Post details: carthage underground


Permalink 04:56:20 am, Categories: Urban Exploration, 1372 words   English (US)

carthage underground

We did some pretty productive exploring this weekend, specifically the night before last. We also managed to check out one of the coolest finds in the area.

I started off the night by meeting up with Sertile in Springfield. He wanted to climb the mill after reading my blog entry about it. So, even though I swore I was never climbing the thing again, we did just that. As it turns out, it's not so bad when you actually do it during warm weather, with gloves, and without a ton of gear strapped to your back. And it was nice because I got to see the view from the roof in the daylight.

Before we left, we also checked out the basement, which I hadn't thought to examine last time, and it was one of the most disgusting places I've had the displeasure of exploring. The floor was covered in an inch-thick layer of black gel that resembled tar but smelled like manure from a dairy barn. Add to that, there was solid mass of cobwebs from one end of the basement to the other, and I mean solid. I looked like I was covered in gray fur by the time I walked out of there.

After we were done there, we drove out to Carthage to meet up with Dru. There was a huge, abandoned mine in the area that Dru had been to before, and we were finally meeting up to check it out. We grabbed Dru from his house, drove down to a suitable parking spot, and he started leading us out into the woods to the mine. The entrance, one of many entrances we later found, was back in the woods against a bluff. A massive opening, easily big enough to drive a dump truck into, led back into the hillside.

The inside of the mine was, of course, extremely amazing. It was just a huge, empty space cut out of the solid rock and going in all directions. The ceiling was about twenty feet high, with rock columns as big around as an SUV at even intervals to support the ceiling. They were spaced fairly far apart so that trucks and equipment could literally drive around the mine, and you could still see the makeshift dirt roads and tire tracks going throughout the place. It also looked like they had intentionally torn up the area around the entrance so that no one could drive a vehicle inside, because there were limestone boulders mounded up near the entrance that obviously hadn't fallen from the ceiling.

I immediately broke out the tripod to take some pictures. I had my 10 million CP spotlight with me, which I thought would allow to take some long exposure shots. Unfortunately, even though the spotlight lit the mine up beautifully for us, it was too focused a beam to take any decent pictures with. So, I left the tripod at the entrance and settled for taking flash pictures. They were turning out pretty dark, but I figured I'd just come back with a bright kerosene lantern to take some decent ones.

We basically wandered aimlessly around the mine after that. We'd see something interesting and head that way, then see something else and go a different way. There were places all over where we'd find big piles of boards. Some of them were obviously structures that had collapsed, while others were just loose boards thrown into stacks. We also ran across various bits of destroyed machinery, lots of metal pipes, and other random junk, and we found several additional entrances to the mine.

It wasn't long before we stumbled across something that elevated the coolness of this place several notches. We were walking along inside the mine when we started coming up on what appeared to be a really long ditch. As we got closer, we saw that it wasn't merely a ditch. It was some kind of gigantic trench, several feet deep at least and running about a hundred yards wide. When we got close enough to see the bottom of the trench, we realized what it really was. The trench sloped down at an angle, way down, and led to another large opening in the ground.

The trench was actually a road leading down into another level!

We were immediately excited and started heading around to where the trench sloped up to meet the ground. I'd never even heard of an underground quarry like this having two levels sandwiched on top of each other. I'd always figured something like that would be too unstable. When we walked through the opening and down into the second level, we were again shocked at what we saw.

We were standing at the shore of what amounted to an underground lake. There was another fully developed level of the mine stretching out in front of us, looking equally large as the one above, complete with rock columns and high ceilings. The only difference was this one was flooded with several feet of crystal clear green water.

It was both amazing and frustrating. We all desperately wanted to explore the second level, but there was no way we were wading chest high into freezing water. We decided we'd come back as soon as possible with either a canoe, a large rubber raft, or maybe even kayaks. We were extremely curious about whether it was possible there was yet another level underneath us, one that was completely underwater.

We headed back up to the main level after that, and then wandered out of another entrance to the mine to look at an old building we saw outside. Outside, we found one more entrance, this one sloping down at an extreme angle. It was yet another entrance the second level.

As we were heading down the new entrance into the second level, we found something even more interesting. Off to the side of the tunnel, there was a ladder going up to the ceiling. From there, it went into a large metal pipe and out of sight. There was also a steady stream of water raining down from it.

Since no one else was stupid enough to get soaked, I volunteered to climb up. I had Sertile and Dru brace the ladder, which looked unstable as hell, and climbed on up. It was about ten feet to the metal pipe, and the metal pipe ended up being about another ten feet long when I got to it. However, I could see once I entered the pipe that it led up to the main level of the mine.

I climbed up out of the pipe, which was about four feet in diameter, and walked around. It was the same area we'd just exited from, but somehow we hadn't seen the pipe. It also looked for all the world like something out of Super Mario Bros. with my climbing out of a pipe that jutted a few feet out of the ground. I took a few pictures to show the guys and climbed back down the pipe.

We continued on down to the second level, but it was the same story as before. The road sloped down to meet the water, and there was no way to continue. We could see that the second level was definitely just as big as the main one, though, and it just renewed our determination to come back and explore it by boat.

