Why Was Elderwood Abandoned?

One of the most dangerous areas on Cleveland’s east side – to wander here with a camera would be ridiculous, so I had to.

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During the 1990s, one of many larger fires in Cleveland’s history broke out in the center of a once lively neighborhood, destroying buildings and claiming lives. It was said that because of this fire, local community began to collapse, eventually leading to the abandonment of almost everything.

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In its lively years, Elderwood sat beneath a hill in East Cleveland, maintaining the life of a normal, functioning urban block. Children played in the heat of a summer sun, running through sprinklers, laughing while life around them continued as normal as it always had. So what was it that turned this particular disaster into something that people would want to push from their memories? The story of Elderwood is one of a sad history – one of very dark days. This large fire brought the death of family members, while most notably and quite sadly, taking the lives of some very young children. I am not 100 percent positive why the entire neighborhood was abandoned so quickly the way it was instead of initially attempting to rebuild, but I believe it may be a strong possibility that people wanted to completely abandon and bury these terrifying memories, leaving everything behind.

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During early July of 2013, firefighters were called to the scene of a building billowing smoke on the neighborhood street, burning for over 2 hours until finally being taken out by the team. A very short amount of time passed until one more incident had come to the attention of police, when three bodies were found in surrounding buildings, one of them on the second story of an apartment on Elderwood. Since that discovery in July, a bright spotlight has been heavily focused in and around the area where Elderwood Avenue runs through.

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I first explored this quiet block during January of 2014, giving me the chance to capture its emptiness within a cold winter scene. Most of the streets were covered in snow so deep that it was difficult to navigate by walking, let along drive through. The winter, cold temperatures and lack of active people in the area were what allowed me to venture inside, capturing the bleak abandonment through some of the most beautifully austere scenery left behind by wild destruction. I returned during the warmer months of summer, to see just how much had changed, finding myself lost between a world of green life and orange-bricked death. Facing Elderwood, I felt as though I was staring down the center of an urban jungle. Trees pushed wildly from foundations, while overgrowth and foliage sprang freely from walls and sidewalks. I walked these lonely, cracking and cluttered streets, imagining this eerie laughter, like children playing. The air is mostly quiet, with the exception of sporadic clangs and crunches echoing through broken windows. Open doors pour trash into the yards and street as floors just inside some units have collapsed, forcefully pushing destruction outward.

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Nature paints images of the most fascinating grandeur, transforming usual into unusual as fresh Earth pulls from broken foundations, pushes against fragmented walls and reaches through shattered windows. Not only does this give us a unique scene, but an interesting one that could speak not a thousand, but a million words.

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With Cleveland’s population declining, down 20 percent in the last ten years, places like this will simply need to be torn down. We will not gain anything by saying that the area needs to be brought back to life when most of it is beyond the point of restoration and would ultimately do no good, or be of much help to the community, considering not much of the community even remains. It’s a wonderful thought for thriving areas, such as parts of New York or Chicago, both of whom are making great restoration efforts, but places like this need to be removed as they only continue to encourage acts of crime to take place, providing criminals with a dumping ground of sorts.

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Bombardment by fires and vandalism over the years in connection with the high crime rate, from rape to murder, has eventually led to the recent beginning demolition of the area. Very soon we will say our final goodbyes to Elderwood as a whole, and only an empty, flat land will remain where these structures once stood tall. In areas like this, you need to be careful. It’s not simply a “walk in the park, let’s see cool stuff” kind of thing. By putting yourself in a situation like this, you could be severely hurt, robbed, or even killed. More people need to know this, and stop thinking of exploring these areas as some kind of simple game or general activity. There are plenty of cool things to explore that are much safer, be aware of your surroundings and stay safe. It’s ultimately your choice, but I have given you my thoughts.

The Beauty Of Forgotten Countryside Homes

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What leads a family’s decision as they decide to stand up, open their door and walk out, leaving everything behind? Forgotten homes sit scattered across our country like eerie time capsules filled with stories, rotting away under the unforgiving power of nature. What influences some of us in our lives to simply walk away from a place once thriving with so much life and color? Our world is littered with forgotten pieces of former days strewn about, like a shaken container full of Legos, lying brittle, broken and lost. Through photographic documentation, I attempt to search out these locations, uncovering their history and sharing these buried stories, so that they may remain part of our known history. I believe there is a heavy importance in truly seeing what we throw away, bringing attention to the small details of a future gone unplanned.

