most recent information will be posted at the top of this page
Wally's map of the drain as he remembers it. round junctions are round lids, all solid so far; square junctions are square grates, either slotted or square holes. We have not yet seen the grate near the wall with the pig graffiti, but it's depth and location sound like it would be connected to the small crawlable (slitherable is more like it) that branches from lid A going towards hampden (he has not crawled up that one yet). the lid A branch with the ? at the end is too small to crawl through. Some of the map. the tunnel at the top that's labeled 'crawler' is where he turned back after going a very short ways in.
trying to get a look at outflow #3 was why I was down there... it's in around the corner just far enough to now be able to see it from the dirt-boardwalk. was down there again today, but the tide was not quite all the way out. didn't see any crawlable pipe, or any small steel pipes... but there is this square hole in the cribwork that looked interesting. not sure what time low tide was supposed to be, but it looked like it was only about 1/2 to 2/3 of the way out. when I was there it was half full of water (maybe about three or four feet tall). very muddy looking floor and wooded walls. didn't have my light so I couldn't get a good look inside. yep, I walked past Williams camp a few days ago, didn't go in, but it looked like quite a mess in there.
the different looking lid is on the corner closest to the Seadog and the bridge, it might also be the closest lid to the building. maybe there's gas/propane tanks down there.. there's something like that in one of the alleys between Harlow, Franklin, and Central; but that one is a smooth/solid lid with small hinged handles. the one by the Waterfront Bar is solid with a diamond pattern, small circle in the center that had the manufacture's name or something. there's also an odd lid on Main st, in front of the opera house or theater (not sure what it is now).. I think that one had some kind of pattern on it with a star.
the trenches... they don't look like much. I've been past there on days when they were not working and they were left open, with boards (sometimes with dirt on top of them) placed over the manhole shafts that were open. A couple times when I walked past, it looked like they were laying in gas lines or something... a bunch of grey plastic pipes about three or so inches in diameter, all layed flat along the bed of the trench.
hmmm.. odd thought. have you talked to anyone lately about the stitching in old Swiss militery uniforms?
9-09-03 update: a series of unexpected things cut this bike trip a bit short and I was only off for a couple days... a bolt inside one of my new pannier packs chewed it's way through a two liter bottle of water and soaked all of the clothing I had taken for the trip, and I just happened to meet up with some friends near Prospect so got a ride back to Bangor with them. only took three hours to bike about as far as Prospect, almost into Stocton Springs.. was only about a 3.5 hour ride, and camped out in some woods next to the road. I'll likely be taking off again sometime soon.. things I've been wanting to check out are the granite quarry on Mt. Waldo; the fire tower on Bald Mt in Dedham, an old factory in Ellsworth; a place marked in my Maine atlas as Washington Junction, it's on the railroad just east of Ellsworth and I've heard that that entire line that goes down through Holden towards Ellsworth is no longer used... hoping for an abandoned or ruined railroad station. also hoping to get back up to take pictures of some old cars and ruins in Greenbush, and maybe up towards Alton to take a look at the gravel pits you mentioned.
From what our friend's co-worker said, it sounded like the caves between Milo and Bangor were natural caves, he did not say anything about mineshafts.. I think he said they were in the woods someplace.. but at best it's all second or third hand information. I'm no expert on natural caves, but I've always thought that it took water running through limestone or sandstone or something like that to form caves, or old underground lava flows where the volcanic rock has eroded away.. only heard about the lava tubes on islands in the Pacific, so I doubt it's that (though I have been told that Maine had a lot of volcanic activity in it's geological history); and most of the rock I've seen around has been granite. We've found small caves in granite, but nothing large enough to get lost in... just some large cracks and an area where large slabs and boulders had broken away from a cliff face and fallen into a pile creating small caves under some of the large rocks. These are all in the woods down around Phillips Lake (one on Oak Hill, and others between route 1a and Big Hill). These are also things I hope to get pictures of before winter, the "tunnels/drains/caves" section needs some non-manmade caves. but anyways, the caves this guy was talking about could have been a mineshaft... going to keep asking around and see if anyone else has heard about it.
