The St. Clair tunnel was the first international underwater railway tunnel in the world when it was constructed in 1891. The tunnel runs between Port Huron and Sarnia under the St. Clair River. It was vital for the transportation of supplies and during World War 1 it was the target of a clandestine German organization to destroy several important targets in the southeastern part of Michigan. Albert Carl Kaltschmidt, A German Immigrant living in Detroit, along with some German friends planned to blow up some weapon manufacturing plants in Detroit and Canada along with the tunnel under the St. Clare River.
Support for the group came from Count Johann von Bernstorff, the German ambassador in Washington, D.C., and Captain Franz von Papen, who later became Adolf Hitler’s vice-chancellor. Kaltschmidt and his men planned to dynamite the Detroit Screw Works which produced shrapnel for the allies. His plans were deterred by the guards at the plant and his other targets where discovered. He had planned to load a railroad car with dynamite to destroy the historic tunnel. He was captured and tried and convicted in federal court where he was sentenced to four years of prison. After three years he was deported back to Germany.
In 1995 a larger tunnel was constructed next to the original one to handle larger rail cars. The old tunnel was decommissioned after more than a century of use.
P.S. I could not get a really good photo of the old tunnel. I did not want to poke around too much since it is an international tunnel has security around it.
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