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Location DB > United States > Minnesota > Minneapolis > Teh Quarry
Teh Quarry
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 Database Info
created by Freak on 11/13/2006 3:17 AM
last modified by Freak on 11/13/2006 3:31 AM
Publically Viewable Publically Viewable
This location has been labeled by its creator as Public, and therefore can be viewed by anyone.
See "interesting features"
 Basic Information
Type: Tunnel
Recommendation: drop everything - must see
 Physical Information

Minneapolis, Minnesota
United States
  • See a map of this location
  •  Hazards
     Interesting Features
    Sand/silica mines (active and abandoned), abandoned power and utility tunnels, drains, sewers, smuggling tunnels, prohibition caves, abandoned buildings and open-pit quarries.
     Security Measures
  • fences
  • barbed wire
  • dogs
  • 24 hour guard
  • locked gates
  • wooden boarding
  •  Historical Dates
    Built: 1891
    Closed: 2007
     Required Equipment
  • flashlight
  • rope
  • harness
  • breathing mask
  • gloves
  • head protection
  • long pants / sleeves
  • towelettes
  •  Recommended Equipment

    The tunnels known only as "The Quarry" have long been though to be one of the better sites in the Twin Cities, their extent and maze-like qualities second only to a certain other tunnel system.

    First, some History (names removed to protect the location):
    This extensive sandstone extraction site was opened in 1891 by the <censored> company of St. Paul, Minnesota. The company operated for 11 years as an underground sand mine, digging soft St. Peter sandstone from beneath what was then productive farmland and rail yards of the <censored> railway. Sand from this facility was shipped throughout the US, and used in such products as cement for the Hoover dam, US capitol buildings, and a variety of large skyscrapers in Detroit and Chicago. In 1902 the company was purchased by <censored>, a St. Paul financier and developer responsible for many famous landmarks in the Twin Cities. The mine continued to operate below what was by then becoming a high-class housing development for wealthy Twin Cities residents. Other sand mines or "Caves" in the cities include the Lillydale caves, the Ford sandstone mines, and the UNIVAC caves, as well as a number of smaller sand mines-turned storage caves. None are as extensive as those at the Quarry. A great deal of misinformation and a variety of fake names have previously been used to shroud The Quarry's existence, but I believe that it can be displayed and described without revealing too much to the general public or snooping property owners.

    The Quarry sand mines eventually grew large enough to require their own system of drains and sewer tunnels, dug below the main workings and leading to an outfall near <censored>. These sewers resemble the St. Paul systems dug in the late 1800s and early 1900s, with typical sandstone and limestone walls, brick inverts (floors), and dropshafts connecting to the mine levels and the surface. All quarry tunnels were sloped to allow water runoff to reach the sewer drains. Lately a few of the drains have been upgraded and re-lined with concrete to prevent collapses. In the 1930s the <censored> company dug a number of utility tunnels through the harder Jordan sandstone above the mines, connecting various office and processing buildings to the city power and water grids. These tunnels are not as extensive as the drains, as Jordan sandstone is harder to excavate and takes longer to tunnel through. Despite this difficulty, the utility tunnels were enlarged in the 1950s to serve as fallout shelters for company personell and connect to additional buildings, including company president <censored>'s home on nearby <censored> ave.

    In the early 1900s, the Minneapolis Street Railway company expanded their trackage to the Quarry area to serve the growing housing developments there. The company was later consolidated with the St Paul Street Railway to become the Twin Cities Rapid Transit co. The TCRT built an electrical substation on Quarry property, driving several tunnels from the site to their underwater river crossing leading to <censored>. In later years the TCRT was dissolved and the age of busses destroyed this once grand rapid transit system. The Northern States Power company briefly took ownership of the TCRT tunnels, running NSP power lines through some sections to serve nearby neighborhoods and the mine buildings. These tunnels connect to the active mines, but are highly secured and difficult to enter. There are a great many interesting connetions within these tunnels, some rumors have it that they extend to other "interesting" underground tunnel systems in the twin cities via the sewers and TCRT passageways, but any such connections are very secret... if they exist.... ;-)

