Salem Tunnel Tour
Uncovered Lies Buried Deep Dug up in Witch City: Tunnels uncovered built by our founding father's and America's first millionaire.
127 Essex Street, Basement Studio, Salem, MA 01970
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Take this hour walking tour through the historic streets of Salem, Ma. along the path of the cities ancient smuggling tunnels built by our founding fathers within the Federalist Party. Visit the wharfs, homes, businesses, and banks connected by these tunnels and learn who built them. Special Basement Tour of the Old Essex Bank (217 Essex Street at the Gathering) and its tunnel entrances and ghosts every Thursday at 6PM and 8 PM. Walking Tours are available on Mondays, Thursdays, and Saturdays at 4 Pm touring the route the tunnel takes past the homes, stores, and banks of the famous smugglers, privateers, and politicians who built them. Both tours last 1 hr. We will also be posting special events in buildings attached to the tunnels as they become available, so keep checking the Ticket Page... 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 pay to fill in the ponds in the local commons and flatten the hills while hiding the dirt from the tunnels he was digging to connect wharfs to homes, stores, and banks to move cargo and their proceeds without paying a dime in taxes or duties.. After the Commons beautification program he had a series of 2 brick Federalist homes built at fixed lengths around the Commons and beyond to hide the large purchases of bricks and create a draw system to provide air in the tunnels by attaching the tunnels to the fireplace arches in the basements of these homes. These arches also provide the access the captains needed to move their cargo from their ships to store them in their basement until the day was needed to move it to their stores and then deposit the profits into their banks. All underground. 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. Later places like the Bunghole liquor store which were attached to the tunnels were used as a speakeasies during prohibition. 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 has 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. ! Check out our Ratings on Tripadvisor!