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Archive for Saturday, August 25, 2012

25 years ago: Forgotten tunnel discovered under 600 block downtown

August 25, 2012

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From the Lawrence Daily Journal-World for Aug. 25, 1987:

When excavating the site of the old Underwood building, 608 Mass., workers had recently uncovered a tunnel. According to historical records, brick-lined tunnels in the 600 block had been constructed for cables which conveyed mechanical power from the Kansas River dam to downtown businesses. Water wheels and a series of pulleys had allowed the mechanics of the dam to power businesses in the 600 block from the mid-1870s to the early 1900s, according to Steve Jansen, director of the Elizabeth M. Watkins Community Museum. "It's a real connection [...] to the early manufacturing enterprises in Lawrence," Jansen said. "That block has changed so much in its commercial function, I think people are surprised about its manufacturing function." The old Underwood building was being razed to make room for a new warehouse to store newsprint for the Journal-World.

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