Saturday, July 23, 2011
Adventures in Alvira, Pennsylvania
Both arms shoot up as I attempt to level myself out! I steadily balance myself as I inch across the log strewn about the wet marshy area I'm attempting to cross. My foot slips, my shoe is covered in mud. I wipe off the excess and continue over my crude bridge. Upon crossing the water soaked log, I encounter the thorns of a thistle bush. As I gently release the prickly briers from my arm and shirt, another sense of excitement rushes over me! From here I can see a crack between the doors and realize I should be able to enter. As I encounter the concrete bunker I'm happy to see it's not littered with graffiti. I poke my head inside, blackness is all I can see. I work to pry open the heavy unlocked steel door. I take a loud stomp into the concrete igloo, hoping the ground vibrations will scare off any unwanted critters. I give out a shout! The enclosed cavern echoes quite loudly for a brief time. Inside the bunker is surprisingly clean, only a few leaves are found lying on the ground. Sadly these hidden concrete bunkers and a couple historic cemeteries are all that remain in this lost town.
Shortly after the strike on Pearl Harbor, the United States government came in and seized all the townspeople's land. They were informed that a repurchase of their properties would be made available at a later date. Directly after acquiring the land through purchases and eminent domain, all the homes were burned and then bulldozed. Almost instantaneously construction began on a T-N-T factory. This explosives factory was very short lived. In less than a year after opening the United States government stopped production and closed the plant for good. Apparently the supply for explosives wasn't nearly as high as originally thought.
The only remnants of a former town are crumbled foundations, lost roads, and forgotten gravestones. This small village was ravaged by the effects of war, yet never witnessed a single battle. The poor citizens of Alvira had their town destroyed by the works of their own government who was supposed to protect them.