Social media abuzz after crews dig up some Halifax history
Published Wednesday, June 14, 2017 8:24PM ADT
Social media is abuzz following reports of Halifax construction crews unearthing evidence of fabled tunnels running beneath the city’s streets.
The photos posted online show a layer of bricks appearing from under the construction site. They’ve raised speculation of whether tunnels were constructed during the city’s early days.
"Everybody's talking about what was misinterpreted, unfortunately, as a tunnel entrance," says Laura de Boer, an onside project archaeologist. "Everyone always loves hearing about tunnels under Halifax."
Laura de Boer says she quickly debunked the dig.
“This is a manhole, basically,” she says. “A workspace for crews to access a 24-inch clay sewer line that runs under Argyle Street."
De Boer says interesting objects have been discovered at the construction – including items dating back to Confederation – in a stone sewer chiseled right out of the bedrock.
De Boer has never come across a tunnel in her field work, but Hal Thompson at Citadel Hill says there may be some truth to the tunnel mystery.
"Yes, there are tunnels,” says Thompson. "The real mystery is who built them and why and what for. Of course, most of this is folklore."
Thompson says a tunnel hasn't been discovered downtown in more than 30 years. But connecting tunnels can be found in the basements of many Halifax buildings.
Eric Spinney, who works at a bike shop where an underground tunnel is located, says there are stories of gold hidden in the walls, or antique bike parts.
“Whether those are true or not, I'm not going to take a chisel and a hammer to everything," says Spinney. "It is hilarious the amount of people who do know that something like this is down here."
The photos of the recent archeological find have reached more than 180,000 people around the world so far, being shared and viewed thousands of times.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Suzette Belliveau.