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Dinner remains, having grown moldy sat atop a now broken, filthy dining room table. The old corded phone still hangs neatly in place, covered in years of dust, neglected by humans. We were here once, but now all seems to have been lost, forever stuck in time.

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Slipping down a long driveway between tall, winding forest surrounding me, I eventually found myself gazing up at broken doors and a collapsed roof, welcoming me inside with an eerie aura as raindrops pitter-pattered the crumbling devastation brought by nature to this once lively abode. As I entered, directly to my left I found quite an insane sight. From one end of the room to the other sat a life’s collection of books, from novels to cook books, short stories and more. It seemed as though the man living here may have been studying medicine, as a good collection of these reference teachings of the medical field. The ceiling had mostly become collapsed under the weight of passing years, from bombardment by the elements bearing down upon it until it finally had given up. I continued to treacherously navigate the warped and broken floors, soft with rain, until reaching a bathroom near back of the hallway. Curtains hung tattered, twisted and dark with mold, resembling something you might see in you favorite horror film. Towels remain neatly placed on their respective hanging bars, untouched by a single human since the 1990s, now collecting dirt and dust with the passing of time. So many signs of human life remain scattered, showcasing how this family lived and who they were. A lonely pair of glasses remains placed above the sink, hanging beside a crumbled and thrashed newspaper, as if that may have been sat down the day all was left.

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Stumbling through the clutter and various pieces left behind, it is exciting to pull everything together, and attempting to recreate a lively scene to truly look into the spirit they left behind. I say spirit, but in this case I am not necessarily referring to a death. What I am referencing is simply my belief, that when so much is left behind, in a way, their complete lives linger here waiting to tell a silent story to the small audience taking time to listen. Witnessing these places, through the silence and emptiness; this makes my mind wander, and I love that about it.

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A mother makes breakfast as the morning sunrise beams over the horizon, crossing a vast and flourishing country field to peak through kitchen windows. A warm, golden haze paints the room, as the smell of bacon and maple syrup coats the fresh wood grain cabinets and vinyl-tiled floor on the inside. Outside, the sun casts heavy shadows among the barns front, and the land lays blanketed in sparkling, prismatic orbs of dew refracting the ambient beams of 7 am sunlight. A flutter of blue jay wings whooshes through branches outside the children’s bedroom windows. They are awoken to life, chirping and peeking in through the glass, and the delicious smell of a warm breakfast climbing the stairs to fill their room. Quickly, they jump out of bed to rush downstairs and join mother and father at the breakfast nook where the family pet, a golden retriever, will join them as well in the begging for table scraps.

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After breakfast, they will join in the living room, where the dog will chew on his bones, the children will play with model airplanes or a board game, and mother and father will sip their coffee while reading the newspaper. In the midst of playing, the children will throw the airplane to the ceiling, watching it soar across the room, and straight into a wall, cracking a small section of paint. Father will then take the model airplane to be fixed, and will leave his newspaper on top of a bookcase that sits beside him. This newspaper will quickly be forgotten, and left on top for years to come.

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Mother always leaves her coffee cup in the same enclave atop the kitchen counter, but some day the family may move along from this spot, so what will happen of this simple coffee mug? What will happen with the model airplane that father never got around to quite fixing?

As we fast-forward a few years, the children have grown older now, and rummaging through some old boxes they happen to find the long lost toy. Seeing as how they are no longer little children, they decide to fix it for themselves. Once fixed, the airplane will be put on a type of display, centered on the dresser of a bedroom. As nighttime now approaches, they will climb into soft, warm beds adorned with intricate carvings throughout the wooden structure and layering of soft, white, cloud-like blankets. A small lamp sets the room to an orange glow while the children, now in their mid-teens wrap themselves in a cocoon of warmth and open the crisp pages of a book. In the morning, everything will start again as it has since they were young.

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Years passed, seasons changed, the children grew older, and parents grew more tired. This once shining, fresh home began to lose its structure, falling to a state of grey from the elements around it, so they began heading towards an upgrade. Around 1985, the family bids a final farewell to their home for a fresh adventure, to settle down in a new dwelling.

The kitchen sits void of life as the morning sun now shines over a colorless, lifeless field as it rises above the horizon, and same as any other morning, pushes itself through the kitchen window. Only now, nobody is present; the room sits quietly, covered in dust. The same golden haze still paints the room as it always has, however all the sun has to light are the musty floors, dusty cabinets, and shiny cobwebs strung over the kitchen sink. Cracks cross along the now fogged window’s view, while the only smell filling the air is that of rotting dilapidation. The scent of bacon hasn’t graced this room in years.

