Welcome to Barnesville, PA.
Believe it or not there used to be another Coal mining town at this spot. Again, back in the 60’s Barnesville was a normal town just like Centralia that I mentioned before. Barnesville was located about a half mile down the road from Centralia. It also had homes and businesses. However, due to the Mine Fire that was burning in Centraila the residents started suffering from the smoke and fire that was following the same Coal seam as in Centraila. The main Coal vein ran right under the town. Again, the gov’t offered the people a fair market value for their homes.
All of the residents took the offers and also moved away. Homes were torn down leaving a empty area. Nature has reclaimed the area now and there is not much there to show that a busy town used to be here. At places, you can still see some of the sidewalk and curbs, but most of it is buried under dirt and scrub. There is just one fire hydrant still visible on the old sidewalk.
The Images I shot show what used to be the Main St. If you look close you can see my car parked in what used to be a driveway for someone’s home. It took me 2 times to locate this area. I drove right past it the first time. Had to ask someone just where this town was. You can drive right past it and never know what used to be here.
Not far from my home is this place named The Kerney. It get’s it’s name from the old Kernsville Dam that is located just about a quarter mile away.
Many years ago, this was the site where excess coal dirt was dumped from dredging the river nearby. Excess coal dirt from the coal area up North was starting to clog the river, so it was decided to dredge the river and keep it free to navigate with the old coal barges that traveled up and down the old Union Canal. The old Union Canal is still visible at places.
I used to play in this area when I was much younger and living in Hamburg. I had no idea how this coal got here or why. It was just a great place to mess around. Most everyday I would be down here riding my bicycle with other friends and just having a good time. I used to drag the coal dirt along in my shoes and have to clean them before going home. When it was wet it made a black mess.
Now, many yrs. later the place has become a Wildlife area for walking, bicycle, and jogging up and down the path that has been built for everyone’s enjoyment. Lots of people come here for the History and exercise area. Back yrs. ago it was not as full of under-brush as it is now. One problem here is that I’ve never seen any wildlife here, such as deer. I see their tracks, but nothing in the late evening. I think they are just passing thru, cause I don’t think there is much to eat in this place for them. During the Fall the trees and bushes turn all different colors, thus making it a nice place to walk around.
Normally, I’m not much of a flower person, but when there is beauty to appreciate I always have noticed what Nature can provide.
These images were taken at Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, PA. The gardens are just full of all kinds of plants, trees, and flowers of every make and growth. It gets decorated up for the Holidays with lights and displays. It’s a real nice place to visit.
Centraila, a Coal mining town that used to be here.
Back in the 60’s, Centraila used to be a typical, busy Coal mining town. Streets were lined with residential homes, bars, businesses, and people going about their business. One day this all changed.
Centraila has a main vein of Anthracite Coal running under the town. Enough Coal is here to last more than 200 yrs. At sometime one of the residents dumped some trash at the local dumping area and then set it on fire. In turn this fire worked it’s way into a open Coal seam, and started the seam on fire. The fire started burning under ground and under the town creating a problem for residents living here. Slowly over time, the smell and open cracks in the ground got into residential homes causing more and more people to get sick from the fumes. The fire was moving under the town more and more.
Everything possible was done to put the fire out with water and other means, but nothing could stop it. The US Gov’t got involved and found it just to expensive to extinguish, so they offered to buy the residential homes at a fair market price. Most all the people took their offers and moved away. Homes were torn down, leaving empty spaces where someone used to live.
Now, there is nothing left of the town, with some exception. There are only 2 homes here anymore. The rest are all gone. Places where homes used to be has been re-claimed by Nature. The fire still burn’s to this day creating open cracks in the ground from the heat. The area where Centraila used to be is hardly recognized. You have to know what used to be here and remember a town that died from when Coal was King.
One of the things I enjoy doing is getting “out there” with my camera’s and go snooping around in Historic Places, abandoned areas, and other places that might interest me. I do this as often as I can. Now, that I’m retired, I can do it more often than when I had to work for a living. Once in a while I get into trouble by going into someplace that I should not be in. It doesn’t happen often, cause I’m careful to observe where I’m going and what might be there that I don’t know about. At times, I carry, a. 45cal pistol for protection from a unknown. I’ve never had to use it . . . yet!
So, anyway, the above image shows a long abandoned 4 lane Highway that used to be used quite heavy. This road led into a Coal mining town named Centraila. The town now no longer exists, thanks to a Mine Fire that has been burning under the town for more than 50 yrs. All but 2 people have moved out of what was Centraila. Nothing exists there anymore except brush and overgrowth. The road also led into another town named Ashland, but this Coal town is still here.
The old road is abandoned now and is impossible to travel on. Large cracks, big bumps in the road from the heat of the fire, create a strange surface to walk on. Being careful and watching where your walking is a must here. As you see it is just full of graffiti. Some of the painting and drawing is pretty good, if I must say. The rest is just swear words, and sexual words.
I remember driving up and down this road in its heyday. Now, there is nothing here but nature and silence.