Hello everyone! I hope your week has been going well! It’s almost Friday!

Last weekend I got to go home, and on Sunday after church my family went on a picnic and hike to Oil Creek State Park. This park is unique because part of it is the site of an old ghost town, Petroleum Centre.

stone 2


The town itself is gone and replaced with beautiful woods. But some traces remain, like the cemetery, train tracks, one house, some foundations, and the front step of what used to be the bank.




This town has been a very familiar place for me since my childhood. My parents took us on hikes up mountains and through forests when I was as young as five. It’s been fascinating to grown up learning about the history of the place. Ghost towns in general are just so haunting. Petroleum Center was a booming center of the oil industry (as its name suggests), but the thing about boom towns is that they become ghost towns. The place was founded in the mid 1860s and mostly abandoned less than ten years later.

This front step is captivating to me. Think about all the history, all the life this thing has seen (assuming rocks have eyes). Think about the men who wiped their boots on it, the women who swirled their skirts on it, and the children who played on it. That’s pretty darn cool. So here’s a poem that this front step inspired.



Stone glistens like diamond,

and in their worn leather boots

men lounge

and smoke.


Stone glistens like diamond,

and in their wooded wheeled tents,

people pass

far away.


Stone glistens like diamond,

and in their luscious fur coats

creatures stop

and watch


Stone glistens like diamond,

and in their metal, engined beetles

natives drive

and remember.


(Poetry and photography by Hannah Allman)

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