BELMONT, NC (WBTV) - An atomic bomb shelter, hand-shoveled by Belmont resident W.F. Abee 67 years ago, is still functioning today.
The shelter was created in the midst of the Cold War, when fear was intense and many felt they had nowhere to run.
People like W.F. Abee prepared to go underground.
He hand-dug an expansive series of tunnels under his property with his two sons from 1948 until 1951.
On the walls of the tunnels, Abee documented the fall of Communism, the patterns of the solar system and his family heritage.
Those markings are still there and have been explored by current homeowner Leila Shaw.
“It’s very dark, if you cut everything out you can not see your hand in front of your face,” said Shaw.
The tunnels go 30 feet below ground.
“It’s tight, it’s dangerous and its unsettling,” said Zachary Hooper, a local real estate agent.
Hooper is a buyers agent for the property and braved the darkness with his camera and a “point and pray” photography method to take photos.
Once he flashed a light on, he couldn’t turn away.
“I had to figure out what was down inside there,” said Hooper.
In the tunnels he found old jars of mayonnaise, odd photographs, children’s shoes, carvings in the walls.
Shaw also found a letter, written by Abee, that she says made it’s way to the NC Governor at the time, Terry Sanford.
Shaw says though unusual, her family has enjoyed having the bomb shelter as a part of their home.
They even threw a Halloween party in the shelter’s tunnels.
This home in Belmont is currently for sale. For more information please contact listing agent Nancy Rosemond at 704-214-1482 or buyers agent Zachary Hooper at 832-266-7830.