Roger Carson, who owns the building at 826 Caroline St., gave the City Council and City Officials a guided tour of the adjacent George Street tunnel Tuesday. Carson and his wife, Mary, discovered stairs leading to the tunnel when they renovated their building. The tunnel’s builder and uses are a mystery, and the Carsons aren’t sure how far it extends beyond where rubble blocked off part of it.
Fredericksburg hired Dovetail Cultural Resource Group to sift through sections of sand and coal dust on the tunnel floor last week in search of clues, and will be using ground penetrating radar to see how far the tunnel goes. That work is part of a broader downtown pedestrian improvement project that will include replacing concrete sidewalks in 20 blocks downtown with brick.
Carson said that he’d eventually like to have a viewing portal installed so visitors can peer inside the tunnel, which preliminary findings show might date to the mid-19th century, and glimpse its arched brick ceiling.