Lincoln Way is an Abandoned Neighborhood in Clairton
Lincoln Way is an abandoned neighborhood in Clairton, PA across from U.S. Steel’s Clairton Works, which is only about 30 minutes outside of Pittsburgh City. Lincoln Way consisted of 52 properties but never more than 40 houses. Sixteen families were driven from their homes in such a hurry leaving everything behind between 1970s and 2009 and nobody knows exactly why. Could it be due to an exceeding amount of foreclosure? But if that was the case, would it be possible for it to be an entire neighborhood?
Or could it because of an urban paranormal legend of a beast the size of a horse with red eyes that resides and lingers in the woods that surrounds the “once was” community of Lincoln Way that made them leave in such a hurry? Whatever the case may be, do you dare to step foot on this empty street aligned with beat down houses? Well… I did with my camera by my side. It’s hard to explain what I felt at first because I was just in shock. Shocked because these used to be the homes of families with cars along the streets and kids playing in their yards to now…. just nothing but sad silence with broken homes withering away in decay, with belongings littering the ground. It was just really hard to take it in. There isn’t many homes left due to a fire that took place in one of the homes that left 2 more catching on fire as well in April of 2015.
The reality of Lincoln Way is a little bit dull and sad. The history of Lincoln Way is kind of difficult to uncover, maybe because of the above-mentioned monster stories. According to reports, Lincoln Way used to be a vibrant black community that was occupied by large families that depend on on each other. Lincoln Way was also home to several stores and a church. It also has a butcher shop which supplied meat from livestock that was raised behind the gardens, homes, and orchards.
Most of the news about Lincoln Way from 1920s through the 1930s was about differentiating individuals who lived and tagging them as Negroes or Negresses. In fact, most news items about the place talks about funerals, car accidents, rooms for rent, business ads, church announcements, and so forth. Probably the most relevant article about the area was published 1932 and it was about the arrest of two men who was behind a series of bombings which destroyed both life and property at a traffic stop at Lincoln Way. During the time of their arrest these men were in a truck that was carrying a 35-pound bomb. This was believed to be the source of the blast which ruined a 40-room apartment nearby. However, these men lived about 20 minutes away from Lincoln Way.
Most men who resided in Lincoln Way worked at Carnegie Illinois Steel, which was located across the street from the gate of the community. One of the problems here at Lincoln Way was the pollution that was coming from the coke production, it was so rampant that it became a part of the everyday life at Lincoln Way. In fact, until today, Clairton Works is still one of the top polluters in the area, it was already complained and fined repeatedly for emissions of acrid sulfur dioxide a substance that smells like a lit match and irritates the nose, eyes, and throat.
As years passed by, the children who grew up in Lincoln Way started to leave for other areas. The men who worked at the mill died and left their widows as Lincoln Way’s remaining residents. These elderly residents started moving to nursing homes and others passed away leaving behind their belongings and homes The growing number of abandoned homes had devastating effects to Lincoln Way and the community struggled even more to entice new residents. The last house Lincoln Way was evacuated in 2012, and since then, the community had an eerie and post-apocalyptic vibe. From broken windows, mauled stuffed animals, grimy blinds, to the possessions of its former residents scattered throughout homes, these were all just memories of what was once a vibrant and bustling town. Want to explore abandoned towns and cool historic locations? Contact Empire State Trail Rentals for info on more spots like Lincoln Way and how to access them.