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Issaqueena Falls and Stumphouse Tunnel

Issaqueena Falls & Stumphouse Tunnel
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Off SC Highway 28 in Stumphouse Tunnel Park
Walhalla, SC 29691


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Picturesque waterfall near a Civil War-era railroad tunnel

A new railroad over the Appalachians was proposed to connect the port city of Charleston first with Knoxville and later Cincinatti. Rather than go over or around the mountains it was decided to dig a tunnel. The 1600-foot-long Stumphouse Tunnel was started in 1852 but the Civil War—and a lack of funds—brought construction to a halt. While there were various efforts by the Blue Ridge Railroad to revive the tunnel, none of them came to pass and it stands today as a monument to the efforts of pre–Civil War engineering. In 1951, Clemson University bought the tunnel and used it to cure the South's first blue cheese. The tunnel's environment was later duplicated at Clemson University where it remains today. Not far from the “tunnel to nowhere” is Isaqueena Falls, one of the most beautiful waterfalls in the State.