Anthracite Region, Pennsylvania

Photographs by Shaun O'Boyle


Route 61, Ashland, PA, snow flurries starting.
The anthracite hard coal region of Pennsylvania is an area that has been hard on its topography. The landscape has been reshaped in response to the demand for coal. Mountains of tailings stand where veins of coal once ran. It is a region with a unique culture, architecture and history. One has the impression that the towns and patches are huddled against nature. The houses clustered in close packed neighborhoods, unique row houses sharing walls, and then - open land and forest, where tree grown piles of displaced earth and rock can be seen. After a rain the streams run thick with the fine dust of processed earth. Because of the hard economic times, now changing somewhat with a renewed demand for coal, the area's architecture and landscape seem frozen somewhere pre-1970. A visit to the region is a visit to a unique place and time.


Bench, crossroads of Rt 61 and 42, Centralia, PA


Smoke and steam from underground coal fire burning since 1962, Centralia, PA


Active anthracite strip mine, Centralia, PA


Typical house in the coal region.


ruins home


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