Negro Mountain Tunnel
|Opened||Never used for Turnpike|
|South Penn Railroad|
|Planned Length||1,100 ft|
|Heading Completed||734 ft|
Negro Mountain Tunnel is an unfinished South Penn Railroad tunnel. Unlike Quemahoning Tunnel, which was eventually finished and used for trains, and the seven original Turnpike tunnels, Negro Mountain was never completed and never used for vehicular traffic at all. It was decided by the Turnpike survey that a rock cut would be more cost-effective than finishing the tunnel.
The tunnel seems to provide access to an abandoned coal mine, as there is a coal seam that runs through the tunnel, and some timber supports for a mined space beyond a block wall (see the external link below, "A descent into Negro Mountain Tunnel").
The racial epithet, while not a derogatory term in this proper form, causes the mountain's name to be considered rather crass by modern standards. Negro Mountain is one of the ridges of the Allegheny Mountains. Its summit, Mount Davis, is actually the highest point in Pennsylvania. There are several stories of how it got its name, mostly revolving around a Negro man accompanying a group of whites, killed by Native Americans during the French and Indian War.
Proposals have been put forward to rename the mountain, both in Pennsylvania and Maryland, but have not passed.
- "A descent into Negro Mountain Tunnel", with excellent photographs