Mysterious Florida tunnels’ secrets revealed


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A newspaper article from virtually 100 years in the past has shed new gentle on the mysterious tunnel community beneath the historic neighborhood of Ybor Metropolis in Tampa, Fla.

A Nationwide Historic Landmark District, Ybor Metropolis is situated northeast of downtown Tampa. The district’s tunnel community stays a supply of fascination for historians and a latest report from Fox 13 gave a glimpse of the unusual subterranean world.

One principle suggests that the tunnels had been utilized by Prohibition-era smugglers and bootleggers. There has additionally been hypothesis that the tunnels had been a part of a community that transported Chinese language prostitutes from Cuba to the Port of Tampa to Ybor Metropolis within the early 1900s.


A 1921 newspaper article, nonetheless, gives contemporary clues as to the tunnels’ makes use of.

Michael Strickland, a professor at Amridge College and impartial historic researcher, contacted Fox Information after seeing the Sept. 25, 1921 difficulty of the Tampa Tribune.

A Tampa Tribune reporter accompanied police into the mysterious tunnels as a part of an article. “Underground tunnels, hidden panels, strong, barred doorways, veiled passages, lookout poops and sign gadgets, all relics of a bygone day and age on this metropolis, had been found,” the article says. “As well as, playing paraphernalia of all types, celo tables, poker and bolita layouts, each system recognized to the ingenuous minds of the playing fraternity, had been present in what had been as soon as infamous resorts.”

“Organized vice as such now not exists on this metropolis,” declares the article’s headline, with the reporter noting that former playing joints are empty.


After all, it’s potential that the tunnel community was put to varied makes use of at completely different instances in its historical past.

Based in 1886, Ybor Metropolis is famend for its wealthy structure, which incorporates former cigar factories and social golf equipment. Fox Information has reached out to Ybor Metropolis with a request for touch upon this text.

The Tampa Tribune ceased publication in 2016.

Historic tunnels are additionally present in different U.S. cities, such because the Cobble Hill tunnel in Brooklyn. Inbuilt 1844, the huge tunnel beneath a busy Brooklyn road has been described because the world’s oldest subway tunnel.

In Canada, a community of early 20th-century utility tunnels beneath the town of Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, was used as shelter by Chinese language immigrants and in addition by bootleggers within the 1920s. Some anecdotes even hyperlink Al Capone to the tunnels, though it has not been proved that the well-known gangster visited Moose Jaw.

Comply with James Rogers on Twitter @jamesjrogers

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