Who Owns Centralia PA?

Former home of Carl and Helen Womer in Centralia Pennsylvania. Credit: Flickr/mdesjardin

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22 Responses

  1. KJ Pfluger says:

    I just watched the video, “The Town that Was” and googled a follow up on John Lokitis. Why was he forced to leave Centrailia in 2009 and others were allowed to stay there?

    • Centralia PA says:

      The others were part of a lawsuit to fight the eviction notices the state of Pennsylvania sent to them. They ultimately won the right to stay in their homes until they pass on. However, they technically do not own their properties anymore. They cannot sell them or give them to others.

  2. Tina Kaiser says:


    I am the US Correspondent of Germany’s biggest sunday newspaper “Welt am Sonntag”. I just came across the story of Centralia and find it astonishing. Many journalists have written about the town before but not in Germany.

    I therefor think it is a story German readers would like to read. Could you let me know how I can get in touch with you? Please send me an Email and we can take it from there. It’s kind of time sensitive unfortunately as I am leaving for my Christmas holiday by the end of next week. Would be great if you could contact me as soon as you get this. Thank you very much.

    Kind regards, Tina

    • Barry says:

      Tina, somewhere I have many pics of Centralia from approx 15. years ago. That was my first visit,on a motorcycle ride. I also have pics from a more recent visit, about 8-9 years ago. If your interested I could find a place to scan them & send them to you. I’ve been extremely interested in this town since I first heard of it. I’m curious to know how the remaining residents have water service. I can’t imagine well water being a way , considering it’s a mountain of coal. Neither does city water make sense, as it would need occasional maintenance

    • Barbara says:

      Have you gotten info you requested
      My family ancestors are all from that area ( half from Centralia)

  3. robert hutchins says:

    i am doing a school report and this is my topic its really cool

  4. Chrystal sylvester says:

    I have been here and it is insainly crazy the feeling you get from walking through that town that was once there.

  5. Joy Jones says:

    My interest was aroused when I read Bill Bryson’s A Walk in the Woods.
    I wanted to know more about Centralia. Thank you.

    • Kylie Steel says:

      Hi Joy, I saw your comment whilst I was looking up information about Centralia. I too am reading A Walk in the Woods. It’s an interesting read and I hope you are enjoying it as much as I am. Cheers Kylie

  6. Kylie Steel says:

    I too am currently reading Bill Bryson’s A Walk in the Woods. Until reading about it in his book, I was completely unaware that the town existed and googled for information. The history and story of its residents is both amazing and sad at the same time.

  7. Margaret says:

    A very good read. Real intriguing.

  8. Alwin says:

    Wondering if it would be a good place for a “geothermal” power plant or water heater circulation base…

  9. Christina Barclay says:

    Can this land be bought back from the state? I’d like to “recycle” the land fund finding a solution to the fire problem!

    • Jamie says:

      They will never sell the land to anyone for any reason. They aren’t even allowed to ask the current residents to move out until they die. That’s why they have been bulldozing all the houses they can get their hands on to stop people from moving into the town.

  10. Brent says:

    i want to talk to someone that will sell it.

  11. brent says:

    you don’t dig air holes for a fire

  12. Jake says:

    Bruh nobody has tried to put the fire out!

  13. Jessica says:

    You can’t put a over 3k acre fire out, damn near impossible, but to destroy 70-80yrs of history because no one felt like taking care of it is just criminal. Yes graffiti highway is gone, just mounds of dirt. I hope the ones who did that have nothing but bad luck, should have never disrespected it and should never try to hide things away. Stop being lazy.

  14. Deborah Mossop says:

    I’ve visited many times with my daughter. It’s so sad . We are always respectful. But it is a tragedy. And you should definately not bother the people still living there. I wish there was a alternative to the land use.

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