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Old 08-13-2008, 08:22 AM   #324
alkemical
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Mystery Surrounds Leavenworth's Underground City

Some Leavenworth residents have been unknowingly walking around above an underground city, and no one seems to know who created it or why. Windows, doors and narrow paths beneath a title company at South Fourth and Delaware streets lead to storefronts stretching several city blocks and perhaps beyond. There are also several vaults around town. Some of have them been used for breweries.

"They were stores of some type. We just don't know what they were selling, who was running them," said Jennifer Lemons, who works at the title company. Some speculate the underground town was created in the 1800s and could have been used during slavery or for fugitives.

"We know that it was pretty secretive, whatever it was that was down here, because not too many people know anything about it," Lemons said. Katy Ryan is the editor for LV Magazine and has been researching the mysteries below.

"You know, you just think of the underground as such a dark, spooky place, but to think that this could have maybe been some kind of vibrant economic center is just kind of baffling really," Ryan said.

Construction workers are in the middle of a streetscape project, and some worry the history will be erased.

"I think it would just be kind of tragic if no one knew what it was or if no one cared," Lemons said.

Some people who've lived in Leavenworth their entire lives don't know anything about the underground city, and those who do don't know the historical significance.
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