*Home of the largest underground mine fire in the world*
Here are some photos from my trip to Centralia on Memorial Day weekend. 100 years ago, Centralia was a booming anthracite coal mining town in eastern Pennsyvania. As time went by, and people slowly trickled out in search of a better life than digging up coal, the population slowly sank. It had gotten down to about about 1100 by 1962, the year of "the incident", as it is referred to in hushed tones in those parts. "The Incident" happens to have been a certain trash fire which started in a dump in the outskirts of town. This particular dump just happened to be located over the surface break of an anthracite coal vein. Anthracite, unlike bituminous coal, runs in vertical veins which expose themselves to the earth's surface, and only occur in Pennsylvania. In 1984, the federal government condemned the entire town and started buying people's land and homes at a low low price and then bulldozing their houses. Now, in 1999, a mere 20 remain, refusing to sell out in exchange for barely enough money to move to, say, North Philly (the garbage pit where I live which fortunately is not located over a combusting anthracite coal vein)....Now let the show begin!
Whoops! This must be the place!
This appears to be the reason for that roadblock
The Great Rift of Highway 61, side view
Click here for page 2... go ahead! It's even better than page 1...you'll see...