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Stumphouse Mountain Tunnel, Walhalla

Categories: Historic Sites, Tourist Spots
Inspirock Rating:
4.1/5 based on 60+ reviews on the web
Stumphouse Mountain Tunnel in Oconee County, South Carolina is an incomplete railroad tunnel for the Blue Ridge Railroad of South Carolina in Sumter National Forest. This is now a Walhalla park which also features nearby Isaqueena Falls.It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1971.HistoryThe tunnel was first proposed in 1835 by residents of Charleston, South Carolina as a new and shorter route for the Blue Ridge Railroad between Charleston and the Ohio river valley area which until then was only accessible by bypassing the mountains entirely to the South and then traveling up north through Georgia and middle Tennessee. In 1852, 13 miles of tunnel were proposed to cross the Blue Ridge Mountains through South Carolina, North Carolina, and into Tennessee. Construction on the railway was begun in the late 1850s and was successful through most of South Carolina until hitting the mountains around Wallhalla in Oconee County. There Stumphouse tunnel along with three other tunnels was to be built.Construction on Stumphouse tunnel began in 1856 when the George Collyer Company of London brought many Irish workers into the area for this project. Many of the workers lived in housing on top of Stumphouse mountain called Tunnel Hill. By 1859, the State of South Carolina had spent over a million dollars on the tunnel and refused to spend any more on the project, therefore the tunnel work was abandoned. The tunnel had been excavated to a length of 1,617 feet of the planned 5,863 total feet. Today, where the tunnel was meant to end on the other side of the mountain, there remains a mound of earth (intended for the railway tracks) submerged during the summer months under Crystal Lake, located just west of Highway 28.
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  • This is a unique piece of history for the area that dates back to the Civil War. It is hard to imagine the hundreds of people who worked on this project. Probably one of a kind. 
  • It was so much cooler in the tunnel nice and refreshing on a hot summer day! We were flip flops and were fine but tennis shoes would have been better! 
  • It's a great photo opp. Have to admit I got a little creeped out. There was no one else visiting and it was very quiet except for the water droplets hitting the floor and echoing. It's in the same par...  read more »
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