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Outside the upstairs bedroom window, there is a flutter of many wings throughout the now over grown tree, but no children inside are waking. Life peeks through the glass and says hello, but life doesn’t respond back. Nobody is jumping out of beds, and nobody is downstairs waiting in the breakfast nook, other than the occasional raccoon or a family of squirrels who have transformed it into their own little nesting. In this version of time, there is no golden retriever, nor any table scraps to beg for. The living room floor is far too littered with glass and debris to play on anymore, and old newspapers lay scattered from one end to the other. The section of cracked paint that was never repaired now spreads throughout the wall in a spider-webbed effect and the newspaper from 1979 sits atop the bookcase covered in dust. The airplane still sits atop the wooden dresser, painted with must, and decay. A coffee mug is stashed in a collapsed cupboard while chipped fragments of its edges float through the cabinet.

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As night falls on the land, nobody will be crawling into the bed that now sits host to the wetness of rain and decay of summer’s heat. The room will no longer be lit a soft orange, but instead a softer blue from the moons natural and radiant light. The orb way out in the night sky will shine across the sheets and dresser, reflecting off of metallic beads, which lay strewn atop the bed. The crisp pages of books are now tattered and torn, littered about the floorboards, and as the owl hums his nightly tune, the home and the moon wave goodnight to each other. It will all start just the same in the morning, repeating again and again, until someone visits to hear the stories the foundation has to tell. This is exactly what we are doing. We are listening. Can you hear that? Open your eyes, open your mind, and open your ears.

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One can only question themselves as to why they left so many possessions behind, and all we can do is attempt to look through the eyes, heart, and soul through darkness and decay of the once inhabited. And though the eyes are closed shut, while the beating heart of this home has come to a halt, we can still gather a story from the pieces and colors of its remaining soul, telling tales of a lifetime of adventure.

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The balance of nature will always work against what we leave behind, reclaiming it in sporadic and unforgiving ways. Without preserving the things that we have created, we will be left with only a crumbling reminder of what once was and could have been. A prismatic view refined by the aesthetic merging of nature’s rapacious, unforgiving beauty with our architectural craft; an alluring image of how the Earth will always take back what once belonged to it.

A Message From A Guy Who Loves Cats

Being an artist of any sort, you will always have groups of people against you to speak their differing views of how they believe the world should be, and at times how they think that should not include you. I receive many negative comments, continuously for the past 8 years or so of doing what I do. These negative comments have only helped shape me into the artist and person I have become over time.

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I was told by someone just the other day that they would rather kill themselves than read through another one of my awful writings. It must be quite powerful to make you feel that way, yeah? I have to say though, that’s somewhat a ridiculous way of thinking. Sure, I might not be a great writer…but I can’t have someone else account for my personal experience through these places.

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As an artist, no matter who you are or what you do, never take offense from comments like this; use these as a learning experience and motivation to grow.

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If you are going to bash someone for what they do but can’t give creative input and constructive criticism on how you think it should be changed, then keep it out of your mouth. If you can give constructive criticism and both you and the artist agree, the artist can take that and go from there. Alternatively, if the artist does not agree, it is up to them to not implement suggested changes.

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Being an artist, you need to do what makes you feel, and you will always have people that talk down on you because not everybody will understand these emotions you put into your work. Think of some of your favorite music, food, movies, artists…every one of them will have groups that dislike them. So yeah sure, maybe my writing is not the greatest, but it’s my way of documenting life around me. And hey, with negative comments comes even more reason to work harder towards larger goals, so I thank not only my friends, family, all of the amazing people who support me as fans of my work, but those who speak negatively as well! Everything helps along the journey!

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At the end of the day, I always look at anything I have created and try to tell myself how I could have done better, constantly pushing for a greater result than the last, and as an artist this is something you should practice. If we were “perfect” what would there be to improve on? If you thought you did absolutely nothing wrong, where will you go from there? Getting into this habit, when I look at something, if I see nothing wrong with it in my own eyes, I feel that I have done something right.

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So take the negative comments as one of the greatest tools at your disposal and don’t let them get you down! If you are looking to continue in the art world as a life career, you will have books full of hate from those who oppose, trust me. I simply smile at it anymore. :)

So I apologize for the rant, and I hope that I did not annoy anybody, just felt the need to voice some crap. I will soon post a piece about abandoned and forgotten country homes across the Eastern US.

