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If you live a city named Centralia, I recommend moving with all due speed before something terrible happens.

Exhibit A: Centralia, Washington, home of the Centralia Massacre of 1919.

Exhibit B: Centralia, Illinois, home of the Centralia mine disaster of 1947.

Exhibit C: Centralia, Missouri, home of another Centralia Massacre, this time during the Civil War, in 1864.

And then there’s Exhibit D: Centralia, Pennsylvania. First, this poor town depopulated after a coal seam was set on fire in 1962, making it uninhabitable. Then it became a graffiti capital, since why not. Now the graffiti has turned into hundreds of drawn penises all over town.

I was actually less than 5 miles from here last Saturday and I forgot this place existed. That one stings. Will have to go back.

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  • Ya, my fault for forgetting it exists. It’s not nearly as important as my train.

  • I’ve been through Centralia, PA, a few times. Why anyone would bother with that bit of graffiti? Someone must have way too much time on their hands.

  • The Dark Avenger

    In May 1962, the citizens of Centralia, Pennsylvania hired a group of volunteer firefighters to clean up the town’s landfill. By “landfill” we mean “the abandoned mine where they stuffed their trash” and by “clean up” we mean “set on fucking fire.”

    After burning the trash the firefighters made the bold decision to not actually put the fire out.

    Read more: http://www.cracked.com/article/141_6-natural-disasters-that-were-caused-by-human-stupidity_p2/#ixzz2IChFzIqe

  • djw

    Centralia, WA has considerably more charm than its immediate neighbor, Chehalis. Also, Dicks Brewery is building a new brewpub there that will surely be the best thing located in any city named Centralia when it opens.

    • What I love about Centralia is how the murals downtown studiously avoid the only thing of interest that has ever happened there.

    • Linnaeus

      Chehalis has that silly right-wing billboard right next to I-5.

      • It was very special that the town decided to sponsor that crank when Green Giant or whoever bought out his farm and wouldn’t let him display it on their land.

        • Linnaeus

          Always great to see a community come together.

      • Emily

        Many years ago, the kooky bill board said “Who Controls Weather Modification?” Well, who does. I never found out.

        • Linnaeus

          Probably the UN.

  • Thefax

    I grew up two miles from Centralia PA. Always a great place to drive during the winter because there was never snow on the ground.

    Erik, I hope you were in the area because you plan on writing one of your ‘this day in labor’ pieces on the Molly Maguires.

    • I am impressed that there is now a Molly Maguires Auto Tour.

      • Thefax

        That was inevitable. ‘The Mollies drank here’ is the local version of ‘George Washington slept here.’

  • Warren Terra

    So, you’re saying phallic graffiti is rampant?

    • Wrye

      I think the Bugle Podcast needs to know about this.

    • rea

      But Dicks Brewery is in a different Centralia?

      • Bill Murray

        There is only one Centralia

        • njorl

          I sense a Sci-Fi Channel original series in the making.

        • rea

          Kind of like Springfield?

  • Anonymous

    While Loomis blabs on about irrelevant horseshit, the Republican Party is quietly, ever so quietly, ensuring that the GOP wins in 2016 by splitting the EVs in PA, OH, MI, and WI along Congressional district lines.

    Ever so quietly.

    And, btw, it’s total legal.

    • Jameson Quinn

      When Anon posts topic derails on random blogs, a child dies of preventable disease. Anyway, voting-related topic derails are my job, asd I at least wait for a hook.

    • Aw, whatsamatter, the voter suppression and Citizens United money not work out the way you planned?

      I’ve got a crazy though, wingnuts: how about, instead of casting about for a magic bullet to try to slow down the thundering FAIL train that is your movement, you try embracing some politics that appeal to more than a dwindling fringe of the public?

  • bradP

    IMO, Centralia, IL could really benefit aesthetically, culturally, and spiritually from a “Trail of Dicks”.

  • arguingwithsignposts

    Why do you only have links to two of the Centralia disasters?

    Centralia, Ill. mine incident. Interestingly, “The story of the 1947 disaster is memorialized in folk singer Woody Guthrie’s song entitled “The Dying Miner.” Guthrie’s recording of the song can be heard on the Smithsonian-Folkways CD recording Struggle (Smithsonian Folkways, 1990). Songwriter and labor scholar Bucky Halker recorded a very different arrangement of “Dying Miner” on his CD collection of Illinois labor songs Welcome to Labor Land (Revolting Records, 2002). In addition, Bucky Halker also recorded “New Made Graves of Centralia”, a song he located on an obscure recording without the name of the author or recording artist. Halker’s recording appears on his CD Don’t Want Your Millions (Revolting Records, 2000).”

    And, Centralia, Mo. massacre.

  • Amanda in the South Bay

    Centralia WA’s one redeeming value for me was that it had the northernmost Burgerville. I’d always stop there on the way back from Army Reserve duty at Fort Lewis.

  • Halloween Jack

    The IL Centralia’s high school team is called the Orphans? Holy shit, that’s right out of The Warriors. Also, with so much mention of the PA Centralia, I’m surprised that no one’s brought up its numerous appearances in fiction, everything from Alan Moore’s run on Swamp Thing to the movie version of the video game Silent Hill.

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