Saturday, July 17, 2010

Ellinwood Kansas Underground Tunnels

This afternoon we visited the Underground Tunnels in Ellinwood, Kansas. In the 1800s this small Kansas town was a happening place above ground and below. Beneath the sidewalks were tunnels that led to a variety of stores, bath houses and saloons.

The walls are built of bricks made locally by the German immigrants that arrived in Kansas to discover there were not trees to build with.

The covers above ground offer a sunlit pattern below.

You can also see bits of history as you wander the tunnels, including some old wallpaper.

This weight was carried so when they needed to tie up their horses they could tie to the weight. The harnass shop is the first place you enter.

The tunnels house some interesting bits of history.

In 1979 the city of Ellinwood decided to collapse the tunnels because of an insurance concern. They pounded in the sidewalks from above, and then filled in the rest and built new sidewalks.

One of the town ladies fought to preserve her small portion of the tunnels and that's what you can tour today.

It's only $5 to tour, and well worth it. Call for tour times 620-564-2400 before you make the trip. I only live about 45 miles away and I've tried multiple times to go and this is the first time I've been able to connect with a tour time.