The OES visited King’s Hollow Tunnel on May 11, 2002. Also known as Mineral Tunnel and King’s Switch Tunnel, King’s Hollow Tunnel is located in the woods just a few miles northeast of the well-known Moonville Tunnel. Like Moonville Tunnel, King’s Hollow was part of the Marietta-Cincinnati Railroad and was later bought by the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad. Not as much information is available about this tunnel. King’s Hollow Tunnel was likely constructed around the same time as Moonville Tunnel. It may have undergone renovation around the same time as well. King’s Hollow is constructed from wooden beams, unlike the brick of Moonville Tunnel. King’s Hollow also seemed to be a bit longer than Moonville Tunnel. There was at least one death recorded at King’s Hollow Tunnel. According to The Athens Messenger, the body of 24-year-old Pleasant Dexter was found at the west end of the tunnel on May 4, 1927. Residents believed that Dexter had gone to sleep on the track and was killed by one of the three trains that passed through the tunnel that night. Dexter’s skull was fractured, and his body had numerous bruises and fractures. He was buried in New Marshfield Cemetery.
After many years of abandonment, King’s Hollow Tunnel seemed to be in rather decent shape when we visited. Some of the wooden beams along the wall had either fallen down or had been removed, giving us a unique perspective as to how the tunnel was built. A couple of our members climbed behind the beams into the natural rock of the tunnel. The tunnel also had a distinctive musty smell so strong that we could smell it before it came into view. We did not experience anything out of the ordinary during our visit. Our thanks go to Shannon for providing us with directions to King’s Hollow Tunnel.
Location Information: Abandoned
King’s Hollow Tunnel is located near the intersection of Rockcamp Road and Kings Hollow Road near Mineral; Athens County.