are no records or no maps that led back to here. It truly is being called a mystery tunnel. “To our knowledge, everything that we’ve looked at so far, this is nowhere to be found,” Cindy Joyner, Deputy Director of Neighborhood Code Enforcement, said.

When the contractor hit this tunnel during demo, he stopped working, workers put up a fence, and city officials called the state. “I think it’s really cool. I mean who would have thought that something like this would have been under this property,” Joyner said.

Everyone seems to have their own ideas of what it could be. But whatever it is, it’s definitely creating a lot of talk. “I think it’s pretty neat. I’m seeing all the people coming around and looking in there. It’s kind of funny a little bit,” Malcolm said. “A lot of these houses had old cisterns on them but I can’t imagine why somebody would put a house over top of that,” Lantz said. “I have absolutely no idea. I just think it’s really fascinating because this is not a typical demolition for us,” Joyner said.

A state historian will be in town to look at this and try to figure out what it is and when it got there. There’s no word yet on when that will happen.

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