After that, we headed back to the main level and explored a little further, finally finding where the mine ended at one side. It was also flooded in that section of the main level as well. We rested there for a while before deciding that we were all tired and had seen enough for the night.

When we started heading back, we realized we didn't really know which way to go. All of us had a different idea about where the entrance was. We finally settled on following landmarks in the mine we'd seen before, and, eventually, we found our rubble-filled entrance. I grabbed my tripod, loaded up my crap, and we headed on back to the car. One of the few times I've ever gotten turned around in an underground place.

Comments, Pingbacks:

Comment from: Ben [Visitor]
That's the exact same way we explored Alpha the first time. It's a sandstone mine, so the columns are much larger, to the point of it being a bunch of tunnels rather that big rooms with columns.

Anyway, we went in, and just wandered our way back. Once everyone was lost, we argued about which way to go to get back out (only one entrance, only one exit). Eventually we stumbled back onto things we had seen before, which sped the backtracking process.

Subterranean boating is all kinds of cool.
Permalink 02/23/05 @ 22:12
Comment from: tank [Visitor]
What you were exploring is refered to as the Carhtage Underground. All in all there are literally miles of tunnel that make up the underground, but a lot of the underground is being utilized as warehouses and cold strorage by companies from all over the United states and is monitored by security. The only entrances That I had ever known of are under surviellance requiring a key card and identification to be able to enter. I'm from the area and nver knew about those other entrances that you found. As far as the the underground lake goes, it supposedly runs under the whole town and is quite large. My great grandfather back in the 20's and 30's use to go there alot but I belive the entrance that he knew has been sealed up by construction for the better part of the century.The cave area you were exploring started out as a limestone/marble quarry in the 19th century. Missouri's Capital building is constructed of marble from that quarry. There might be some more caves I can tourn you on to in the area. Supposedly there is a couple of caves about 16 miles north of carthage. One of my neighbors back home owns the land they are on, I'll try to find out more about them. Granted they aren't urban exploration, full fledged rural to be honest.
Permalink 02/25/05 @ 01:34
Comment from: white rabbit [Member]
Whoa, whoa, whoa. I gotta clarify this before I end up with a lawyer at my door.

The Carthage Underground you're talking about is Americold Logistics, and it's an active underground warehouse as you described it. We didn't get into Americold Logistics, nor would we ever sneak into that place because we would get in major trouble. The place we explored is just an abandoned marble or limestone mine in Carthage. It doesn't connect to Americold Logistics in any way. Dru wasn't real sure what the name of the mine we explored used to be, but he thought it was Carthage Marble at one time.

But once more, for the record (in case they ever read this), we did not get into Americold Logistics. This is a totally different place.

But I would like to hear about those caves. Just hit the contact page and email me about them.
Permalink 02/25/05 @ 02:50
Comment from: Jeremy Carr [Visitor]
Hey, I work @ AmeriCold Logistics in the underground. I have worked there since 1999 and have heard several stories about the history. I always was told that there was another level below us, but i was scheptical. thanks for the clarification. Very interesting. I have also experienced several paranormal moments as has many of the other workers.
Permalink 11/30/05 @ 22:14
Comment from: NewExplorer [Visitor]
I've lived in Carthage my whole life, and of course have always heard stories of caves and such in and around Carthage. Last night me and two friends spent about two hours in the woods to the West of Americold Logistics, between Civil War and 71 Highway. We found many bluffs and such, but no caves. Is there any chance you could clue me in on exactly how you guys got to the old mine that are in the pictures?
Permalink 02/13/06 @ 22:54
Comment from: Carthaginian [Visitor]
I too have lived in Carthage all of my life and was very interested in your exploration. A friend and I had the same trouble as the last person on this comment page. We went a couple of weeks ago to the woods west of Americold and found nothing. We did find some pretty interesting areas that seemed like they would take us right to an entrance, but no such luck. We are planning another visit out there very soon. Can you give us some clues as to where this entrance was that you went into?
Permalink 03/18/06 @ 21:48
Comment from: Terry Russell [Visitor]
I to was born and raised in Carthage ..I have heard about the story about the underground cave under carthage in town and a lake from my father when was a kid and an entrance . By the radio station somewhere by river street east of down town.. Heard of a few large sink holes to in town as a kid..But never heard about any Monsters at any times..
Would like to know more also about these caves that a person could explore , or go with others to explore with em .

