SALEM WALKING TOURS OF THE TUNNELS
We offer a Salem
walking tour illuminating the history of our ancient
smuggling tunnels built by our founding fathers within
the Federalist Party. Salem walking tours are available
on Mondays, Thursdays, and Saturdays at 4pm and 8PM
touring the above ground route the tunnel takes pass
the homes, stores, and banks of the famous smugglers,
privateers, and politicians who built them. You will
learn about the American architectural style that was
built just to hide the tunnels entering the buildings.
We will pop open the cover of two old tunnels and peer
in (Unfortunately someone filled them up.). See the
haunted buildings attached to the tunnels and hear the
stories about them. Walk the above ground route of the
Underground Railroad in Salem. Walk pass the homes that
Presidents George Washington, John Quincy Adams, and
James Monroe entered into the tunnels from! See the
buildings the architect of the National Capital built
that are connected as well. Learn how our nation's first
National Guard filled in 5 ponds in the Commons just
to hide the dirt from digging the tunnels. Along the
way you will also see photographs of orbs, tunnels,
sealed entrances, and the people who built them. The
Salem walking tour of the tunnels in town lasts 60 minutes.
We will also be posting special events
in buildings attached to the tunnels as they become
available, so keep checking the Ticket Page for new
In 1801 a series of Senators, Congressmen,
Collectors of Customs, Generals, Murderers, Pimps, Gamblers,
Privateers, Pirates, Bootleggers, a Supreme Court Justice,
a Secretary of the Navy, and a U.S. President conspired
to extend the tunnel system in town to avoid paying
Jefferson's Custom Duties on Imports. Elias Hasket Derby
Jr. , son of this countries first millionaire, constructed
an elaborate plan with 144 subscribers to fill in the
ponds in the local commons and flatten the hills while
hiding the dirt from the tunnels. This plan connected
the wharfs to a secret underground train station. Along
the way the tunnels would connect to the homes, stores,
and banks of these subscribers. All in full view of
the Joseph Hiller who was head of the Custom House.
He was a fellow Mason and subscriber as well. After
Elias' improvements in the Commons he convinced a series
of politicians and merchants to construct two grand
Federalist brick mansions next to each other at fixed
distances throughout town. These brick mansions had
three reasons to be built. One was to hide the purchase
of bricks needed to construct the tunnel to that point.
Second they needed the exterior chimneys to provide
structural support through their fireplace arches in
the basement to connect the tunnels to. Lastly the flues
in the fireplace arches was used to create a draw system
to circulate air into the tunnels from various manholes.
These subscribers moved cargo from their ships to their
homes to store. From there they would move the cargos
of raw materials to their clients or finished goods
to their stores. All duty free.
Each generation since then has found
new uses for these tunnels. Leading up to the Civil
War, abolitionist used these tunnels as part of the
Underground Railroad. In one old bank two runaways had
died and are still interned in a cement coffin in a
basement of an old bank. The tunnels were also used
during Prohibition. The basement of Bunghole Liquors
is attached to these tunnels. During Prohibition it
was a funeral home with a speakeasy in the basement
amidst the formaldehyde tubes in the wall and the corpses.
A local museum still uses these tunnels to move their
artifacts from building to building. In fact this museum
has always had a tunnel leading to the sea to move their
treasures from foreign ports. Are they still using them?
They recently have bought up three buildings that are
attached to the tunnels in which their museum used to
reside in. Are they keeping secrets? The founders of
this museum still have a secret clubhouse on top of
the local hotel. A very exclusive club with strict membership
requirements. Do our local Masons still use these tunnels?
They did in the nineteenth century. In fact many help
build them, like Elias Hasket Derby Jr. and Joseph Hiller!
Salem Ghost Tour?
Also along the way on this Salem walking
tour we will show you the buildings that are haunted
connected to the tunnels. Places the other tours do
not know about! Ghost stories mixed with smuggling and
illicit politics! Just let your guide know you are interested
in our Salem ghost tour and he will incorporate more
paranormal stories into the tunnel tour. Our tours can
be shaped for your preference!
here for tickets for our Salem walking tour pass
the sites connected to the tunnels!
out our Ratings on Tripadvisor!
Secret Underground :The History of the Tunnels in the
Christopher Jon Luke Dowgin
Salem House Press Purveyors of fine
publishing and facilitator to the arts.
Secret Underground on Facebook!
See more tunnel pictures, historic
car crashes in Salem, old postcard images, and more!!!