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Centralia PA History
Mine Fire History
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Centralia Then & Now
An in-depth View
Film and Song
Historical Photos
Mine Fire History
Visiting Centralia
Mine Fire Chronology
Satellite, Aerial Photos
360 Virtual Tours
Downtown Panoramic
Centralia Multimedia
Scientific Study
Memories of Centralia

Panoramic Virtual Tours:

Mine Fire Hot Spot
Downtown Centralia Mainstreet Centralia Damaged Hillside

Knoebels Amusement Park (only 15 miles from Centralia!) 
Ghost Towns
Area 51 - Groom Lake
Abandoned PA Turnpike
Defunct Amusement Parks
Abandoned Places


Photo Updates:

Centralia in HDR

July 2006 360? Virtual Tour of Downtown Centralia PA

Centralia's Neighbor:
Byrnesville, Pa

Zeisloft's Mobil
Gas Station

July 5th 2008
Centralia PA

Centralia PA 2008
January Photos and 
commentary by
Donald Davis

2006 Photos

2005 Photos
of Centralia


IMG_0215b.jpg (116899 bytes)
2004 Photos
of Centralia

2003 photos

of Centralia

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2002 photos

of Centralia

360 Degree Virtual Tours of Centralia PA

Fire In The Hole
by Kristie Betts
A fictional story based on Centralia

The Little
Town That Was

by Donald Hollinger


RESIDENTS TO SAVE THE BOROUGH OF CENTRALIA - FACT SHEET #6 - MARCH 1984 - This "Fact Sheet" was transcribed from a photocopied, original March 1984 newsletter from a Centralia organization called "Residents To Save The Borough Of Centralia".  Read the News Letter here

130th Anniversary
of the 1877 Shamokin Uprising and the Great Railroad Strike .. Read More


Centralia Today
A Photo Documentary
of Centralia today.


Mine Emergency Response Program
Details from the
Mine Rescue Manual


Top: This park bench is the only place displaying the town’s name. Bottom: Smoke is coming from an underground coal fire.

The Little Town That Was
by Donald Hollinger

Contributed by Donald Hollinger and the publication HIGHWAY NEWS And Good News.  Published in the JULY 2008 issue of HIGHWAY NEWS And Good News

You have heard of the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee and North Carolina, but do you know that Pennsylvania has a real smoky mountain? The mountain is in Centralia, along Pennsylvania Route 61 in Pennsylvania’s east central coal region, which was at one time a worldwide coal supplier. The mountain has been on fire since May 1962, when someone lit a trash fire at the edge of town in the pit of an abandoned strip mine. That pit happened to be over one of the world’s largest anthracite coal veins running near the surface. The fire was thought extinguished, but every few days in would flare up again. The government got involved and spent millions of dollars trying to put out the fire, or at least contain it by flushing the mine with water and fly ash, drilling, and excavating. Some say the government waited too long to take action; by the early 1980s, carbon monoxide in the air around town was reaching dangerous levels, and smoke, fumes, and toxic gases were coming up through basements, backyards, and streets. Today, you can still smell sulfur and see smoke coming out from the earth at various points in the area. By 1990, the federal government stepped in and bought the whole town for forty-two million dollars. Over one thousand people packed up and left some five hundred homes that were later demolished. Evacuation was not mandatory, so about six homes and eleven people decided to remain on the condemned land. It’s been estimated there is enough fuel for the fire to burn for another century or more and could even threaten nearby towns.

Top: The trucks are at a strip mine outside of Centralia. Bottom pictures: A deserted town remains. Photographs by Donald Hollinger and Jennifer Landis.

When I visited in November 2007, I saw only two occupied homes near what once was the center of town. There are many warning signs for trespassers on the condemned land, but there has been no loss of life due to the fire.

Several years ago, a twelve-year-old boy had a close call when he fell into a sink hole and caught himself on some roots; he was rescued by another boy. The hole was one hundred feet deep and filled with carbon monoxide gas. There are no children living on the condemned land today. On Rt. 61, north from Ashland, is a detour around a section of the highway where the road developed a huge crevasse just a few years ago. When I was still driving truck hauling gasoline several years ago, hazmat loads were not allowed on that section of Rt. 61 — and now I understand why! If you ever attempt to visit this ghost town, don’t look for a sign that marks your destination; the only Centralia sign is on the back of a park bench on a side street. Some maps no longer list the town. To find out more about this fascinating story, visit www.offroaders.com and search for Centralia.


Transport For Christ
1525 River Road
Marietta, PA 17547
Canada Return Address:
6242 Route 105
Lower Brighton, NB E7P 1B3


Highway News and Good News (ISSN 1077-0267) is published monthly by Transport For Christ, International.  Those who contribute $30 or more to any ministry of Transport For Christ automatically receive a one-year subscription. Copyright © 2008 by Transport For Christ, International. Reproduction of any kind is prohibited without expressed written consent.



  Mine Fire History Mine Fire History Historical Photos
  Pictures From Today Mine Fire Chronology Visiting Centralia
  Centralia Then & Now 360? Virtual Tours Scientific Study
  Satellite, Aerial Photos Downtown Panoramic Centralia Books


Other Interesting Things




So you want to Visit Centralia PA?  What you should know before you go to Centralia PA.


The Real Disaster Is Above Ground: A Mine Fire and Social Conflict



What's near Centralia?

Plan your visit around one of Pennsylvania's best kept secrets located only 15 miles up the road from Centralia...

Amusement Park

Click Below for
 more details...

Amusement Park


Silent Hill & Centralia
Centralia PA inspires screenwriter Roger Avary during the making of the movie Silent Hill.
Read More Here...


Remembering ...
Byrnesville PA
By Mike Reilley

  Books about Centralia
  Maps of Centralia
  Around Town Today
  Local Attractions
  Personal Notes
  Additional Reading
  Haunted Centralia?
  Gerry McWilliams and
  the album "Centralia"
  Silent Hill Inspiration
  Other Mine Fires
  Search Centralia
  Centralia Sites/Books
Panoramic Virtual Tours:
Mine Fire Hot Spot
Downtown Centralia Mainstreet Centralia Damaged Hillside
  Centralia Infrared

Centralia PA in B&W Infrared
Infrared Photography
by Donald Davis

Video Tour
in Infrared of
Centralia PA
by Donald Davis


The Little Town That Was
by Donald Hollinger
Made in U.S.A. - 1987 movie that was filmed on location in Centralia PA See the opening Scene that started in Centralia during the peek of the mine fire disaster



Is Centralia Haunted?
Explore the possibility

The Real Disaster Is Above Ground: A Mine Fire and Social Conflict

Is there Hope
for Centralia?


Through the use of Nitrogen-Enhanced foam the Pinnacle mine fire was extinguished by Cummins Industries, Inc.  Cummins proposes to tackle the Centralia Mine fire and bring an end to the 
40 plus year fire.

Read this White Paper which evaluates the effectiveness of remotely applied nitrogen-enhanced foam to aid in efforts to isolate and suppress a mine fire.