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The Still Silence of a Forgotten Renaissance Faire

Very few explorations make me feel as though a knight might appear at any moment ready to slay dragons before where I stand…in fact, not a single exploration has ever made me feel that way until one of my most recent.

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Stationed on land formerly owned by George Washington’s mother sits the forgotten grounds of Virginia’s Sherwood Forest; a former Renaissance Faire once filled with mead and merriment, now being uncontrollably swallowed back into the Earth with the passing of time. As years slowly creep by, further and heavier damage befalls this strange and serene town stuck in the middle ages. Walking through every separate portion of these former faire grounds delivers a rare feeling, as though I had traveled back in time, was dropped into medieval days and should now be hiding for fear of being burned at the stake, considering the magical soul stealing box always hanging from my neck.

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Through the 1700s, it had become difficult to find a place in Virginia not owned by the Washington family. The Washingtons seemed to own EVERYTHING, including the land that this faire had eventually taken over, now of course being reclaimed by the land itself. The faire was opened during summer of 1996 as a tourist attraction by a company called “Renaissance Entertainment Corporation.” However, after only a few short years of entertainment through the excitement of jousting, massive turkey legs and awkward corsets, strong weather had begun to take a toll on the entire place, eventually turning it into ye olde post-apocalyptic land it hath today become…eth.

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Though I had never taken part in one of the faire’s events, I found myself reminiscing about how the days of merriment spent here must have gone. I stood motionless at the middle amidst a quiet strip of town; rows of crumbling shops stared in at either side of me as I attempted to take in the empty atmosphere of such a bizarre location. I tried envision groups of happy laughing people, skipping along through crowds, dressed in their best faire attire, ready to absorb themselves with life, sights and sounds of the 1700s. I began wandering from my stationary spot, making my way across the crisp brush of overgrowth, pacing slowly from side to side while examining each broken structure that I passed by. It was completely surreal to view something of this genre abandoned. The world around me seemed as if I had been transported into some type of alternate reality. The village continued far into the forest, spanning past strips of shops, bars, even game corners.

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Magnificent Tudor houses, stone castles, amazing arch ways, among other incredible middle age architecture make up this 100+ acre plot of land stretching through the forest. Sat center of it all was a quite an unusual site – a decaying pirate ship. The ship has definitely seen better days, but after years of neglect you can only expect so much. Docked at the water, this was used to provide seating for park guests to relax at the lake, because when you are at a renaissance faire, it is quite necessary that you enjoy moments such as this 1700s pirate–style.

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Once R.E.C. noticed that they were not making a profitable gain, mainly due to large storm activity over the faire, all items deemed important were moved from this park to numerous others that the company owned at different locations, while everything else was left behind like a massive aboveground time capsule. Nearly 16 years have passed since the park’s closure in 1999. Overgrowth has taken root, made its mark and will most likely not be leaving anytime soon. Visiting this place is of ill choice, considering that a hunting club now controls part of the grounds and during hunting season, if you don’t present yourself brightly in an orange vest, I would just hope that you have some practice with dodging a bullet.

Life in the City

During our explorations throughout Cleveland, we sometimes stumble upon more than just vacant and decaying structures. On this particular day, we met up with a very unique group of people. The homeless of West Cleveland line the train tracks across from Train Ave. and John and Theresa are a couple of the most interesting people I have met in a while. They are together, and they are there for each other. I think I can honestly say I believe they do love each other; sticking with each other for years in this same spot.

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I believe urban exploration photography is not strictly about the structures; but the life around them as well. People normally look past this part of our cities, and even around the world. I have met, and become friends with some of the most chill, down to Earth people through some of these explorations. These people are happier than most even when they have nothing. John and Theresa are two of the nicest people I have met in a long time. They offered us water because we were thirsty…the only clean bottled unopened water they had…we didn’t take that from them of course. Just the fact that somebody with nothing is willing to give basically the little bit of what they have to people they have just met really makes me look up to them and respect them even more. John wanted the photos printed of him and his girlfriend. I brought the photos to them and they loved them. I am planning to go out and bring lunch and chat with them some more soon. They were happy to make new friends.

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Not every homeless person puts themselves into a bad situation, some were born into it while others may have just lost their way. We should at least try to keep an open mind and not judge so quickly. I’m not in any way saying to do as we have done, because yes there can be some dangerous people out there. What I am saying is sometimes your help goes to people who truly deserve it.

