Monday, September 16, 2019

Sheppton Mine Disaster Site

Posted by Stu On January - 24 - 2012

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In August of 1963, three miners were stuck 330 feet below the ground when the Sheppton mine caved in.  Two of the miners stuck together and waited two weeks for rescue, initially eating tree bark and sucking water out of the bark for survival.  Within a week, holes were drilled to them that allowed air, food, water, and the beginnings of a rescue.  One miner, Louis Bova, was never seen again, despite making contact with his two coworkers, and his body was never recovered.

I first heard about the Sheppton mine disaster from a principal in a nearby school where I was doing some observation hours.  I was told a memorial could be found along a main road in Sheppton.  It surprised me that I had never heard of this mine disaster before, and it was more confusing that there was little information regarding its location.  I was determined to find it on my own, so one day in May 2011 I decided to make a small trip out of it; in addition I decided to check out and geocache in a few surrounding towns I had never been to before:  Sheppton, Oneida, and Brandonville.

Sheppton and Oneida are right next to each other, and each is just a few blocks long; the mine site was between the two towns.  I drove around and found no roadside monuments.  Sheppton actually reminded me of Children of the Corn, to be honest; most of the buildings on the main street are vacant, and I saw nothing but groups of kids walking around.  Down one road, however, I saw the following sign, and I figured that was a good starting point:


I parked near this sign and simply started roaming the field behind it.  For a little while there was a path, but it served little good since it went right into a pond:


I walked across a rocky stream because I thought I saw another trail to my side:


Following this path a bit, I saw something off in the distance:



This monument was certainly not just off a main road, but rather a good distance off a back road.  Still found it all by myself.  It’s much more a grave than a memorial for a mine disaster, however.  It’s dedicated to Louis Bova, the miner who could not be found.



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Deer Lake Drive-In

Posted by Stu On January - 22 - 2007

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Another pleasant surprise. We were driving on Rt. 61 from Reading on our way to Centralia when Annie noticed the sign for this abandoned drive-in on the side of the road. I made a quick U-turn and jumped out to shoot some photos. The screen was pretty beat up, and a sign for some construction company was nearby. This will probably be leveled pretty soon, so I’m glad I got to see it when I did; according to Drive, the ticket booth and projection building were demolished in ’06. Among the rubble we saw an old swing set and a very, very destroyed set of monkey bars. The drive-in has been unused since 1996.

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Posted by Stu On May - 20 - 2003

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Originally visited 5/03
New pics from New Year’s Eve ’06

I originally went to Centralia back in May of ’03 with some of the fine folks from I finally went back for New Year’s Eve in ’06 and took what I feel are much better pictures. Some of the original pics can be found at the bottom of the page.

Poor Centralia. There’s been a coal fire burning underneath the town since the 60’s; experts say it has about another 1,000 years to burn. Years ago the government began a relocation program for the residents. Now the town is nearly deserted, with just a handful of people left; they refuse to leave because once they’re gone, the government owns the town. There are many spots where the ground has split open and smoke is rising from the cracks. The smell is horrible, and judging by the helpful sign pictured above, it’s probably not too good for you either.

Part of the original highway ripped open, so another road going to the town had to be built.

Very few houses are left; they are demolished as the people leave. Some roads there look like they run to nowhere, since the housing on them is all gone. Many of the homes were row houses, which also get knocked down once they are vacant. A single row house stands alone at one intersection.

Some of the original pics from 5/03

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