Harrison Dyar, Amateur Tunneler

Earlier this year, I posted about THE MOLE MAN OF LONDON, an eccentric British fellow who liked to dig tunnels. Well, the USA can hold its own in this category, thanks to Harrison Dyar of Washington, DC. Wikipedia gives a short account of his habit. This long account is much richer.

Dyar told the Washington Star that the urge started when he dug a flowerbed for his wife around 1906. "When I was down perhaps 6 or 7 feet, surrounded only by the damp brown walls of old Mother Earth, I was seized by an undeniable fancy to keep on going."

     Posted By: Paul - Sun Aug 27, 2023
     Category: Eccentrics | Caves, Caverns, Tunnels and Other Subterranean Venues | North America | Twentieth Century

From the Wikipedia article, I found that a lepidopterist wrote a book on him. You can see the table of contents here: https://tinyurl.com/yuwhc26p
Posted by ges on 08/27/23 at 10:38 AM
I've been a gardener for many years and dug my share of flower beds in a variety of locations, so I can state with some authority that he was 'seized' by an 'undeniable fancy' long before he was seven feet deep. Six to eight inches is somewhat standard. A full foot deep is good work. A foot deep and using a garden fork to loosen the soil another foot (intensive gardening) is usually looked upon as overkill.

When a man digs a six foot hole in the backyard, it's usually with the intention of dealing with his wife once and for all.
Posted by Phideaux on 08/27/23 at 03:22 PM

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