Winston Tunnel and its Secrets

The new issue of the Legends and Lore of Illinois has arrived! This issue, available to download in .pdf (1.4 mb), takes you to the Winston Tunnel, once the longest railroad tunnel in the state and now a forgotten landmark buried deep within the hills of northwestern Illinois.

At 2,493 feet, the Winston Tunnel was the longest railroad tunnel in Illinois. It was built in 1888 for the Minnesota and Northwestern Railroad, a line that ran from Chicago to Minneapolis, Omaha, and Kansas City. It took 350 workmen (and $600,000) more than nine months to complete the tunnel. Shortly after, the Minnesota and Northwestern became known as the “Chicago Great Western Railway.” At least one worker is known to have been killed during construction of the tunnel, which was so long a pump house had to be built to ventilate it. In fact, it is said that the ghost of this Finnish laborer still haunts the site to this day.

Today, the Winston Tunnel is not easy to find. The east entrance has been covered over with dirt and debris, and the west entrance is quite a walk. The path is full of pitfalls, rusted steel supports, and rotting timber. It is very dangerous – if you go, make sure to wear jeans and good hiking boots. But before you go, make sure to read all the hidden history and folklore of this location in the latest issue of the Legends and Lore of Illinois!

This issue is packed with photos and information you won’t find anywhere else. Plus, read about your favorite paranormal adventurers, The Fallen, as they explore this mysterious and maligned location. Click here to Download the issue!


New issues of the Legends and Lore of Illinois will be posted throughout 2012, after a year’s hiatus. To celebrate its return, we have created a series of 4×6 postcards depicting the location discussed in each issue. Simply click on the image to your left to download a high resolution .jpg of this month’s postcard, then send it to your local Walgreens to have it printed. Collect all twelve! Loyal fans who collect all our postcards this year will be eligible for a drawing in December that will determine who is the greatest fan of the Legends and Lore of Illinois of all time!


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