ALLENWOOD, Pa. (WTAJ) — If you’re looking for a day trip this summer, nature lovers and history fans would enjoy an easy road trip out to Union County, where a historical landmark called the “Bunkers of Alvira” are located.
Located in state game lands, the now abandoned bunkers sit among open fields sprawling with wildlife, marshes and ponds.
Originally constructed as part of a secret operation dubbed the “Susquehanna Ordinance Depot,” during World War II, the concrete domed buildings were used by the federal government to store military weapons, such as TNT and other munitions.
This top secret operation required the government to seize private land in 1942 under the Eminent Domain law, which states the government as the right to take private property for public use as long as they provide compensation.
Along with the bunkers the government built a small, temporary town called Alvira, which had a population of around 100, all working a part of the operation.
The town consisted of the concrete domes as well as a chemical factory used to make TNT, and two small cemeteries from the village.
In total the operation lasted for less than a year, closing due to an over abundance of weaponry, and the bunkers have been sitting dormant since before World War II even ended.
In the years since a part of the land has been used to harbor a correctional facility–still in operation, as well as an area for hunting game.
This unusual, forgotten landmark is open to people of all ages, as it is an easy walk and great history lesson to younger generations. Those who visit will have to do some searching for the bunkers, however, since they lay hidden within the marsh.