Welcome To KEY TO THE CITY's Page For
Columbia County, Pennsylvania
Here is a history page for Centralia.
The first house in the town of "Bull's Head" was on the Catawissa road. It was built in 1841 by Jonathan Faust and was called the "Bull's Head Tavern." The first store was opened nearby in 1860 by Jonathan Hoagland. By 1862, he was appointed the postmaster. The community was then known as Centerville. When the post office was applied for in the name of Centerville, another town by that name already existed in Pennsylvania. The name of Centralia was suggested by a Mr. Rae and was then accepted by the postal service as the name of the post office and the town. The incorporation came about in 1866 when the Borough of Centralia was officially chartered. The first Mayor was James Dyke. The title at that time was actually Chief Burgess rather than Mayor.
Centralia underground coal fire
The now almost ghost town of Centralia, Pennsylvania used to be a great part of the coal industry. Centralia used to be a large town, until a fire was accidentally started in 1962 in the veins of the coal mines that run underneath the town. The Government began evacuation of the town in 1980's, now only a few people still live there but most of them left because of the gases that are seeping through and putting cracks in the ground.
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See this website for many pictures of Centralia and also for much information as well as an archive that is building of past residents of both Centralia and Byrnesville.
If you would like further information please write to:
Rita Long - former Byrnesville/ Centralia resident and the web page owner.
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