1960s Era Bomb Shelter
In Iowa, United States
How Geocaching Works
This cache brings you near the entrances to an authentic 1960’s era nuclear fallout bomb shelter. The 4000 sq.ft. structure is a rare piece of history which is both unique and educational.
The cold war, which grew out of the development of the atomic bomb by communist Russian, and then later shared with Cuba, sparked an enormous fear in the American people. In the late 1950s and early 60s, people scrambled to protect themselves in the event that a nuclear missile could be launched to detonate on U.S. soil. The Department of Civil Defense rushed to designate, help construct, and stock shelters capable of protecting civilians from the nuclear fallout which could shower the areas of the country that might avoid a direct nuclear bomb hit. Such shelters would have to be inhabited for at least two straight weeks before it would be safe to venture outside for even short jaunts.
Most of these shelters were simply designated basement areas of existing public buildings. Others were incorporated into new construction of such public buildings. Some were specifically constructed by individuals as a radiation-shielded section of the basement of their private home. The bomb shelter near this cache was unique in that it was constructed solely to protect a large group of people from the radioactive fallout that could result from a nuclear bomb.
In the early 1960s this structure was constructed by Floyd Moser. Mr. Moser, who owned a nearby construction business, built this 4000 sq. ft. concrete structure and buried it under 4 feet of protective dirt. Two-fifths of the shelter has a painted interior and was constructed to house Moser and his family. The remaining three-fifths of the shelter was designated for civilian use. The civilian shelter was rated for 200 people and was originally stocked with cots and supplies to survive inside for a minimum of 2 weeks.
Each of the two entryways consists of multiple turns to limit radiation penetration as well as ventilation systems, thick security doors, and decontamination showers. This structure would have been considered a "deluxe" bomb shelter as it was wired with electricity supplied by a generator and included a well and working plumbing. After this brief period of restlessness in American history settled down, most of the contents of the shelters had been removed.
Most people, including the locals, are unaware that this structure exists. Those too young have never heard about it. Those old enough to remember it, assume that it had been demolished long ago. After 50 years of being closed up, the doors were removed for most of 2011, making it accessible for exploration during this time. Unfortunately because of vandalism to the property, both entrances have now been barred closed and "No Trespassing" signs added. Fortunately the cache is still available for finding outside near the entrances.
The cache: As mentioned, the cache is NOT hidden in the shelter. No entry is required. It is a medium Lock ‘n’ Lock type container with a logbook, pencil, and starts with a few small trade items. Please sign the log, trade fairly, and return the cache to its original location and state of concealment for others to enjoy.
Also, if you like this type of cache, you might want to consider finding my “Abandoned Satellite Complex 2” cache as well.
Special Thanks: A special thanks goes out to the Clayton County Supervisor, Larry Gibbs, and Clayton County Engineer, Rafe Koopman, for allowing the placement of this cache at the county-owned facility. During the 2011 Hike 'n' Seek event, several people mentioned that they would like to express their thanks for the permission to include this neat place as part of geocaching. If you would like to send a personal thanks, you can find their contact information here.
One room of the "civilian" shelter.
One room of the "family" shelter.
Last Updated: on 5/28/2013 11:57:06 AM Pacific Daylight Time (6:57 PM GMT)
Coordinates are in the WGS84 datum