Centralia exists as little more than a ghost town. Most
(but not entirely all) of the residents have relocated,
and nearly every home and building structure has been
demolished or reclaimed by nature.
town posseses an eerily spooky air, remaining only as
a network of pavement and street signs that lay amid
no evidence of population. Almost the only man-made
structures that exist now are the semi-derelict municipal
building and vent pipes which have been installed in
the ground at specific locations.
coal fires still burn beneath Centralia, and depending
on climate conditions it is often possible to see vast
plumes of smoke and/or steam rising from cracks in the
earth or rolling across fields and graveyards.
Pennsylvania has become something of an off-beat tourist
destination. Many out-of-towners pass by to see a glimpse
of the coal industry that once was (sometimes people
are in the area to visit the popular museum and mining
tours that can be enjoyed in neighboring Ashland, PA)
and marvel at the still-smoking earth.
the best estimates that scientists have been able to
produce, the coal beneath Centralia is likely to continue
burning for the next 250 to 1,000 years.
visiting Centralia is popular, please note that this
historic town still holds a very special place in
the hearts of the locals... indeed, many folk from
neighboring boroughs are former Centralia residents
themselves who took the only option available to them
and accepted Federal money in exchange for forced
relocation. It is not uncommon for the people whom
one sees walking dogs or hiking the trails of Centralia
to be a stone's throw from their old land.
keep all this in mind when visiting and do try to
maintain a proper decorum and attitude. The town has
fortunately remained relatively free of graffiti and
litter, and those who visit are asked to help keep
it this way.
you will see on many of the posted warning signs in
the area, the still-burning fires continue to be a
source of disturbance for the ground beneath your
feet in Centralia. Also, the vent shafts, crevices,
and pipes from which smoke and steam emanate are hotter
than one might suspect. Persons who get too close
run the risk of burns or exposure to toxic gasses.
Those who enter proceed at their own risk.
have been fortunate enough to never feel the earth
shudder or sink beneath the wheels of my truck (which
is rather weighty) but that should by no means be
taken as a sign that it is safe to walk or drive carelessly
about. Drive with caution, stop your vehicle and proceed
on foot if necessary, or simply stand put and take
only photographs if you can't be certain of how stable
the ground is.
at SendCoal choose to package and ship Anthracite from
this region not only because it represents some of the
finest mineral energy that the United States has historically
produced, but also as a way to help keep alive the memory
of this once-thriving town that has now become little
more than a smoky whisper.