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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


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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


Centralia PA - Memorial Day Weekend May 26, 2007

Photos and comments by:
John J. Lawless & Joel B. Reese

A view facing south of what was once the populated Locust St.

This place is truly amazing; it is such a serene place. It makes you wonder why it is still considered “inhabitable” there are wildlife, plants; it is not the barren wasteland that it has been propagated into. I’m sure it was much worse at one time, but now it is so peaceful, reminiscent of the more tranquil times. I would encourage anyone that can see this part of history to do so. It makes you wonder about all the “conspiracy” theories on why the government spent $42 million to move people in order to strip mine the place for billions worth of coal. The fire is no longer under the borough. The smoke from the hills behind the houses are just vent holes that go deep inside the earth. Maybe there is a danger, maybe there is not, but we will probably never know until the last steadfast resident of Centralia is gone. It will be interesting to see what’s in that time capsule in 2016. I can understand why people decided to stay there, no police, no noise, just peaceful living. If you do visit I hope that you have the chance to talk to someone about the stories less known of the area such as the ones I learned from the man from the VFW. If you do park to see the damaged highway, park near the cemetery on the north side, people will honk at you as they go by and scream out “don’t go down there” but they are probably just the locals that “don’t take kindly to strangers” anyone that we had a chance to talk to face to face in this area was very friendly.

Picture of a handrail to nothing…

The Veterans memorial is topped with a re-creation of the liberty bell

This gentleman is from the VFW, he is placing markers and flags in the local cemeteries, originally a resident he how lives in New Jersey. He is the person who carved the Kneeling soldier memorials, one of the locals painted them and he was a little aggravated about that because the crosses were supposed to be white, we counted four cemeteries in the immediate Centralia region, each had a Kneeling Soldier memorial.  There are two stories he shared with us

A picture of a row of stones that is Mr. Mitchell’s family (the man from the VFW) Edward Michael (third stone from the left) is his father.

Above, the cross that is all black (as explained above by the man from the VFW) is at the Cenetary behind the Russian Orthodox church.  The one with the white cross is at the St. Ignatius cemetery.

Two more stories I would like told, one is of a man who died in a 1948 crash of a DC-6 near Centralia, and one of a probably common misread military marker.  These two stories we found particularly interesting:

First story        

Pictured to the right:

The story as told by the man from the VFW:  This man, George Van Sebo died in a plane crash in 1948, all of those who died had family come to claim the bodies except for this man.  Officials were able to contact the family, but nobody ever came to claim him to give him a proper burial.  They municipalities voted on what to do, and a proper burial with a proper marking was done to honor this man.
Time magazine article from June 28, 1948 detailing plane crash
I found this story also interesting because it related to a similar even in my family in the 1940’s regarding a name change.

Pictured to the right:

This piece of history was also told to us by the man from the VFW.

On this military stone, that reads Joseph John Shillaka Shilpetski, no one would know the following unless they were a relative or got a chance to talk to someone like the man from the VFW. This man’s original name was Joseph John Shilpetski. His wife did not like that name and had him change it to Joseph John Shill. The marker is actually misprinted and “Joseph John Shillaka Shilpetski” is actually supposed to be “Joseph John Shill AKA Shilpetski” I found this story very interesting as almost everyone that sees this stone would not know this and think his name was Shillaka. My grandfather Edmund Arcykiewicz, who also served in WWII changed his name to Edmund Archer at the request of his wife, my grandmother, from what I understand that was a common thing that Russian and Polish Americans did in the 1940-50s.



A steadfast resident creates a display for Memorial Day 2007

A unique cross in the cemetery behind the Russian Orthodox Church

A very detailed carved stone still in good condition considering its detail and age

Left: This burnt out tree stump was smoking a lot, but no matter how many pictures I took we could not get the smoke, definatley worth looking for, just don’t get too close or you will get a mouth/lung full of the smoke… We found this one interesting because it appears to be burnt from the roots up, as many others but this one you can see down the hole

Left: A Mine vent in the middle of the cemetery, possibly this and the many others in the area are the air supply for the fire that still burns beneath

This was an interesting marker that just had initials that we found and took a picture of at ground level.

An old Celtic cross stone

At the top of the hill behind st. Ignatius cemetery, the tree stump to the right of the telephone pole almost appears to be petrified

stairways that once lead to a residence

The sign you will see when traveling northbound on 61 where the road is detoured from the south

A view of the Russian Orthodox church that is on the hill (to visit head north on 61, take your first left past the municipal building and then your first right, the church will be on your left) They still have services once a month.

A view of the church from a distance on the hill behind St. Ignatius church.

This road if you follow it from the top of the hill heading west abruptly ends
Left, Joel Reese and the Centralia bench near the Veterans Memorial

Right, this is the owner of the Visintainers Motel in Mt. Carmel PA, he will enlighten you with stories of his cousin, Mother Pauline Visintainer who was canonized in 2002, and of his friend General James Gavin (WWII)

A picture of the Centralia Municipal building form the same hill as the distant church picture.

John Lawless and the Centralia bench near the Veterans Memorial

Picture of a house that was once a unit of a row of houses, the brick pillars are not chimney’s, but supports so the house does not collapse

More views of the smoking cracks along the closed section of rt. 61

Right, John Lawless kneeling next to crack on the abandoned section of Rt. 61

A view of the closed section of Rt. 61 facing north

Several different views of the cracked highway with smoke still emerging form the surface, the smoke has a pungent odor which smells a little like sulfur, one whiff of it and you will have the taste in the back of your throat for a few hours…


Graffiti left by people who come hear to party, a warning was given to us by one of the locals not to go there at night, people come to party there and the area is occasionally checked by State Police, people are arrested just by association. 


A well maintained American flag flies over the municipal building


Picture from rear of Veterans Memorial with the American flag flying above


An ambulance & fire truck still reside in the municipal building


Above, the dirt mound blocking vehicles from traveling from the north side of the damaged highway

Right, Another Picture of the damaged highway, the is a lot of litter in these cracks…

View facing north from the southern part of the damaged portion of rt. 61

A picture of the damaged highway facing north, picture was taken lower to the ground for a better perspective

Joel Reese straddling the crack for a different perspective…

A fire hydrant lays in the middle of what once was a populated area.

Picture of a time capsule to be opened in 2016, right next to Veterans Memorial

Byrnsville wash house where coal workers went to clean up before returning home after a day at work.


Barren landscape, active mine fire below the surface.

A tree laying that upon close examination is burnt from the bottom up
To the right, a bench at what was once the main intersection of Centralia bears the zip code that is now revoked, residents still take pride in their town as everything is well maintained…

Stairs to somewhere that once was.

Mine fire vent.
Another mine vent on top of the hill on the east side of the highway near the cemeteries.  This is one of a few original vents.

Above and below: This on is actually on the opposite side of the highway, but it appears to be an air quality monitoring & a weather station, probably to monitor for toxic gas emissions. There are cameras around here, so be careful.

A picture of the now abandoned police department’s crest

Another mine vent on top of the hill on the east side of the highway near the cemeteries.

pictures of a large swell south of the cracks on highway 61



  photos continued, follow this link...


  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.