Family Found Fully-Stocked 1960s Bomb Shelter in Their Backyard
When couple Ken and Carol Zwick moved into their new home in Neenah, WI, they were aware of those two giant, green metal doors in the backyard. The home came equipped with an 80-square-foot bomb shelter, but the couple always thought the doors would only lead to a big empty space and didn't think much about them. It took them a decade to finally open the metal hatch.
While much of the bunker had been flooded over the years, a few things had survived. For the family, it was like traveling back in time.
The year was 1960, John F. Kennedy had just been elected president, and during this pivotal era in history, both the U.S. and Russia lived in constant fear of nuclear war.
The bunker was built by its previous owner Frank Pansch in 1960. Frank built the bomb shelter as a safe haven and stocked it with provisions.
In it were enough supplies to last a family for about two weeks.
“It was all of what you would expect to find in a 1960s fallout shelter,” Zwick told the Daily News. “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.”
The Zwick family donated all of the vintage goods to the Neenah Historical Society.
“It will really give people a sense of what it was like to live in 1960, to feel like they’re in their living room, and suddenly they need to go to their fallout shelter,” said Jane Lang, executive director of the Neenah Historical Society.
While it’s a good thing that the bomb shelter never had to be used for its intended purpose, the shelter gives us an insight of how the Cold War had permeated the minds of Americans who lived in fear of the atomic bomb.