Historic Underground Missoula
Arcadia Publishing Inc.
Much of Missoula's history lies beneath the surface. As in many Old West cities, cavernous underground tunnel systems purportedly hid countless nefarious activities, from clandestine prostitution and Chinese opium dens to booze running during Prohibition. These sordid tales captivate today's residents and beg questions about the city's furtive past. Did local elite gentlemen mask their carnal habits there? Did John Wayne really use the passageways to run personal errands unnoticed? Author and urban archaeologist Nikki Manning ventures below to reconcile oral history with archaeological data in a fascinating exploration of Missoula's subterranean labyrinths.