For those who have not heard of Centralia, it is a town which was gutted by a mine fire back in the 1980s. The government moved all of the residents (save for a few holdouts) out of down, demolished their homes, and removed the debris. The town is now pretty much a criss-crossed network of vacant lots, utility structures, and just a few buildings left standing. In some places, you can even see smoke and steam coming out of the ground.
One of the casualties of the mine fire is a section of PA Highway 61. The heat from the fire caused the highway to buckle and warp. End result was that a new stretch of road was built around the smoking part, and it was left alone. Here are a few pictures:
Note that this in the middle of winter. Yet the snow around the fissure is completely melted away.
Welcome to Saints Peter and Paul Orthodox Cemetery. Living population: you
Many of the headstones were from the 50s and 60s. As the general condition of this cemetery shows, it is still maintained.
Here's the view from the hill of what used to be downtown Cenralia. It's just a patchwork of roads now. In the distance is the Municipal Building.
This is what used to be Center City Centralia. The roads here are still safe to drive so they are plowed and there is a little traffic on them.
And here's a closer look at the utility poles in Centralia. What appears to be the original wiring is still there, as is shown the cut wires to what used to be houses.
The municipal building is still actively maintained by the state, even if it looks a bit dated. At the time we stopped by, the building was unoccupied, but we could see snow plow equipment in there.
That's really about all there is to see of what used to be of this town. The rest of my pictures can be found at http://www.flickr.com/photos/dmuth/sets/72157639974682366/ if there is any interest.
Here's a final parting shot of some windmills on the hill overlooking Centralia--a reminder that the world has moved on from this little mining town: