Saturday, March 5, 2011


I've been home on break this past week, and on Tuesday Joyce and I went out to the former town of Alvira. The short version of the story is, in 1942, the valley where Alvira was was chosen as the site of the Pennsylvania Ordnance Works, a TNT manufacturing plant meant to supply the US army. The residents of Alvira and the surrounding area were forced to sell their land for low prices and find other places to live. The government promised them that they would be able to buy the land back when the plant closed, but even though it closed after operating for only eleven months, hardly any of the people actually got their land back.  All the town buildings were destroyed, and today there are just old foundations, rubble, and tons of TNT storage bunkers.  Most of the land is now state game lands, although some of it belongs to the Allenwood Federal Prison Complex.
For the long version of the story, go here:

Today, you can go to the game lands and see the site of the former town.  My main purpose of this post is to share some of the photos I took, because I think they're pretty cool and there really aren't a lot of pics. of Alvira online that I've found.  So, here a few of the best.

Bunker at Alvira, PA
 One of the many bunkers; most are locked up now.

former town of Alvira, PA

well, Alvira, PA
 Looking down an old well . . .

 . . . which is inside here.

 The Montgomery Area Historical Society put up markers where all the houses were.

Another old well . . .

. . . with what looks like newsprint on the stone?  This really intrigues me; I don't understand it at all . . . if anyone can explain to me what this is, I would really appreciate it!

Someone found all this old glass and left it here.

The most intact thing we saw; it might've been a church?

This open bunker was set back from the main road.

Kind of spooky inside, and really echoey; Joyce had a lot of fun.

The entrance to Washington Cemetery.

It's in pretty bad shape.