PROM COURT — The Conrad High School Prom royalty this year includes in front, Queen Erica Grubb and King Dallas VanLuchene. From the left, the royalty is complete with Sam Larson, Rochelle Johns, Zachary Widhalm, Ciara Bender, Clay Winters and Saowaporn Wordsinthop. Photo Courtesy of April Spaulding
By Deanna Wakkinen, I-O Reporter
It was just another day at the Conrad Library when Carolyn Donath stumbled upon something unusual. In the back section of the library, where all the used books are kept, she discovered a latch behind one of the bookshelves.
Inside the library, which during the first decade or so of Conrad’s history hosted the city jail, is a secret nearly 100 years in the making.
Donath has revealed to the I-O that it appears that underneath the old jail are tunnels, likely used for bootlegging during the “lawless years” of the 1920’s.
Sheriff Tom Kuka commented that in all his years he has not seen anything like it. The tunnels run intricately over the current length of the city and stretch from just beyond Van Motors to a culvert near Busch Ag Resources.
The tunnels were likely used during the prohibition years of 1920 and 1933 to help transport whiskey and beer from Canada down south to Great Falls and beyond without being seen by the townspeople in Conrad. The tunnels also link to a few buildings in town and it is assumed that there was a speakeasy located in the heart of our town.
It has also been considered that the sheriffs of the time were involved in the transport of alcohol since the tunnels are connected to the jail.
The Sheriff’s department and the FBI are working together with historians to reveal the secrets underground Conrad. So far a few documents have been recovered but the Sheriff’s office refused to comment on the content. Because of the instability within the tunnels, no one is allowed to enter without the appropriate recovery gear.
Although a scenario such as this was likely to have accorded during the years of prohibition, it did not in fact happen underneath the Conrad Library, to the best of our knowledge. Happy April Fool’s Day all!