Sorry for my lack of posting recently, but before this weekend I will have an awesome series of photos and writing to share here! So make sure to check back! :)

The Virginia Torture House

A short story about a strange find.

During our explorations in Virginia, word surfaced between our group of the Virginia “torture house.”

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Visually reminiscent of a Texas Chainsaw Massacre scenario, this house sits off the side of town, amidst the middle of almost nothing, tucked away from civilization surrounding. Two perfectly dark and dead trees sit on either side of this crumbling madhouse once used as a place for torture…or perhaps some type of painful enjoyment.

Since previous days, the home has been mainly cleaned out other than a few small items, but when friends of ours would explore this a year or so ago, they stumbled upon some wild things, thus dubbing it the torture house. They told stories of this home as they found it, and I will be retelling them. This house has a mysterious past.

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Now, it could purely be the fact that this home looks incredibly creepy through its own decay, while at the same time there could be a very dark past that lurking, painting a twisted picture of and insane life that this home has witnessed. When our friends wandered into this home unaware of what they might find, something took them by surprise far from items normally abandoned.

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Sat against a wall remained the rusted metal framework of a small old mattress, while tied to it, a battery sat hooked to hand cuffs clamped onto the shaky metal frame. Chains sat at each side, ready to tie victims to this metal frame, perhaps even to hold their legs down. Was this a place of a twisted pleasure, or was this an incredibly odd torture device? There will never quite be a definite answer to this mystery, and even while torturous items have been removed, a single word remains scribbled upon the wall…”GOREgeous.”

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Forgotten country homes can portray such a wide variety of stories reaching from one end of the spectrum to another. While some hold the innocent and forgotten memories of the former family in a soft and subtle way, showing a calming transition, while some showcase a chilling and almost eerie scene of a life forgotten, abruptly left behind with food still on the table and toys still sat in a crib. Others, such as in this case have a much darker and more cryptic presentation, where we can never be completely sure just what went on, leaving us guessing, fishing through a sea of scattered thought.

I am currently working on a very interesting story, soon to be posted here so keep checking back! The next set of photos will be a collection of quite an epic place. I can’t wait to share that with everybody!

Wandering Through Silent Hill

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Surrounded by Conyngham Township sits the borough of Centralia, a near-ghost town known to be an inspiration for the film adaptation of Silent Hill. We had initially set a path for ourselves traveling East in search of rural country homes to explore, with each road becoming emptier than the last as we furthered our way into a calm countryside. As we traveled these peaceful back roads, a cold but sunny winter sky surrounded us, gleaming on each snow-covered field that we passed while specks of snow glistened, sparkling radiantly in the sunlight on either side of us. After a few small explorations through various farm houses alongside the country roads it was decided that we may as well carry our journey almost as Eastern as we could go into Pennsylvania, finally dropping us into a quaint and quiet, though very empty place.

In 1992 the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania took control of Centralia, condemning all buildings after having claimed them under eminent domain. The land originally owned by Native Americans had now become basically a ghost town as almost everyone fled, escaping the dangers under their feet. Ten years later in 2002 the Postal Service completely revoked the town’s zip code. What this leaves me to wonder is how do the seven remaining people continue to receive their mail without a zip code? Does this mean P.O. boxes all around? Okay, I’m getting a bit too far ahead. Let’s back up for just a moment and address the fact that only seven people somehow, for some reason, still remain, refusing to leave, and how it got to be this way.

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In 1749, Native Americans sold the land that would eventually come to be known as Centralia to colonial agents for just 500 pounds. Shortly after the 1770 construction of the Reading Road, largely part of Route 61, Robert Morris, a signatory of the Declaration of Independence and known hero of the Revolutionary War obtained one third of Centralia’s total land. Shortly after in 1798, Robert Morris was pushed into bankruptcy and his portion of the land was surrendered to the Bank of The United States. A French sea captain by the name of Stephen Girard saw a profitable opportunity with the land due to a mass volume of anthracite coal sitting beneath it, so quickly purchased these lands for $30,000.

The town was given its first name; Bull’s Head in 1832 after Johnathan Faust opened the Bull’s Head Tavern. By 1842, ownership had switched hands when the Locust Mountain Coal and Iron Company, owned by Alexander Rae, purchased the land. Rae changed the town’s name to Centreville and in 1854, construction of the Mine Run Railroad began, mistakenly overlooking the coal deposits beneath the town. In 1865, due to the U.S. Post Office already having a town registered under the name of Centreville in Schuylkill County, it was decided that the name would be changed to Centralia.