Also might add a section for random odd things... like the fountain by Pickering square that is actually downtown's smallest building (the vent hidden in the bushes is actually a door and someone left it open one night, there's a room in there with a bunch of pipes and valves). there's a small round pond near Brewer lake in Orington, it's been rumored to be bottomless... not sure what else that section would have. a section for homeless camps would be cool, but we may have to start a second site since we've used over 19/20th of our storage space in this account.. they give us 20 megs and 19.3 megs have been used so far.
was down by the terrace tunnel the other day at low tide.. saw your mark on the tree in that homeless camp. checked out the hole in the cribwork on the other side of the small cove, it seems to be just a few missing logs.. no tunnel, but it looked good from across the cove. went a ways up #8, it has it's own page now.. also found the old outflows for "old drain #8". the upper one can be found fairly easily from beside the tracks.. standing at the sign for #8, walk five to ten feet away from downtown. there's a small pile of railroad spikes (maybe ten or 15 of them) between the tracks and the riverbank; right next to that is a small clearing in the brush on the edge of the tracks, can see the top of a crawlable cement tunnel on the riverbank by the small clearing. the entrance to the lower, older tunnel is further down on the bank, and a few feet up river.. also round cement, but half full of dirt and the top is smashed in at the end of it.
took a walk down through the canal at low tide today, started at the upper end and walked down to hancock st, but the tide was in too far to get out that end without going in over my knees.. walked back to the other end, but by that time the tide was in further so I had to go past knee deep anyways. wasn't able to see anything that looked like cribwork across the streem between the fed building and PD. Also walked over to drain #3 (I think that's the number, near the big field next to Main St.). went down over the bank and was going to go in and take a look inside but then noticed some dude trying to seduce a squerrel next to the tree line right above the drain. I'm thinking about making a couple ladders out of rope or chain and plastic or metal pipe and hanging it in the steep part of the 395 tunnel. Haven't been back there again since that first time cause of the climb up the steep part.
also saw the trapdoor you found in the grass.. that is a little odd, so far away from a building. maybe it goes down to an electrical room. did you see the trapdoor next to the door to the Waterfront Bar? it's rusted through in one small area.. but I haven't had a chance to take a look through the holes yet. it likely goes into the basement of that building. there are a lot of lids around that area near the road by the Seadog, one of the ones right next to the corner of the building with the Waterfront is a solid lid that is different than any others I've seen.
have you ever heard anything about a cave that was somewhere between Bangor and Milo? A few months ago someone told us about some caves that were dynamited a few decades ago because some kid got lost and was never seen again, or something like that. I guess it was just the entrance that was dynamited, and the guy a friend of ours was talking to said that he (or a friend of his) found where the old entrance was, and found a way in through a small hole filled with porcupine shit. That's about all we know about it, and the location is somewhere near a road between Bangor and Milo (maybe rt 16/6 Bennoch rd out of Oldtown), but closer to Milo.
Also, we're now fairly certain that the building with three levels of basements could be the one right next to the Joshua Chamberlain Bridge, the building with the Waterfront bar (or tavern, pub.. whatever they call it). the person that told us about it has now told us a bit more. she said that she used to have a friend who lived in a building on the waterfront (this could have been a subtle hint, as in, lived above or "on" the waterfront bar). she said that her friend hadn't been seen for a few days so she and someone else went to his appartment to see if he was okay. they didn't find him so decided to take a look down in the basement in case he'd went down there and gotten hurt (fallen down stairs or something). they went to the basement and found another set of stairs leading down to a floor below that.. so they went down, and found another set of stairs, went down again and didn't find anymore lower levels, but found that the lowest level had bricked off tunnels.
oh, we think we know the brewer gusher drain you mentioned, but haven't explored it yet.
we found your copy of the map in the mailbox and put it back in the box. only thing wrong with it (from what wally remembers) is that the two sections between the first three junctions (lid B is at the top of the incline, another burried grate in the middle of the incline, and a burried grate at the bottom) are the ones the 45 degree inclines. Not sure when we will be able to explore this further, maybe next week or the week after that.
