10. Shanghai Tunnels
An underground network of dark passageways, snake across 9 miles from Old Town to downtown Portland. These tunnels have a sinister past as the center of an illegal maritime practice known as “shanghaiing.” From 1870 to 1940, abductors snatched up unsuspecting men and sold them to sea captains to work aboard ships for free. Crafty “shanghaiiers” preyed on their victims at saloons that had trap doors, or dead falls, that released drunken bar patrons into this subterranean maze. The abductors held the men captive in these tunnels until they were ready to ship them out to sea, sometimes to ports as far as Shanghai.
Most of the sea captains worked in the Orient, so the unfortunate men who got caught in this trap sailed all the way around the world and where worked to death in most cases. All for the greed and profit of sea captains. These famous Portland tunnels became known as the shanghai tunnels where essentially interconnected basements of old buildings. You can tour these tunnels today for 13 dollars. It is a interesting and not often talked about part of maritime history.