Sunday, May 26, 2013

Alvira, Pennsylvania and The Bunkers

A while back my friend Jared and I visited Pennsylvania State Game Lands 252 near Allenwood, Pennsylvania which is where the town of Alvira once existed. In the spring of 1942 the federal government seized the town and evicted the residents. They then bulldozed the town and built an explosives factory with many igloo shaped storage bunkers throughout the area. When the government found that the need for explosives wasn't as great as what was initially thought the explosives factory was closed down. The residents were promised to be reimbursed at the market rates of the time for their land and homes and they were told they could return to their homes after the war was over. This turned out to be a falsehood and really is a terrible injustice. If the federal government was capable of this kind of abuse in 1942, just imagine what it is capable of now.

Here is a PA Game Commission map of the area. The small circles represent the location of a bunker. 142 of these bunkers were built.
A Google Earth satellite image of the area.

Jared standing at the door of bunker number one.

Some exposed rebar.

I got curious as to why some of the door vents were severely corroded and others were perfectly intact so I stuck my camera inside and took some pictures with the flash.

This is what we discovered. The Game Commission must be using some of the bunkers to store hazardous materials.

A tick that decided to hitch a ride on my pant leg. Rather it chose there rather than boring into my skin I suppose.
Jared peering down one of the top vents of a bunker. If the explosives contained inside were to accidentally ignite, the bunkers were designed so the blast would vent through the top of the bunker through these roof vents.

A look down through the vent to the center of the bunker.

There is a lot of poor quality graffiti on and in the bunkers near the access road. The access road is also called Alvira Rd.

The entrance door to one of the open bunkers.

Jared standing inside the door.

The inside of a bunker. Lots of graffiti as you can see.

The ceiling vent.

The acoustics inside these bunkers is something that cannot be described with words. Here is Jared whistling "Somewhere Over the Rainbow." The sound is beyond eerie.

I hope you have enjoyed this little photo essay. Here is a Google Maps link to the location of the area. If you visit it, please be respectful. It is a very pretty and very cool place to explore so lets keep it that way.

1 comment:

  1. Great info here. We will be going here soon to take photos and video for our website.