Bayville Bunker?

Written 6/02

This is the best example I have of a story coming from more than one source. This one just built up over a week or so. You’d be surprised at the results you can get just from asking around a bit.

Here’s the story summed up: There’s a plaza on Rt. 9 in Beachwood/Bayville. It used to have a Woolworth’s in it, but now all that’s left is a bowling alley & some small stores. It’s one of those strip centers dying a slow and painful death. Underneath the entire strip center, something, not 100% sure what, but SOMETHING is under it. Read on to hear the various ideas I’ve been told.

This whole thing started when one of my friends out of nowhere told me “There’s a World War II bunker under the bowling alley in Bayville.” It came out of nowhere, and all she could say to back it up was “my friend told me that.” So I kinda forgot about it, thinking some jerk was just messing with her.

A few days later I was downtown in my friend’s store, and I don’t know how it came up, but I told him the story I heard about the bunker. He replied, “Oh, you didn’t know about that?” He said it wasn’t really a bunker; the owner of the plaza stored a plane & jeeps in it though. He went on to tell me that one corner of the parking lot used to be sinking (I remembered the lot being like that years back). They fixed that by driving 2 dump trucks down into the ‘bunker’ and wedging them into the one corner and sealing it off. Pretty odd-sounding, but the parking lot doesn’t sink anymore; hasn’t in many years.

Since my dad is big into jeeps and World War II stuff, I asked him if he ever heard about any of this. Not only did he hear about it, but he knew where the entrance was. He wanted to go down there years ago because of all the jeeps that were allegedly there. Behind the entire plaza is sort of a tunnel that goes underneath it. This is fenced off and has guard dogs of course. In this version of the story, the owner was hiding stuff from the IRS and other government agencies. He hid most of his vehicles in the ‘bunker’ to avoid taxes. There were possible mob connections, but who knows?

Although these 3 stories differ in detail, such as in what’s being stored down there and why, they’re pretty similar overall. And yes, the entrance is behind the strip mall; I checked. In conclusion, it’s pretty safe to say something’s under there, and while I doubt there’s planes or anything like that, there is room for a lot. Must be pretty important to have guard dogs anyway. I don’t know how to confirm what was put in there; I was considering checking out the historical society or finding any available records. Problem is I don’t really know where to look for stuff like that.


I talked to my grandpa, who actually works behind the strip mall where the Bunker is. He told me the owner of the strip mall died a few years ago, and since then, the ‘Bunker’ has been nothing more than a large garage. There’s no more guard dogs or anything like that. As for cars & planes, he said maybe they were there when the owner was still alive, but now it’s nothing more than a really big storage place. Kind of a disappointing update I suppose, but that doesn’t mean there was never anything interesting there before.

Author: Stu