Do You Know What Lies Beneath Jefferson Park? “Hidden History” Series Tells the Stories of Virginia.
A new digital series designed to explore Virginia’s rich, and rarely talked about, hidden history has premiered on VPM, Virginia’s home for public media.
Starting with the Church Hill tunnel collapse, filmmaker Brian Bullock is uncovering Virginia’s buried history. At the beginning of the 20th century, hundreds of workers spent months expanding an existing tunnel in Richmond’s Church Hill so more trains could bring supplies to the growing city. The old tunnel had collapsed several times since its construction in the 1870s before the project was abandoned, and tragically, it collapsed again on October 2, 1925 during the project’s revival. An estimated 200 workers escaped by crawling under the flat cars and climbing up the tunnel. There was a nine-day rescue effort to try to unbury the train and other trapped workers by digging down through Jefferson Park. At the end of the search, only the body of engineer Tom Mason was found. Six black laborers were unaccounted for, although the number of missing men was scaled down to two.
“History influences everything about our modern lives,” said Brian Bullock, film documentarian and creator for the Hidden History series. “From our city landscapes, to the way we interact with each other, uncovering the hidden gems embedded in the historical fabric of our nation can give us a glimpse into the trajectory of our future. This series will help connect the dots between the past and the future but uncovering little known stories that have impacted our communities. It’s too late to undo the harm of the collapse, but Bullock says we can honor the victims and their families by learning about the tragedy and remembering their stories.”
For more information on the series: