Pennsylvania Roads - Centralia - Hilltop

Above Centralia

The most famous part of the hilltop above Centralia is the graveyard, which presumably once had a church to go with it. Yes, as sparse as the rest of the town is, at least some houses still dot the streets, but up here, the fires still burn and smoke comes out of the ground everywhere, so no building can stay put. It's that smoke that makes the graveyard famous, but unfortunately, on the day I went, there didn't appear to be any flaming zombies screaming from the grave. There was at least a little smoke, and plenty of detritus.

Looking south from the highest road on the hill, with the graveyard in the background and a lot of dead stuff in the foreground. Some of this area was already clear from having houses and yards on it, but it's now covered by burnt pieces of wood from when the fire was particularly close to the surface.

More scenes from the south side of the road, including one of the steel pipes installed to penetrate the mine and inject various substances in an attempt to stop the fires. I'm sure enough stuff is on fire where even a year of water, carbon dioxide, or something else would not put it out completely.

Now to the north, down the hill toward the barren streets of Centralia, with smoke to the left of the first photo and the bottom of the second photo. By far the most smoke I saw on Mother's Day 2007 was on the north face of the hill, but it may be different when you visit.

Standing west of the above and turning slowly from northwest to southeast. The bald mountain in the background looks like it's also host to a lot of mines, while the dead trees in the foreground tell you there will never be mines here again. By the time we turn past the fire pit that is a popular tire-dumping spot, we come to another of the many pipes drilled into the mine.

Poking my way west in the first two photos, and seeing nothing except some more smoke among the dead trees and pavement fragments, I turn east and get an even better photo of the smoke from several photos ago.

Looking east and west from the road to the cemetery. At least some of this debris probably came from the former houses of Centralia, though I'm sure litter opportunists have added their own.

Eastward toward PA 61, with my car parked to the left and other people stopped along the hilltop road.

Two more photos down the hill, with the municipal building along PA 42 in the background and then a beautiful home in the foreground. Hey, if you want some distance from your neighbors, where else would you go?

Down into Centralia
Along Park St.
Abandoned PA 54/61 on the other side of the hill
Back to Centralia main page

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