November 24, 2013

Underground jail cell at South Haven Visitors Bureau??

This fall and winter, the city of South Haven is tackling the enormous project of replacing the water and sewer systems below the main street of town.  Phoenix Street is being torn up, dug up and rebuilt.  Since it has been seventy years since these water lines and other systems have been exposed and replaced, there have been a few surprises.

Our favorite though, has to be the "jail cell door" found near the basement of the South Haven Visitors Bureau building at 546 Phoenix Street.  The photo was posted on the Dig SoHa website, and shared extensively on Facebook.

Admittedly the director of the CVB is a hard-working, dedicated person who does everything in her power to convince visitors to make South Haven their destination.  We're quite sure she wouldn't resort to keeping visitors in South Haven this way... perhaps.

According to former city code enforcer, Tom Fouts, there was always a story about a tunnel running under Phoenix Street.  To deliver coal to the downtown businesses, a horse-drawn wagon would drop coal into a trap door at street level that would drop into the tunnel.  Each business owner would then access the coal through the door in their own basement.  Pretty ingenious!

The Dig SoHa website has additional photos of the progress throughout downtown - check it out if you get a moment!