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Article for March - April 2011

Stumphouse TunnelStumphouse Tunnel - Photograph by Phillip Jones

Stumphouse’s main tunnel is impressive. Created with pick axes and dynamite, it measures seventeen feet wide and twenty-five feet tall, and at 5,863 feet, the tunnel would have been the world’s longest if it had been completed.

“This was where John C. Calhoun was going to win the Civil War before it happened,” says Frank Holleman, pointing to the tunnel’s entrance. “His theory was that if you could connect the South with the agricultural Midwest, you could outmaneuver the North.”

Today Stumphouse Tunnel offers visitors a unique look into South Carolina’s past and a cool respite from hot spring and summertime weather. After we emerge from the dark tunnel, Holleman stops to reflect on what happened in Oconee County in 2007.

“It’s one of the most important events of my life,” Holleman says. “It’s one of those milestones in the lives of everybody, I think, who was involved in it. Nobody had any self interests. It was purely for the good of the greater community and to preserve the area’s natural and historic heritage.”

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© 2011 South Carolina Wildlife Magazine, March - April 2011 - www.scwildlife.com 

 

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