Family Finds Cold War Fallout Shelter In Backyard: Here’s What Was Inside
A fallout shelter dating back to the Cold War era was discovered by a Wisconsin family in 2010.
The Zwicks posted pictures of their find online, but it wasn’t until this week that the Internet became aware of the story.
The Zwick family admitted they always knew about the large metal door in the backyard of the home where they’d lived for more than 10 years.
They just never expected to find an 8-foot-by-10-foot chamber stocked with a bunch of supplies, most of which were in great condition.
Just what did they find?
After moving past the metal bulkhead doors of the shelter in Neenah, Wisconsin, they found a muddy ladder leading down into the fallout shelter bunker. The mud was a result of over five decades of flooding.
Once down into the heart of the facility, they uncovered a box of refreshments that included candies, raisins, Hershey’s syrup, and numerous other sweets — some still available, some not, but all in different packaging than you’re probably used to seeing.
This and other boxes were floating in about five feet of water, the Zwick Family reported, but most of the contents were free from damage. Hard to believe, yes, but have a look for yourself:
Frank Pansch, a local surgeon, was the home’s previous owner. He built the shelter in 1960 — just two years before the Cuban Missile Crisis caused Americans across the country to follow suit with their own fallout shelter plans.
The idea of building a fallout shelter was to protect families from the radiation resulting from a possible nuclear blast.
The town of Neenah is a small Wisconsin city 100 miles from Milwaukee and nearly 200 from Chicago — the most likely areas that would have been hit in a nuclear attack by the Soviet Union.
Carol Hollar-Zwick described the experience of finding the shelter: “It was all of what you would expect to find in a 1960s fallout shelter. It was food, clothing, medical supplies, tools, flashlights, batteries — items that you would want to have in a shelter if you planned to live there for two weeks…. It’s interesting that you can open up something and find 1960 inside of it.”
Interesting indeed. So how about it, readers? Ever find anything as cool as a Cold War era fallout shelter? Share your discoveries in our comments section.
[All Images courtesy of Ken Zwick]