IN PENNSYLVANIA, U.S.A.
Probably no one would argue that there is something enchanting about abandoned places. The peaceful grace of human absence just feels so haunting but compelling at the same time. Surely enough though, almost nothing is truly abandoned as some adventure seekers wander in from time to time to remind the nature that quickly creeps back in to claim the abandoned place for itself, that people have not completely forgotten it. The same happened with this abandoned part of Route 61 in Pennsylvania. The one truly special thing about it though is that people who set foot on it after its abandonment rarely leave without leaving their mark on it.
The Graffiti Highway is located in Centralia, Pennsylvania, about two and a half hours northwest of Philadelphia and has quite a colorful history. However, its history began to dim in the spring of 1962 during Memorial Day preparations.
The town officials decided they would deal with the excess of trash by burning them before the big Memorial Day Parade. Little did they know that the landfill blaze would hit a live coal vein underground the town and would cause fires leading to the town’s demise.
The fire slowly spread around the mines under the city. The fires would start and be doused and then start again – nothing could stop them from coming back. Therefore, in the mid-1980s the government decided to relocate as many residents as possible and provided more than $42 million to help that. More than 1000 people accepted the offer which led to 500 buildings getting demolished.
Once a thriving small town became a ghost town. Only a handful of people were still aware that the still-burning town still existed. Only a few wanderers would step on the abandoned road from time to time. Some of them started leaving their graffiti markings around the 2000s.
Clancy's comment: Wow. Graffiti has no bounds, eh?