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From Drumline to the Blue Ridge – a mystery solved

In August 2010, a Clare Champion article informed readers of my search for descendants of the Crohan (also Croghan) family who worked on the mile-long Virginia Blue Ridge Tunnel. The train tunnel—along with three shorter tunnels and 34 miles of connecting tracks—was a dangerous, 10-year public works project between 1850 and 1860. The entire endeavor took the lives of more than 200 Irish famine emigrants. About 100 were Blue Ridge Tunnel workers or family members living in shanties near each portal.

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