Prohibition Era Bunker Found At Grand Rapids Home
A Grand Rapids family made a shocking discovery at grand-ma's house while metal detecting. With the homes roots dating back to the 1800's, the home owner's daughter thought she might have stumbled upon an underground tunnel system or possibly a prohibition bunker.
Lara LaBryer and her two sons were metal detecting at her mother's home which is one of the oldest houses in Grand Rapids. The house dates back to 1888. Lara told WZZM,
"Pretty much everywhere we went back there the metal detector was dinging. There was one specific area right next to the house where it wouldn't stop making sounds."
Lara started digging and unearthed several items, including a belt buckle, old nails, shotgun shells and a shoehorn. Then she started finding bottles. Booze bottles that were labeled 'Federal Law prohibits sale or use of this bottle." Lara thought she might have stumbled upon a prohibition bunker. She called in archeologist Matthew Daley, Ph.D., a history professor from Grand Valley State University.
He went to the house armed with old maps and old photos of the home. Dr. Daley concluded the hole is where the home's cistern used to be. A cistern was a tank used for storing water.
The smoking gun was an old photo of the house, believed to have been taken sometime between 1900-1935, showing an extension on the back of the house - built above the cistern.
Dr. Daley said of the find,
"It's highly likely the structure that used to exist above the cistern was the home's former kitchen, when homes back then eventually got running water, often times, they'd turn their cisterns into garbage dumps."
Lara states that "one man's trash is another man's treasure". She plans to take some of the artifacts back to her home in Arkansas.