A passage of Solemnity and Darkness

The worlds oldest subway has a curious history.

Built in 1844 Cornelius Vanderbilt this tunnel was for his trains that were “accidentally” running over Brooklyn residents on his tracks. By the late 1850’s the tunnel was useless as Vanderbilt changed his interest from trains to steamboats. A shady contractor was hired to fill in the tunnel, but it’s reported that he didn’t  do so.

In 1979 Bob Diamond was a Brooklyn engineering student. We was sitting in his kitchen listening to the radio where a book by G.J.A O’Toole “The Cosgrove Report” was being discussed.  The book talks about Lincoln’s assassination and that the lost journal pages of John Wilkes Booth might be in a long forgotten tunnel running under Atlantic Ave. Of course the whole thing sounded absurd but the young Diamond couldn’t help but find his interest piqued.

After a year of milling over discarded and mislabled Department of Transportation blue prints, Diamond finds the long lost tunnel. However, the tunnel is blocked in the middle by a large wall, leaving roughly six blocks of the tunnel, as of yet, unexplored. Diamond believes there is a good chance that a locomotive originally built by British locomotive pioneer Robert Stephenson may lay in that section of tunnel. Booth’s diary may be there after all.

You can tour the tunnel this June 28th!


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