"In the Laubach Valley, deposits of up to 7 m in thickness were first developed, but later also tunnels that reached a length of up to 175 m. In the tunnels, high-quality slate, which was unaffected by weathering, could be mined. Mining was laboriously done by hand with pimples, wedges and hammers, and blasting was only used to loosen larger rocks.
During the Second World War, the tunnel entrances provided the residents of Melsbach and Rengsdorf with refuge from the bombing raids in spring 1945.
In the tunnels there were also many things to hide: In 1843 the slate pits were searched for stolen wood by order of the authorities. One of the mine owners opposed the complete search and simply blew the lantern out of the agent, which led to a temporary cessation of further work. It is not known whether something was found during a follow-up investigation of the case.
If not spilled, most of the tunnels' mouth holes are secured by bars. Unrestricted access must be prevented for security reasons.
Today, the tunnels are winter quarters for many different types of endangered bats: bearded bat, water bat, pipistrelle bat and large mouse-eared bat. "
Source: Information board on site
March 23, 2016
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