From the collections at the Leavenworth County Historical Society and Museum. Reprinted with permission from The Leavenworth County Historical Society and Museum and the Leavenworth Times. Donated by Debra Graden.

Local "Catacombs" May Have Underground Railway Connection

An arched cave which may possibly have been used in connection with the "Underground Railway" during the Civil War period was recently explored by a group of local men including John Feller and John Feller, Jr., Frank Anneberg, Wm. Edwards and Wm. Edwards, Jr., and Charles Winfrey. An entrance into the "catacombs" in the basement of the Y.W.C.A. building was used. It was discovered that there was and arched cave 10 fet in depth, 22 feet wide, and some 90 feet long, comparitively clean and fret from cobwebs, located some 20 feet underthe Y.W.C.A. building.

Another cave connecting with the above mentioned is located under the Risdon Sterrett Clinic building. It was believed that a third chamber to the south under the Feller Lumber Yaard exists, but an opening believed to lead to it had apparently been clogged by fallen dirt.

The cavern were dug and built in 1857 t store the products of the Grind Brewery, but the project was abandoned in 1859.

The story (of perhaps legend would be better term) goes that Negro slaves wre brought up the Missouri river to Leavenworth, were smuggled by night up Three-Mile creek to Sixth, taken through a tunnel to the cave and hidden there before being moved northward again by night.

Henry Doersam says that there is another large cave which extends from the basement of the Fluharty building to the site of the Hippodrime Theatre across the street.

The walls of the cave explored recently are two feet thich with a perfect arch overhead. The cost of the project must have been quite huge John Feller declared.

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