Historians hunt for Civil War-era passage that could have run from Fort Totten to Bronx





The visitors have heard the urban legend about an escape passage built between Fort Totten in Queens, to Fort Schuyler in the Bronx, where the Long Island Sound and the East River meet.

Historians, park rangers and common sense suggest it is a myth. The technology needed to build a tunnel under more than 100 feet of water, simply didn't exist at the time, they maintain.

But speculation has been stoked by tantalizing clues - including dead-ending corridors and walled-up chambers in both forts. The enduring tale prompted the History Channel to run a segment on it recently.

David Allen, 53, is fascinated by the myth. When he's not teaching history at SUNY Maritime College, housed in Fort Schuyler, he enjoys exploring the Throgs Neck fort's complex maze of underground tunnels.

A few months ago, he discovered a passage that appears to go under the bay headed directly for Fort Totten.


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