I don't know if it's pure ignorance or one of Rockford's best-kept secrets.

Apparently, there are a bunch of old tunnels underneath Rockford.

If you haven't been in the tunnels of Rockford, you have a right to be skeptical. I mean, "Why would there be a whole system of tunnels in Rockford anyway?" is a reasonable response.

Photo by Jez Timms on Unsplash
Photo by Jez Timms on Unsplash
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It's such a secret in Rockford that a Facebook post from 2013 is one of the only things on the internet asking or talking about the tunnels.

On July 10, 2013, Our City, Our Story asked:

"There are/were tunnels under Rockford?"

Surprisingly (or unsurprisingly depending on who you are) there were answers, locations, and some explanations on the Rockford tunnels.

Photo by Ihsan K on Unsplash
Photo by Ihsan K on Unsplash

Here are some rumored locations and descriptions of tunnels in Rockford according to Our City, Our Story on Facebook:

  • Briggs Mansion
  • Buckbee School
  • The tunnels "used to deliver from river bank companies to center city."
  • Under East State by the bridge
  • Steam tunnels "at Reed-Chatwood."
  • Barber Colman
  • A tunnel "under Karlberg Tan" by the mall.
  • "Rockford was also an underground railway safe place."
  • The old Caffe Greco on South Street. "Three tunnels that led to several railroads tracks were used to roll out the barrels to be shipped out on waiting trains."
  • This tunnel was "underneath my Dad's street when he was a kid" and "each would have a fake fireplace with a pit underneath."
  • Tunnels under "the courthouse and one under West State to Lincoln Park School."
  • Tunnels on "Pershing Street by the Orthodox Church."
  • Another tunnel "into the old Elks Lodge" that "runs across from the boarded-up shop on the corner of Main and Jefferson."

Then there's this, found on Reddit.

I have never been in the tunnels of Rockford. Have you? Do you have any more tunnel locations in town?

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