Stumphouse Tunnel – Walhalla, South Carolina - Atlas Obscura

Stumphouse Tunnel

An unfinished rail tunnel that has since been used to house cheese and bats. 


Digging a passage THROUGH a mountain seemed like a quick way to speed up the railroad layout in the 1800’s but the Stumphouse Tunnel planners weren’t ready for the hefty cost. 

The tunnel was originally planned by the people of Charleston, South Carolina as an alternative to routing their railroads around the mountains blocking them from the Ohio River area but after spending over a million dollars on the project, the South Carolina government cut funding for the excavation and the tunnel was abandoned. After lying dormant for the better part of the 20th century, the cave was put into service by Clemson University as a blue cheese growing habitat thanks to the cave’s stable 50 degree temperature.

Currently the almost 1,700 feet of unused tunnel is maintained as a public park and visitors are welcome to explore the shallow mountain incursion, however there are bats living in the cave which may send explorers running from the site just like the rail workers of yore.


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