We love Centralia, Pennsylvania. And, it’s not just us. People all over the world do too. But this begs the question – why?
Centralia is a place, a sad place really, with only six people living there. It doesn’t have beaches, art museums, or a vibrant night life. In fact, there is barely anything there at all.
Yet, each year thousands of people travel to Centralia PA. Why?
Some come because they love abandoned places and are curious what Centralia is like. Others wish to see the mine fire and hope to catch a glimpse of steam rising from the ground. Still others come to pay their respects, either to loved ones buried in cemeteries or to what once was a thriving town.
The reasons people come to Centralia Pennsylvania are varied and complex. Many people come to walk the Graffiti Highway or to explore the burn zone. Others are looking to connect with the area’s coal mining history or experience one of the inspirations for the film Silent Hill.
Whatever their reasons, many people who visit Centralia leave feeling an appreciation for the place, the people who once lived there, and the residents who still remain. For some, this appreciation becomes something more.
Centralia PA connects with core values of the human experience. Until the mine fire began in 1962, it was simply a town. It was a place where people lived, worked, and raised their families.
However, the mine fire disaster changed all of that. It robbed the Centralia’s residents of their homes, something many of us take for granted. In that sense, the story of Centralia is about love and loss. That’s something most people can relate to.
Over there years, as their town shrank, Centralia’s residents would post signs showing how much they loved where the lived. The most famous of these was a heart that simply read, “We Love Centralia.” Though, even this is now gone.
Today, visitors leave their own mementos showing how much they care about the town. Some have even organized efforts to support the remaining residents by cleaning up trash from the areas around the borough.
Whatever the methods, let’s show the world why we love Centralia and keep its memory alive for years to come.