Several buildings were torn down either just before or just after we started exploring buildings and drains... always wondered what was in some of those.. the ones that were where they had the folk festival were some of the ones that were torn down just after we started exploring, and the ARC (formerly the tuberculoses ward near BMI.. where the veterans home is now off hogan rd.) was one that was bulldozed just a few years before we started doing buildings. There are several other buildings we explored before we started taking pictures of them for a website, but they have either been put back into use or are no longer there... Norumbega Hall when it was abandoned; can't remember the name, but the skinny green and white building that is a couple buildings before the parking lot for Norumbega; the green-grey victorian sort of building next to Coffee Express on State st, explored it twice after it was gutted by fire a few years ago; an abandoned house that was on the corner of hancock and pearl, no longer there.
there are a few others that we have only seen old photographs of and are very sad to have missed... the old train station that was where Jimmy V's and TrueValue Hardware are now; the old City Hall building that was where the two level parking garage is now, behind the thai food place formerly known as the Bagel Shop; the roundhouse... having missed things like that is part of the reason we started a website like this. So that when places like the Waterworks building are gone or turned into something else, people might still be able to see what it was like inside the old buildings that they might otherwise only see one or two pictures of from the outside. We've been thinking about adding some parts to the website for buildings we missed that are no longer there, and ones that we explored which are still there but no longer abandoned. we'd have pictures of what they used to look like and what they look like now, and if anyone visiting the website has pictures of the inside or other information that would be interesting, we'd put that online too.
anyways, what we really wanted to mention was that we think we found the hole you told us about near the tracks that run by the terraces. We did not stick around too long because some guy was looking for a place to toss his kayak in the river and told us there were two cop cars and a bike cop hanging out down under the bridge. there's a round vented lid just a few feet from the elevated lid, can quite clearly hear running water from each of them without getting too close. is the hole you found near a very small section of concrete wall, a couple feet tall? One hole we looked in looked like it might be large enough for a small person to squeeze into, we saw the top of a brick lined shaft in there. at the down-river end of the small wall (just a few feet away) theres another hole that might be fairly easy for a normal size person to get into. it looks like it goes down into a small cave like area under the pile of stuff thats there next to that wall. without crawling in we could not tell if the chamber with the brick lined shaft is part of this cave, but it looks as though it must go over that far. we're going to try to find out more about when this person was in the building with two levels of basements, and where the building was. it could have been quite some years ago for all we know... at the time she would not tell our contact what building it was.
We also found that grate on the other side of Main St. Another one in that area that we have been interested in is near the front corner of the parking lot behind the gas station thats next to Burgerking. it's a solid lid, might have been labeled sewer. there are a lot of things in that parking lot that makes it look like there might have been a building there, and there were several other things that looked like they could have once been entrances to tunnels.
the bridge room is on the brewer side of the Chamberlain bridge (think that's the one.. the greenish colored bridge) easiest to get to when the tide is far enough out to see the rocks on the shore under the bridge. the opening to room can be seen from the bangor waterfront, near the seadog. it's a dark spot in the middle of the cement end support of the bridge. There are bars over the opening, but a smallish person might be able to fit between them.
we might have seen that elevated lid behind millers last summer. we walked along the river from the old railroad bridge to what we called the Brewer C drain. Don't remember much of what was over there though. a few years ago we lifted some of those kind of elevated lids and never found much of interest. just small tunnels too small to crawl through. It does seem though that ones near the river or closer to a treatment plant would have larger tunnels.
