The first thing I noticed when I visited Stumphouse Tunnel is how far away the Ranger station is from the actual park. It isn’t even located in the same area. Why this is I don’t have a clue, but it left the mountainside place feeling isolated. No one else happened to be at the park and the tunnel itself isn’t heavily advertised. You simply park and walk up a gravel hill to its entrance. As I stared into this man-made cavern I thought of the unique history this place has had since being proposed in 1835. Parts of the cavern are inaccessible nowadays. A large metal gate bars your way. Along the wall, teenagers have graffitied the walls with warnings of what lies beyond. Pressing my head to the metal bars I could hear something in the distance. I have no clue what it might have been, though It sounded a lot like someone hammering the walls.
Originally part of what was meant to be a railroad that went from Tennessee through South Carolina. The Stumphouse Tunnel was eventually abandoned during the Civil War. By the time the war was over the dream had been forgotten. It was to be left abandoned for many years after. At some point in the 1950s, Clemson University used the tunnel for producing Blue Cheese. Eventually, it was turned into a park by the city of Walhalla.