BUSS: Brewer Drain "A"
Hazard Level: 2
|Main Tunnel Clearance: 3-5'?||Tidal Coverage: No||Known # of Tunnels: 6|
|Hazards: Head Injury; Falling|
|Construction Materials: Cement, Coregated Steel.|
This was a fun drain to explore and we still know of one tunnel that we have not been through. A couple of the tunnels are a bit small and long but they are very dry. A skateboard seems to be the optimal mode of transportation in this mostly dry drain. We suspect that this tunnel system might have a connection to the mysterious "Underground Railroad" tunnel which is rumored to exist (and possibly unearthed during recent construction) under a nearby hill.
The "Brewer A-Drain" can be found in Brewer, on the left side of the newest Bangor-Brewer bridge (not sure of its name so we'll call it "Steve"). It should be fairly easy to spot.
Spoiler:(This could get a little confusing)
Unless otherwise noted, tunnels in this drain are of cement.
The drain starts out with a length of tunnel leading to a small round room with two other tunnels entering into it. One tunnel is on the oposite wall, the other is on the left wall. There is also a small 1' diameter tunnel on the right wall, which we suspect leads to a tunnel of similar size in Drain B. The tunnel on the oposite wall heads strait for about the same distance as the first section of tunnel and comes to another manhole-room with a smaller tunnel on the opposite wall. This smaller tunnel is large enough for an easy crawl or ride kneeling on a skateboard, and goes on quite a ways with an occasional manhole-room. It has also been dry everytime we have been in it. It ends with a brick wall blocking further progress.
Back to the first junction room and into the tunnel on the left wall (on the right if exiting the last tunnel sections described). From this tunnel one can hear a torrent of rushing water somewhere in the distance. The tunnel does not seem to go much more than twenty feet before entering another junction room. This one has a tunnel high on the opposite wall and another tunnel smallish tunnel on the right. The tunnel high on the opposite wall is where the sound of rushing water comes from... a small waterfall spills from its mouth to the floor 8-10 feet below. The tunnel on the right wall is almost the same as the other smallish dry tunnel except there is deep dirt in places, making it harder to travel by skateboard. The tunnel goes for a while, passing through several manhole-rooms and, like the other one... ends with a bricked off section of tunnel.
Now we crawl back out to the room with the waterfall comming from a tunnel high on one wall. Climbing onto the outcroppings of the tops of the other two tunnels, it is possible to reach the top edge of the tunnel that is higher up on the wall. Expect to get a little wet from the waterfall. This tunnel is made out of a mildly corregated black plastic material, and just small enough to make crouch-walking a little more difficult than in slightly larger drains. The plastic tunnel goes a fairly short distance before it comes to a manhole-room, then strait across from where the plastic tunnel enters, is a tunnel like the other small crawlable concrete tunnels mentioned earlier in the description of this drain (but this one has some water). That tunnel seems to go for just a little longer than the plastic one before it, then comes to another manhole-room, where the tunnel continues on the wall to the right when entering, and looks like it goes strait for a very long ways. Not having our old skate boards with us, we decided not to do the long crawl up this small drain. However, we will be going back to check it out... this branch of the drain should pass very close to where the old Christmas House was, which was supposedly part of the underground railroad and had a secret tunnel to smuggle freed slaves to the river... and Drain A is the closest drain to the former site of the Christmas House.
During some construction a few years ago, the Christmas House tunnel, or some other tunnel not marked on city maps, was unearthed on the side of the hill that the Christmas house was built on. Agents Wally and Mookenstein saw it, a bricklined tunnel sloping steeply into the hillside, but did not have a chance to explore it before the city covered it with a massive granite slab. A small park was built where the Christmas House once stood, in honor of the former station of the Undergroung Railroad.
What lies beyond the bricked up dead end tunnel? Miles of tunnels, manhole covers paved over, semi-flooded, and infested with starving malnutritioned disease ridden rats? Is there a link between these old drains and the Christmas House tunnel? Who knows... but we would at least like to get our hands on some BDPW storm drain plans and find out where the blocked tunnels go...
Photo, looking skyward in one of the manhole-rooms. Notice that the ladder rungs have been cut away. Its kind of a trippy picture.
Photo of the bricked up wall at the end of the first smallish tunnel section described.
MAP: Arial photo with drain locations for drains A and B mapped in red, and area of Christmas House shown in blue circle.