To what extent have you explored the Bangor Waterworks? There is one last area of that place that we know of that we have not explored. It's a large rectangular cistern that runs the length of the yard in front of the building. We saw it on a map that we found at the library, but it did not show how to get to it... but we think we know. Do you remember the room with the big cement ring set into the floor, and you could look down into a room below. the room below would be half full of water at high tide, but when the tide is low you can look down to the floor of that room where there is another cement ring, and see into a room below that. There is a stream that runs through the floor of that room. Wondering if you might know anything about what is down there. We think it might have connections to the cistern, and maybe drains that come down from BMI or the other buildings across the street. There is supposed to be another huge underground cistern under part of one of those buildings on the other side of state st.
sounds like Big John's information is reliable so far. wally was there at around 6am on the 6th and looked around the area of lids A and B. They do seem to be directly in line with the cracked outflow pipe. he says that the first slotted grate is at the bottom of the lower hill under the bridge, the second slotted grate is at the small flat spot in the middle of that hill. Both grates are covered with rock and cement, which threw him off a little when he was expecting the first two to have solid lids.. and yep, the next two were solid lids. the one with the small sidebranch must have been lid B, it sort of had a T intersection, though at the time it seemed more like a Y. one of those two, A or B, had a stick at the bottom of it but no other wood. he found the shallow grate that had all the grass around and over it. walking along the dirt road from the bridge to the Hobo's camp, look for a metal pipe (or fence post from that broken fence, or street sign pole) laying, half buried, across the road. the grate is in the grass to the right of the road, just a couple feet past the metal pole. It might have a greasy McDonalds bag sitting over it. might try to pull that one up as a way to get in. maybe easier than climbing up through the steep areas before A and B, and it would be three or four less tunnel sections to go through.
but the main reason for being in the area this morning was to check out the cat room. He did not dig out much dirt to enlarge the hole, since the opening and walls are concrete. All he did was pull some small pieces of wood and dirt out from the sides of the opening where the pipe is buried... just enough to give some extra room for the shoulders to squeeze through. he says that when he was going in, he was not even sure if he would be able to fit back out. anyways, another disapointment... the shaft in the back of the room went down about four feet, the pipes went into the ground, and the place seemed to be a breading ground for slugs. on the bottom of the wall towards the first underground room there is a tunnel opening half buried in rusty colored muck. it's only about the size of the small tunnel near the floor of the first room. the step irons did seem to go all the way to the floor, so maybe it was deeper and they filled it in. the floor was rather loose feeling dirt. wally was also down around there during the fireworks show. he says he walked near the catroom slab and did not notice anyone there, then sat over near the railroad bridge for a while. was suprised how many poeple found that area.
apparent bottom of the shaft in the catroom. lighter brown stuff to the left is the drain with rusty colored mud around it.
we decided not to leave the blue "lid B" cloth over lid B anymore. might be usefull for marking something again sometime so wally stuck it under a big rock near the dirt pile that we first thought you meant lid A was under. we'll likely move it to the area with the mailbox next time we are there.
-thanks, we found the dirt with the blue cloth on it, and other pile with the red bag. was in the area just after dawn on the 4th and went up the cracked drain pipe. it does seem as though it would pass right under lids A and B. judging from the sounds of traffic, I think I made it up to the other side of main st. Only one small sidebranch, too small to turn around in but large enough to slither through like a worm. we'll have to go back again and make more careful note of what was at the top of each manhole room, passed under six of them, and what angle the tunnels entered the manhole rooms. I think the first two rooms (one at the bottom of the incline, one in the middle) had slotted grates with rock and cement over them. the one at the top of the incline might have been solid, and the next three I'm not entirely sure about. There were two solid lids, I could not lift either of them. one was not very deep underground.. could stand on the floor and touch it. the other might have been about 15' deep. that was the one with the small side branch, and another tunnel that would be too small to fit into. I'm not a good judge of distance, but one shaft (with a slotted grate at the top) must have been at least 40' deep, it must have been on an on or offramp because the ones before and after it were not nearly as deep. one room was very shallow with a slotted grate that was partialy clogged with grass, dirt, and spiderwebs. it was the only shallow grate that I found so I stuck a black inkpen up through so it was sticking up out of the stuff clogging the grate. was hoping to find the same grate from the top by finding the grate with a black pen sticking out of it, but no luck. turned around when the tunnel shrank to a crawler. it was still mostly dry, and fairly clean in this section (other sections had a lot of sand). old skateboard is the best way we've found to go through small clean drains.
