Go inside forgotten pre-Civil War tunnel

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PETERSBURG, Va. (WTVR) - Petersburg is famous for its century old buildings, architecture and both revolutionary and Civil War history.

But sometimes, it's what you can't see that is just as amazing and historically important.

While Brickhouse Run Creek can be seen in many parts of the Cockade City, it's where it goes underground, that has historical significance.

A decade after the city was founded, granite and river rock were being used to put up walls along the sides of the creek.

In fact, there are even arches, which many folks overlook, that can still be seen.

However, a few parts of Brickhouse Run actually go underground. The tunnel contains granite walls that are interspersed with river rock. 

In the late 1800s, a top was installed on the channel, which made it into a culvert.

It's here near Bank Street crews are working to shore up those walls, many believe were originally installed by skilled free blacks, slaves and other masons.

The work began after a nearby business noticed their outside door would no longer close correctly and that mortar was coming loose from the bricks.

Underground, a drainage pipe for nearly 100 years, has caused running water to erode one section of the wall, which is where Randy Haase and his crew spent days repairing.

Once completed, they will then handle repairing a parking lot and a nearby daycare's building.

The history of the city, alive and well above ground, is still mostly intact about 20 feet below ground.