I asked Jean Bauer at the University of Virginia to search out the ruins of the Blue Ridge Tunnel near Crozet, Virginia, and to photograph the tunnel if she could locate it. I plan to include one image in my forthcoming book and hope to include more images in the Railroads site. At the time of its construction in 1850-54 the tunnel was the longest in the U.S. at 4,273 feet, and one of the longest in the world (see below for questions about the length). It was built with slave and Irish labor, a story not well known.

She has posted her adventure and some of the photographs on her blog — see “A Walk in the Woods” and her photographs of the Blue Ridge Tunnel.

The Wikipedia lat/long is incorrect. And Jean’s great images will give us some other views than the spooky image from the Library of Congress’s Historic American Engineering collection–where is that fog coming from!

Many of the records concerning this construction can be found at: Railroads and the Making of Modern America in the collection of Claudius Crozet’s correspondence and the payrolls of the Blue Ridge Railroad.