    In 1925 the sand mines were briefly closed when <censored>, the owner, was indited in a prohibition smuggling scheme. After a year-long investigation, the FBI and Minneapolis Police raided the company headquarters and arrested many of the principal stockholders. (ST. Paul police of the period were corrupt and accepting bribes from the organization). The prohibition agents discovered a number of hand-dug smuggling tunnels leading from the <cnesored> into the sandstone mines, as well as large storage caves hidden from the normal workings. These secret chambers contained illicit beer and liquor casks, and were reported to have a printing press for counterfitting as well as a stash of weapons and fake passports. Agents estimated that $70,000 worth of liqour was confiscated in the raid, but the guns and printing press were never found. Today these smuggling tunnels are largely sealed off from the original and current quarry, although there are a few hidden and secret interconnections. The smuggling tunnels are much more extensive than you would expect from looking at the site, some running several miles to connect to former houses and businesses in the <censored> neighborhoods.

    Today the property is owned by <censored>, a mining corporation based out of Denver. The company still operates a few of the larger tunnels and galleries, removing sand for local buyers like railroads and MNDOT repair yards. The company also dug a number of open-pit sand mines in the area during the 1950s and 60s, but residential subdivisions and light industrial development in the area has taken over much of the former farmland and halted open-pit mining. While the property is only occasionally worked, the active tunnels are patrolled by security who drive trucks through the tunnels on a regular basis. In addition, the entrances are hidden behind a fenced compound and inside generic-looking warehouses, which prevent most people from even noticing their existence. Entrance is still possible through the drains and a few former TCRT tunnels, namely the now-sealed "Colt 45" and "Grain Belt" tunnels and the former smuggling tunnel known as the "Guillible Cave" (found by Jim Hollison and Action Squad in the late 90s). The names of some entrances have been changed or intentionally made misleading so as not to arouse interest among non-explorers or vandals.
     Media Coverage

     Future Plans
    As with most interesting sites in the twin cities, this will be buldozed and turned into Condos within a year. The sewers will become multi-million dollar yuppie condos for that authentic "grunge" feel.

    Add your own story
     Photo Galleries
    Click to view gallery
    Quarry Photos
    Mon, Nov 13th, 2006
    posted by Freak
    10 pictures
    Click to view gallery
    More Quarry Images
    Mon, Dec 11th, 2006
    posted by Clockwork
    16 pictures

    Add your own photos

    Mark all galleries as Seen
     Web Links

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     Moderator Rating
    The moderator rating is a neutral rating of the content quality, photography, and coolness of this location.

    Category Rating
    Photography 10 / 10
    Coolness 10 / 10
    Content Quality 10 / 10
    This location's validation is current. It was last validated by Emperor Wang on 12/12/2006 6:05 PM.

     Latest Changes
  • on Dec 12 06 at 18:05, Emperor Wang validated this location
  • on Dec 12 06 at 15:33, Clockwork updated gallery picture Quarry Shaft
  • on Dec 11 06 at 23:49, Emperor Wang validated this location
  • on Dec 11 06 at 21:56, Clockwork updated gallery picture DSC03572
  • on Dec 11 06 at 21:54, Clockwork updated gallery picture Quarry Passage
  • on Dec 11 06 at 21:53, Clockwork updated gallery picture Quarry Shaft
  • on Dec 11 06 at 21:51, Clockwork updated gallery picture Quarry Warehouse Baement Support
  • on Dec 11 06 at 21:48, Clockwork updated gallery picture Quarry Warehouse Basement
  • on Dec 11 06 at 21:46, Clockwork updated gallery picture Quarry Warehouse Spiral Stairs
  • on Dec 11 06 at 21:44, Clockwork updated gallery picture Quarry Warehouse
  •  Forum Threads about this Location
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    You must log in for this feature to work.whyshotgun mario516328/28/2014 8:34 PM by shotgun mario
    You must log in for this feature to work.Size of the network?Emperor Wang0173511/13/2006 8:24 AM by Emperor Wang
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