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The Locust Run Mine alongside the Coal Ridge Mine were the first two to be opened in Centralia during the year of 1856. Three others were later introduced, the Hazeldell Colliery Mine in 1860, the Centralia Mine in 1862, and the Continental Mine in 1863. In 1866, Centralia was officially incorporated as a borough, with its main employer being the anthracite coal industry. Two years later on October 17, 1868, Alexander Rae was murdered by members of the Molly Maguires while in his buggy during a commute between Centralia and Mount Carmel. Legend still hangs over locals of Centralia and surrounding towns telling of a curse placed on the land in 1869 by Father Daniel Ignatius McDermott, the first Roman Catholic priest to call Centralia home, after being assaulted by three members of the Molly Maguires.

During the year of 1890, according to Federal census records the town had reached its maximum population of 2,761. At this time, the town held numerous structures, from seven churches to five hotels, twenty-seven saloons, a couple of theaters, a bank, post- office and fourteen general stores. Almost 40 years later, the production of anthracite coal had grown to peak, furthering and speeding its mining. After a brief speeding up of production, their were sharp declines due to so many young miners from Centralia being enlisted in World War I. Lehigh Valley Coal Company was forced to close five mines local to Centralia during the stock market crash of 1929, but that did not stop bootleg miners from pillar-robbing, as they would extract coal from pillars left behind in idle mines to support their roofs. Pillar-mining was the cause of many idle mines collapsing, complicating the prevention of a 1962 mine fire that would eventually run the town’s population down to near zero.

In 1966, rail service into Centralia had come to a halt, and by 1980 the town held only 1,012 remaining residents. It has been argued that due to an unsealed opening in the pit, fire was able to enter a labyrinth of abandoned coal mines beneath the streets of Centralia, causing a large scale fire, too large to stop, still burning to this day, while another theory states that the Bast Colliery coal fire of 1932 was never fully extinguished, reaching the landfill area by 1962.

In 1981, a 12-year-old resident by the name of Todd Domboski fell when a sinkhole opened up at his feel while standing in the backyard. The sinkhole measured 4 feet wide by 150 feet deep. Before the full opening of this sinkhole, his cousin, Eric Wolfgang pulled him up saving his life. The hot steam cloud rising from the bottom was later measured and found to contain a deadly level of carbon monoxide. In 1984, more than $42 million was collected for efforts of relocating families. While most residents accepted buyout offers, moving to either Mount Carmel or Ashland, there were a handful of families that refused to believe they were in any real danger, not wanting to give up their lives to a buyout. By 1990, the population had dropped from 1,017 to 63 in just ten years. Shortly after having their ZIP code revoked, Governer Ed Rendell began evicting the remaining residents in 2009.

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While everything has been demolished, Centralia sits a lonely and quiet place with a ground below your feet that could collapse at any moment. Given the proper burst of energy, fires beneath could split the entire highway in half, separating it by nothing but a pit of fire. With each passing day, the hell beneath this land continues to escape through toxic smoke, pushing pressure up as it warps the roads above. It’s said that this massive coal fire could continue for the next 250 years or perhaps even longer, and though there have been efforts made to push everybody out completely, there are a small handful that stand their ground, refusing to be forced away and give up their hometown. Route 61, a main highway East into and South out of Centralia now resembles an apple pie; that is if you were to place your palm on top and apply pressure, cracking the crust open. Instead of finding a delicious filling though, you may just find a pit of fire hiding inside.

As invisible toxic fumes drift across this land once vibrant and full of life, a dark and somewhat disturbing silence fills empty air. A howling wind blows through the dying trees of a town now almost fully put to rest, while birds shuffle through the forest aside Route 61. Debris lays shakily scattered down the entire road and various overgrowth has begun to fill open holes and consume the land.

Many people are unsure of how things will end for this town when all is said and done, while those seven remaining residents hold tightly to emotional value of their hometown as time ticks, slowly fading away any remaining images of life. As I stared down the long stretch of road, I could not help but to imagine a lively transit once passing through while workers remained busy and families came to and from. The road seemed to melt at my feet where asphalt had cracked away, falling into a hole leaving an imprint of destruction. Life can take some very wild and unforeseen turns at a moments notice.

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Thankfully, unlike the movie adaptation of Silent Hill, we did not become stuck inside the town forever.

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