A buddy of mine decided to take advantage of the cooler weather and head out to the Alvira Bunkers to poke around and take some pics.
We'll start with the history of the place...http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_Deer_Hole_Creek#Ordnance_plant_to_federal_prison_and_game_lands
During the Second World War, the federal government built the $50 million Susquehanna Ordnance Depot to make TNT on 8,500 acres (3,400 ha), partially in the White Deer Hole Creek watershed. In the spring of 1942, residents were evicted by eminent domain from 163 farms and 47 other properties in Gregg Township in Union County and Brady, Clinton, and Washington Townships in Lycoming County. The village of Alvira in Gregg Township disappeared. Alvira was founded in 1825 as "Wisetown" and had 100 inhabitants by 1900. Although the inhabitants were told they could return after the war, almost all the buildings seized were razed. Only some cemeteries and the nearby "Stone Church" remain. Construction of the plant involved some 10,000 people, and it took 3,500 to 4,500 employees to run the plant with its more than 200 buildings and 149 storage bunkers for TNT and high explosives, as well as storage racks of bombs. However, the need for TNT was lower than originally estimated and the project was nearly abandoned. By 1945, the only workers left at the depot were guards.
An overgrown bunker from the former Susquehanna Ordnance Depot in State Game Lands 252, 0.6 miles (0.97 km) from Spring Creek
The depot closed after the war and the land was used by the United States Army for testing. In 1950, the Federal Bureau of Prisons was given 4,000 acres (1,600 ha) of the plant site, and began housing prisoners from the Lewisburg Federal Penitentiary there in 1952. In 1957 the "Allenwood Prison Camp" was built, which became the "Federal Correctional Institute, Allenwood". This was greatly expanded in the early 1990s to become "the largest federal prison facility" in the United States. North of the White Deer Hole Creek watershed, some of the land was sold to make the "White Deer Golf Course" in Clinton Township, and in 1973, 125 acres (51 ha) of prison land in Brady Township were leased to Lycoming County for its landfill (which serves five counties).
The remaining 3,018 acres (1,221 ha) were given to Pennsylvania and became State Game Lands 252. Many of the 149 concrete bunkers remain, but it is "a diverse mix of mature forest, impoundments, and brushy thickets, as well as a local hotspot for a variety of birds during migration". The watershed is a haven for wildlife. Common animals in the game lands include Painted and Common Snapping Turtles, Muskrats, Frogs, Eastern Cottontails, Red Foxes, and White-tailed Deer, while birds include Golden-winged, Hooded, and Blue-winged Warblers, Red-shouldered Hawks, Wood Ducks, Tundra Swans, Pied-billed Grebes, American Bitterns, Herons, and Belted Kingfishers. The first Barn Owls to be banded in Lycoming County were in a barn near Elimsport in 2006. Gray Squirrels, Groundhogs, Raccoons, Crows, Red-tailed Hawks, Downy Woodpeckers, Cardinals, Blue Jays, American Robins, Nuthatches, Titmice, and Sparrows are also found in the White Deer Hole Creek watershed.
Rebar showing through.
A most of the bunkers we found were either padlocked or welded shut. This one had a corroded out vent on the door and an odd smell. I took a flash pic through the vent and now I know why it was corroded.
Me taking the above pic.
One of the vent holes in the top. Some of these still had the damper (if you could call it that) mechanism intact.
A weld on one of the doors. Gotta wonder what is in the ones they welded shut?
The vent mechanism on the door.
Me being thrilled because we found one that was open. Two were open out of the nine that we found.
.... and last but not least, some video inside the bunker. Jared is whistling "Somewhere Over the Rainbow". The echo inside these things cannot be described in words and this video really doesn't even do it justice, you just have hear it for yourself. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-iNqTJ4Vlg4&feature=player_profilepage