Weird Structure in Woods.

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Wildcat wrangler

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An early septic tank? When I first started digging bottles I found this board laying on the ground- about 3’ squared. Being curious I lifted it and was shocked to find a dirt walled room, underground, with a ladder leading down there. All you could see from up top was a board covering the entrance? That- and laying in the middle of the dirt road, there, was a REAL OLD drilled out safe!! Since I lived right there, I came back a week later- it had been raining and that old dirt hideout, underground, had caved in. I’m glad I didn’t go in & check it out from the inside. It was far more deep than what’s in your pix…. I wish I kept that safe. That was just one of the most bizarre things I’ve ran into, while digging!
 

Wildcat wrangler

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Around here, an ice house was a business providing ice- I guess because ponds don’t much freeze here? But there are root cellars that look similar? Do y’all have root cellars there? Just curious.


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Len

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Wildcat, you certainly have some interesting stories. I don't think it was an early septic system. You would have noticed a much softer sediment;) if not that rain enhanced lingering odor. The safe is the real kicker here. Sounds like somebody's stash was found below or nearby. However, those old latter 19th century safes are pretty heavy to be lifted far. An average business size would probably be around 2,000+ lbs. There may have been another room/structure somewhere nearby at some point. Sounds kind of like the result of a robbery... Two things:
A) The spot may still be worthy of looking at a second time
B) My appreciation and love of Madison County still runs even stronger.

BTW, Here in CT and the more densely populated areas of New England, the old 1700-1800s farm houses along with their out buildings are being lost as farming/agriculture continue survival struggles in modern times. Its refreshing to see an old out house, pottery building, ice storage, root cellar, etc. still taking on Father Time--but, sadly, its now a rare experience...
 

CanadianBottles

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An early septic tank? When I first started digging bottles I found this board laying on the ground- about 3’ squared. Being curious I lifted it and was shocked to find a dirt walled room, underground, with a ladder leading down there. All you could see from up top was a board covering the entrance? That- and laying in the middle of the dirt road, there, was a REAL OLD drilled out safe!! Since I lived right there, I came back a week later- it had been raining and that old dirt hideout, underground, had caved in. I’m glad I didn’t go in & check it out from the inside. It was far more deep than what’s in your pix…. I wish I kept that safe. That was just one of the most bizarre things I’ve ran into, while digging!
I found something very similar once, only in my case it was still under construction. I think it was maybe six feet square with a staircase carved into the dirt leading into it and some sort of machinery (likely a rototiller) at the bottom hidden under a tarp. This was in a wooded area in the middle of the city on municipal land, not far from a recreational path, and next to the riverbank. The builders had woven together branches to make a screen which covered the operation from the view of the people living on the other side of the bank. This was in very thick underbrush and very far from the nearest road, so someone had to cart their machinery quite a distance to reach that spot, but it was so close to the path that any work would have been heard by passers by, so presumably everything was being done at night. There were still some very fresh footprints in the dirt, and I suddenly got a bad feeling that I had stumbled upon something potentially very dangerous, so I high-tailed it out of there without sticking around to investigate further.
I decided to take another look when I returned a couple months later and the whole thing had been carefully filled in. I'm still not sure what could have been going on there. My two best guesses are either an underground meth lab, or some students from the nearby university building an underground clubhouse (there was a brief media sensation here shortly afterwards when a mysterious tunnel to nowhere was found in some woods on a university campus - it turned out to be the work of bored engineering students).
 

Len

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Very interesting. I've enjoyed this thread, and Canadian Bottles, always maintained "It could be two things." So watch out for those bored college students' underground activities. Seems like ground penetrating radar will be a more standard tool for our kind. Ahhh, I remember the ole days when a metal detector was considered cheating... Say, what college was that? Thx.
 

CanadianBottles

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Very interesting. I've enjoyed this thread, and Canadian Bottles, always maintained "It could be two things." So watch out for those bored college students' underground activities. Seems like ground penetrating radar will be a more standard tool for our kind. Ahhh, I remember the ole days when a metal detector was considered cheating... Say, what college was that? Thx.
It was York University in Toronto, I remembered wrong and the guys who built it weren't engineering students, they were young construction workers who lived near the campus. https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/toronto-tunnel-dug-by-2-men-as-man-cave-police-say-1.2978109
 

Fenndango

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We had the remains of a creamery much like you described. It was next to the freight house and trolley stop. The structure burned or something but the base of it, concrete, remained with an underground room. On top of the structure was a large heavy old safe. Not drilled. This was at Shelburne Falls trolley museum MA
 

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Love the last two comments. Thanks. --Might just get to that S. F. trolley museum sometime. CT has two active trolley museums: one in E. Haven and the other way up near Bradley Airport. Hang onto your hat!
 
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Wildcat wrangler

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Anyway am surprised they are still live out there ! So laws and stupid things like that are a whole different thing out there. MS13 a few years back- true thugs in the hood- oh- and the neighbor dude waiting for the other neighbors skull decayed enough to make a really cool candle holder…. along with a few other people that they dug up. Wild West laws are prevalent. And you are assuming everyone including yourself is packing heat. It looks like permits only get in the way, maybe? So-thats so cool- and I bet it won’t get broken into/like everyone who ever leaves. Those guys will tear the wall off your cabin…with their truck -so they can take all your stuff-I walked in on my neighbors cabin being done like that-for the 3rd time? Anyway, the 2 creative guys in New York, represent!
 
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