Permalink 03/20/06 @ 18:52
Comment from: Nick [Visitor]
I am quite interested in this underground mine and would like as more info on it if possible for a research project I am doing. any one willing to help please email me at

Permalink 05/05/06 @ 11:34
Comment from: mismedic [Visitor]
I have also lived in carthage my whole life but there is a side to carthage you nay not know about,, I have done extensive research on a large cave system (natural cave system) under the city of carthage, There is also said to be a very large natural lake about where the courthouse is. I have newspaper documents that date back to the late 1800's that talk about the explorers that went down there and what they found.. If you want to know more just email me,,, This is something that a team of people from the university of columbia and I are looking into. Right now we are searching for a way in since all entrences have been sealed up by the city of carthage..........
Permalink 07/25/06 @ 01:20
Comment from: Jim McWilliams [Visitor]
A fellow by the name of Ron Moorehouse in the late 50's or earley 60's had city permission to dig one block south of chestnut and about 100yds east of Garrison looking for the enterance to this cave no luck.
Permalink 09/28/06 @ 14:58
Comment from: Wesley [Visitor]
I dont live in Carthage, but i do business with the CCL a division of Americold, the pictures that you have posted look just like the underground on Civil War Rd. the columns are about 25ft in Dia. and the ceiling is almost flat, same as your pictures, As far as i knew Americold owned alot of property west of 71, which would mean your were on private property. Maybe iam wrong.
Permalink 11/30/06 @ 23:10
Comment from: Dru [Visitor] · http://nope
A> Not Americold property... I have worked for a company that is involved in Americold for a few years, and have verified ownership.

B> if you want to find it, you will trust me. It's ALOT closer to town than people think.

C> it's NOT the underground lake, that has been lost for nearly a century. as well as the canon on the little island on spring river.

D> I would recommend NOT going into the mine without a guide, it's extremely massive, and some of it isn't so stable.
Permalink 01/14/07 @ 04:04
Comment from: mike [Visitor]
hey man, my name's mike. im not even near you i'm from cleveland ohio. i explore lots of stuff here and ive been in st louis and checked out some things there. this mine blows my mind man, i see your already getting rammed for it's whereabouts and all but i would totaly appreciate it more than anything if you could email me with some kind of clues about how i could find it. i would totaly make the drive there to search for it. it would rock my socks man.
Permalink 03/06/07 @ 06:48
Comment from: Justin [Visitor]
hey i did a project on your guy's exploring of the carthage underground when i was in high school. you dont seem like you want people knowing where the cave entrance is. i would like to know if you guy's do like private tours or something cause i would like to see it. i have some ideas where the cave might be, but i would like some people to explore it with. please reply. thanks, justin
Permalink 06/07/07 @ 01:00
Comment from: Justin [Visitor]
We found it!! We didn't explore the entire thing yet, but we're goin back soon. Anybody wanting to get ahold of us please email us at or You guys give great tips,and with a lil research it only took one attempt to find it. please reply if your interested!
Permalink 06/17/07 @ 04:13
Comment from: Larry [Visitor]
I live in Carthage and I am dying to explore this cave. Please, if anyone can steer me to the entrance email me at orion_clemens at yahoo dot com.
Permalink 09/30/07 @ 20:11
Comment from: mike [Visitor]
I do not live in the area but have lots of family members that do, so I go visit every few years. I have seen around the Americold mine (from the roads at least) and I am not suprised of other mines. There is another abandoned mine in Joplin (10 miles from Carthage) that is being used as a paintball arena. I would like to find the entrance so I can explore it on my next visit.
Permalink 10/20/07 @ 18:24
Comment from: chris [Visitor]
I live in Carthage and a principal that goes to my school had a big speech and said a long time ago around where the kidnergartners play there was a big whole where there used to be a big manhole and one day it flooded really hard. The next day he was watching the kids play and he saw a kid by this huge hole and as he went over there he saw a massive cave and rushing water down there and he realized it was the cave under Carthage now I go over there and its just concrete and rocks at that spot all covered up theres a bunch of water under us right now and under the courthouse there is a huge lake as a matter of fact my freinds house is one intrance under his house theres a dirt room and you have to crawl through this little opening then you get to the cave.
Permalink 12/18/07 @ 19:39
Comment from: Tim [Visitor]
i am very interested in finding this mine . if anyone knows where the entrance is , please email me

Permalink 01/28/08 @ 13:38
Comment from: Class of '65 [Visitor]
OK, I grew up in Carthage too as well as my father. When I was a kid there was an entrance to the so-called lake underneath Carthage behind an old 1940's gas station, but was sealed up by Carthage as, supposedly, they didn't want anyone bringing in a lot of tourists. Carter Park is out by where the old radio station used to be and there are limestone cliffs there. As a kid it seemed routinely some kid would get stuck in a cave opening out there every summer. I've seen a reproduction of an old postcard depicting a guy with a latern in a row boat on the underground lake. Too, before the entrance near Garrison was sealed someone went in there, some scientist, and found blind fish. Some of this should have been reported in the Carthage Press and might be in microfilm. Does ANYONE know anything else? I'm writing this from the Carthage library right now but going to Colorado tomorrow. I "escaped" Carthage when I was 18, unlike many other unfortuante people who have lived here for what must seem like an enternity. I emailed the U of Missouri geology department to see if they had any records of the underground lake. Email me, you might recognize me if you are still alive from when I lived here :)
Patrick ("Pat") Batchelder
Permalink 07/22/08 @ 19:09
Comment from: Sam [Visitor]
Hey listen me and my friend would love to visit this place we love exploring and are very interested in this place we need detailed directions to the Carthage Underground
Permalink 09/09/08 @ 07:34
Comment from: verhuizen [Visitor] ·
Great article and interesting site! You've got some worthwhile ideas. Thanks!
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Comment from: super mario [Visitor] ·
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