just recently moved to PA from Wisconsin. While living in Wisconsin I came
across your web page while searching for ghost towns etc across America. The
photos you provided mesmerized me and I always dreamed of seeing the town first
hand. After moving to PA I decided to embark on my mission. We left early in the
morning the day after Independence day and arrived around Two O'clock. It was
already a sweltering hot day and you could definitely tell it was warmer the
closer you got to Centralia. We came into the Town from Mt. Carmel and parked at
the north end of the closed section of Route 61 near St. Ignatius Cemetery.
Surprisingly there were about 6 other people around that had the same idea as
us. We moved from 61 across the highway to the old dump where the fire
originated. Unfortunately for me I had neglected to bring a map of the area and
hot spots so we missed the most recent one on the SE side of town. I should have
walked a bit farther west. Darn. We proceeded across town to Railroad street
observing where the railroad tracks used to run down the center of the road.
Back at the car we checked out the area next to the graveyard that was still
smoldering. The smell of sulfur hung heavily in the air and steam could be seen
rising from cracks in the ground. I had a chance to snap a shot of white
sulfurous crystals that had formed near a crack. The heat was intense.
get a beautiful view of the town from there as well as the Russian Orthodox
church on the hill to the north and the current mining operation to the
Northeast. We drove a bit down big mine run and found an old abandoned house not
far out of town on the right hand side if you are leaving. Huge piles of coal
and what looks to be some old equipment reside there still. Once again I wish I
had driven farther east to the hard turn of big mine run where the streams are.
We finished our trip with the Old wash house at the south end of 61's bypass.
Over all I spent most of the day there and had an amazing time. We didn't
experience any real problems with the air or fumes aside from the slight
shortness of breath near the burn areas as a result of the Carbon monoxide.
Centralia is the definition of a peaceful town in my opinion. It's sad though to
see all the graffiti and trash on the abandoned part of 61 and near the old
dump. Centralia is still a beautiful place and it's sad that people have to ruin
it be leaving refuse all around. All in all I would tell anyone who has the urge
to see it to jump in your car and take a trip because it is definitely worth it.
I hope you all enjoy the pictures of our trip. Have fun and happy offroading.
Ian Mahun and Courtney McDonald