This whole drain might not even pass under lids A and B. it could be just a few feet to the side. the first section seemed to go further than it would if it connected to lid B, and the first room had a slotted grate that had been covered with stuff. The steep incline is not too bad of a climb. The tunnel is round and does not have much water moving through it so it's fairly dry except for six or so inches in the middle.
found the mailbox in that camp, found the pad of paper, but did not find a message. maybe someone else found it?
Wally thinks he will be able to fit into that hole in the cat room now. he pulled out a couple small chunks of wood and dirt and says the hole should be large enough now. he stuck a couple peices of railroad wood in front of it and tossed some leaves on it so it is less noticable. found another space to look through on the other side of the slab, next to the trees. it's a small opening, but it's easier to see into the room through it. can see as far back as where the hole in the floor is. We should be able to get a camera down through there and get a picture looking down the hole. wally was using his camera taped to the end of a stick... now he's going to use part of a tripod taped to a long stick. the adjustable camera mount should let him attach the camera at an angle that will look down the hole. we found some old city maps at the library. they show where gas and waterlines go (though not sewers and drains), and give some details of buildings and stuff like that. we do not know what all the symbols and abreviations mean, but in what we think is the area of the catroom it had a small blue circle with WT in it. Water Tank, or maybe Water Tower? could have something to do with that metal pipe that sticks up out of the ground there and goes into the opening that wally thinks he can fit through, then turns down. looking in from the small opening on the other side it looked like the pipe went down into the floor of the room.
There might be a tunnel running along the river and passing under the cracked pipe. We found the vented manhole lid on the dirt road that goes towards Hamden (on the lower level that has the boulder pile and animal parts). it looks fairly deep and sounded like it has a lot of water in it. wonder if it goes directly down to the sewage plant from the tanks they built in the field by Main street.
long ways to the surface, does not look as far in the picture
one of the two slotted grates that were burried
bottle found sitting in room
looking down from the top of the incline
looking out of the first section this is just before the steep incline
-the first small underground room you found. did you check the floor for any kind of trapdoors or anything? like a board covering a hole in the floor, or something like that? there are no step irons, but would you happen to remember noticing any rusty metal nubs on the wall that could be the remains of step-irons which were cut off? (they did that to some of the step irons on the brewer side of the waterworks dam). we were back there again on July 2nd and took a closer look down in the room, but did not think to look for the details mentioned above. We did notice what might be a drain pipe on the wall towards downtown. it was only ten or so inches in diameter, looked like it went in about five feet and maybe opened into the top of another small room. this would be under the section of the slab where the large cracks are.
anyways, this page and the directory it is in will have information (linked to this page)on the area of the roundhouse and tunnels that exist under or near that area. We do not know how long it will take to show up in search engines, but we hope that no one gets the idea to search or poke around too much looking for such information. once we are done with the area we will link the finished page to the rest of the site, though we still will not likely give much information on where the area is. We do not want to create a UE-tourist problem for the people who live in the area.
in answer to which rooftops, they were Fruit Street and Abraham lincoln. Fruit st. has several easy ways up, but the fun one is a red pipe on the front of the building. we had been up there several times, then one night wally went alone and climbed onto the gymnasium roof by climbing up some heat vent things on the outside wall. Abraham Lincoln looks like difficult school to get ontop of since it's rater tall with smooth brickwork, but there is a pipe on the back wall that can be climbed. Downtown rooftops were the one that used to be the bagal shop, now a tai food place or something, and the one next to it which used to be newmoon cafe. those are easy, there is a fire escape and ladder that goes right to the roof.