Stumphouse Tunnel

Stumphouse Tunnel

The Blue Ridge Railroad was hoping to bore through Stumphouse Mountain for a line extending from Anderson, South Carolina to Knoxville, Tennesee.  Started in the early 1850s, 1,500 Irish miners cut through blue granite with hand drills, hammers and chisels, and black powder in this and two nearby tunnels. Their efforts came to an end in 1859  when no more funding could be procured to complete the work and subsequent efforts to restart the rail project over the next several decades failed.

Stumphouse Tunnel
Stumphouse Tunnel – top

Even though the ceiling was quite high, 20 or 25 feet ( 6 or 7 meters)  right here, I’m not a fan of underground spaces and stayed pretty close to the entrance. Ted was a bit more adventurous. You can go further, but would want better shoes and light, be prepared for bats, and have water protection for your camera.

Stumphouse Tunnel
Stumphouse Tunnel – Ted looking back to the entrance

There was less green growth on the walls just a short distance from the entrance. Two streams of water a few inches deep flowed on either side of the floor and water dripped from the ceiling. The cool air flowing out of the tunnel was welcome on this hot day.

Stumphouse Tunnel
Stumphouse Tunnel – those are Ted’s footprints in the mud

Stumphouse Tunnel is managed by the City of Walhalla, SC as part of a recreation area.

2 thoughts on “Stumphouse Tunnel”

  1. There’s an old rail tunnel near where we lived in Dunedin and I’d walk past the entrance when walking along the footpath. The blast of cold air coming out was amazing! Initially I was really surprised as the tunnel was fenced off and hidden by shrubbery and I didn’t know it was there!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Neat…and how funny to feel that cold and not know the origin! I’m actually surprised that the public is allowed to freely wander into this one. I’ve heard that it is blocked off at some point due to a rock slide—that’s enough to make me stay at the entrance.

      Liked by 1 person

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