Monday, September 17, 2007

Byrnesville Washhouse

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Centralia is best known as the town dying from its mine fire; what few people know is that the fire killed neighboring Byrnesville in 1996, when the last home was demolished. A decade earlier, Byrnesville was home to 75 people.

The only remains of this forgotten town is the miners' washhouse, where they would shower and change at the end of the day. It was also a lamp house, servicing the miners' lights, and the building was used for storage as well.

The building sits on the detoured Route 61 -- if you're driving into Centralia, it's on the left.

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I really think they should have done something with the washhouse -- it could have been restored and put to use as a memorial, even a museum, for Byrnesville and the local mining industry. Instead, it's a popular place to dump trash.

The roof is in bad shape.

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I hate to admit it, but I like the "Centralian Soviet Socialist Republic HQ" sign.

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There are about four or five rooms in the washhouse -- this one was badly overgrown, with elderberries taking over the floor. It won't be long before the rest of the building is carpeted with weeds.

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If you visit Centralia, don't miss the Byrnesville washhouse. It's a sad reminder of another casualty of Centralia's mine fire.

5 comments:

The young fogey said...

There is one other remaining piece of Byrnesville, the Roman Catholic shrine, I think a World War II memorial, on your left after you pass the washhouse, right before you go around the bend and head down into Centralia. It's a large stone slab IIRC with a few statues on it.

Fitting as, like Centralia, Byrnesville was largely Irish as its name showed - the locals, like Centralia Mayor Lamar Mervine now in his 90s, had an Irish accent and used some Irish English dialect, using the 'commode' and watching 'fillums'.

Anonymous said...

You should know that the Byrnesville Washhouse is now off limits - there are NO TRESPASSING signs all over that building as of 5 September 2008.

Dane said...

I hate to sound like an idiot, but what was the function of the washhouse?

Al Ebaster said...

Hey Dane, the miners would shower and change in the washhouse at the end of their shifts. It might have had some other uses as well, but that was its main use.

Mike Reilley, former Byrnesville resident said...

February 7, 2012, the wash house was torn down because it was very dangerous.

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