Historic Markers Across South Carolina

Stumphouse Tunnel

Marker ID: SCHM 37-10
Location: Stumphouse Tunnel - Issaqueena Falls Park, S.C. Hwy. 28, 6.9 mi. W of Walhalla, SC
County: Oconee
Style: Free Standing **


The unfinished railroad tunnel cut into the SE face of Stumphouse Mtn. is the largest of three begun before the Civil War by the Blue Ridge Rail Road, for a line from Anderson, S.C., to Knoxville, Tenn. Work began in late 1853. About 1,500 Irish miners, who lived in the Tunnel Hill village atop the mountain, cut through blue granite with hand drills, hammers and chisels, and black powder. Four shafts meant miners could cut through ten rock faces at one time.

Stumphouse Tunnel was the westernmost tunnel of the three; Middle Tunnel was 1/2 mi. SE and Saddle Tunnel was 1 3/4 mi. NE. The longest section of this tunnel is 1,600´ long, 25´ high, and 17´ wide. Work ceased in 1858 when the S.C. legislature refused to fund more construction. Clemson University acquired the tunnel in 1951 and cured blue cheese here for several years. Stumphouse Tunnel, long a tourist attraction, is managed by the City of Walhalla.

Erected by Oconee Forever and Save Stumphouse Donors, 2010