Helvetia, Pennsylvania: Abandoned Town

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Helvetia, Pennsylvania - Abandoned Town

Back in the day, this was a "company town," home to the workers for a nearby coal company. After the company folded, so did Helvetia, basically. The people gradually abandoned it for other opportunities, leaving behind a declining infrastructure.

My future mother-in-law spent part of her childhood there, so we visited. There are a few buildings left. Somebody is now living in what used to be the company store, and there's still a lake formed by a stream that was dammed up to generate electricity; part of the walls of the generating plant are still there. There is still a church, and a monument to the WWI and WWII soldiers from the area. Walking on the side of the road, you can see sidewalks along the road, that go nowhere, and steps up to houses and porches that no longer exist (you can still the outlines of some the filled-in foundations).

Following an old gravel road up the hill out of town takes you to the schoolhouse, which is also privately occupied. There is a signboard noting the former existence of Helvetia. All in all, it was a neat bit of PA history.

[Traci, 08/07/2008]

Abandoned Town:
Mine Road, off PA Route 410 in Clearfield County.

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