Centralia, Pennsylvania has a issue with signs disappearing under mysterious circumstances. In fact, this has become such a problem that there are hardly any to be found there today!
There used to be a large number of signs in and around the borough of Centralia. These included road signs, signs on street corners, a bench sign, mine fire warning signs, borehole marker signs, house signs, and protest signs erected by the remaining residents.
Over time, some of these signs were taken down as people left, died, or were forced out. Others began to decay or removed by the elements. However, some signs seemingly wandered off on their own.
Just a few years ago, green street signs could be found at corners throughout the town. These served as a poignant and sad reminder of the town that had once been there. Today, there are hardly any of these to be seen.
There also used to be a number of signs erected by the State of Pennsylvania and DEP around the town. These warned visitors of the dangerous mine fire that burned below them. Now, these too are missing.
There were even signs put up by the remaining residents. These included notices and letters from state and government agencies. It was a way for the residents to tell others about their plight. Again, these are gone.
Some might wonder if there is a vast conspiracy bent on removing signs and ridding Centralia, PA of any identity. However, the real answer to the mystery is much more mundane.
Over the last ten years, Centralia has experienced a rise in popularity and tourism. People come to see what is left of the town, and many wish to take a part of it with them as a souvenir. Unfortunately, this is ruining the experience for those who come after them.
If you plan on visiting Centralia, Pennsylvania anytime soon, please avoid taking signs or other pieces of the town that once was. It’s a piece of history that should be left for everyone to see.
I love exploring Centralia, Pa. I wish people would stop stealing and littering the area. I have seen so much, yet so more to be seen. God bless the residents, living there or vicariously living there, a shame to see what’s become of the town.
I might be going up to Centralia in mid-April if my schedule’s free, and I really hope at least one street sign isn’t stolen. It makes the feeling of a lost community stronger when you see old streets, which may make someone understand the vibe of the town more. It’s just that, the more people take, the more the town diminishes. At least the spirit of the community that still lingers, can never be stolen.
Pull up an old map and print it off , you should be able to find a map from 1980’s and from 4 way stop you can start to get an imagine in your minds eye Kayla. I moved back to Mount Carmel 5 yrs ago from Pittsburgh. I live 4 miles North on rt 61 and remember the town well. Enjoy a kid just fell into a opening about 5 weeks ago, so be careful where you step.
Huh, I never heard of any one falling into an opening. I stayed on the streets and I was fine anyhow, even walked on the highway fissures, nothing felt off. I didn’t go up where the old mines were so I guess nothing would’ve happened to me.
I wish folks wouldn’t steal (and it IS stealing) street and town signs. The town won’t burn forever, just in our lifetimes. Centralia is about so much more than just a mine fire.
It’s weird that I found this article buried because I actually have an explanation of this, at least, for the period between 1995-2000. I uncle Roger and my aunt Loretta lived in a house in Centralia and was one of the ones forced out in 2000. During the period between 95 and 2000 he used to purposely rip down signs by the state and other authorities out of protest against the forced relocation of the town. That was him during that 5 year period. When he and my aunt were forced to move and their house was demolished they took a couple road signs from their street as mementos which currently hang in their restaurant they own in Clarion, which is where they moved to.