The Bizarre (Bootlegging?) Tunnels Beneath Florence, Omaha

Eric Hoffman

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The story of the bizarre (bootlegging?) tunnels beneath Omaha's Florence neighborhood
CHRIS MACHIAN/THE WORLD-HERALD
POSTED: MONDAY, JULY 4, 2016 12:15 AM | UPDATED: 8:27 AM, MON JUL 4, 2016.
By Chris Peters / World-Herald staff writer


There’s something strange on the bluff behind Omaha’s Florence Boulevard.

Buried in overgrowth along a steep wooded hillside is a collection of peculiar openings. Peel back the brush and you’ll find the exits of century-old tunnels, framed with stone and concrete.

Some are packed in with dirt, leaving just enough space to peek inside at a cold trail toward the houses up the hill. One has a mouth that opens up to a wide passageway with graffiti on the walls and rebar that pokes out of a thick-packed dirt wall.

The most haunting of the tunnels behind the boulevard has no end in sight.

Underneath a thick slab of concrete, in between two cinder blocks, the slim tunnel has a push-button light switch. Overhead lights line the tunnel, but they’re dead. Snails crawl along the walls, condensation drips from the ceiling, and soft dirt melts underfoot. ...
Continued:
http://www.omaha.com/living/the-sto...cle_18fc929e-3f01-11e6-90d0-5bb0617c9b8a.html

Yith: edited to add flavour text - interesting stuff.
 
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Yithian

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A bump here as non-members seem to find it an interesting thread. It's mostly rumours, but the page that is linked to has an abundance of photographs and a lengthy description of the locale.

One of the houses is even rumored to have a secret passageway that’s activated by pulling a book on a bookshelf. Just as in “Scooby-Doo.”
 

EnolaGaia

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Attempting to access that page from within an EU country appears to be a no-go. :(
You might try some of the other stories / reviews of the Omaha tunnels (of which there are many, and about which stories abound ... ). For example ...
Subterranean labyrinth whispers secrets from Omaha's past

Down below the din of Omaha’s Old Market, under the bustling crowds, beneath the eclectic shops, a brick-lined labyrinth from a bygone era winds its way through a subterranean corner of the city whispering secrets.

Let’s burrow.

Omaha's old downtown once had a small tunnel system connecting several buildings. One tunnel ran from 16th and Dodge a few blocks south to the old Woolworth building. Another snaked under 16th Street to the Brandeis building.

The tunnels were mostly sealed-up in the 1980s ....
FULL STORY: https://www.wowt.com/home/headlines...spers-secrets-from-Omahas-past-378259191.html
 

EnolaGaia

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EnolaGaia

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This cursory mention in an Omaha UL article suggests the tales told about the tunnels may be exaggerated in scope.
Omaha’s Urban LegendsThings That Go Bump in the Night

Omaha’s Tunnels

There are a lot of tunnels under houses in Omaha, but it is unlikely many, if any, were used for transporting bootleg liquor, which everybody claims. Omaha was an open town during Prohibition, and booze could easily be transported by truck. Some home brewing probably took place in tunnels, but most date to pre-Prohibition days, and were more likely used as fruit cellars and other legal uses.
https://omahamagazine.com/articles/omahas-urban-legends/
 

marhawkman

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When I was a teen I saw a news report on CNN about some guys in Chicago who accidentally poked a hole into the old coal tunnels and let the river in. It was actually a relatively common thing in some places back in the 1800s to have a service entrance that was a tunnel and that's what a lot of the old tunnels in Chicago were. Coal delivery was via underground rail carts, but a lot of other deliveries were too. As crowded as the streets of Chicago are I really wonder why they're so disused. Although apparently the internet is routed though them. Why dig more tunnels when you can string cable in the ones you already have? :D
 
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