Centralia, Pennsylvania

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Centralia is a borough and ghost town in Columbia County, Pennsylvania, United States. Its population has dwindled from over 1,000 residents in 1981 to 12 in 2005,[1] 9 in 2007, and 7 in 2010[2] as a result of a mine fire burning beneath the borough since 1962. Centralia is now the least-populous municipality in Pennsylvania, with four fewer residents than the borough of S.N.P.J.

Centralia is part of the BloomsburgBerwick Micropolitan Statistical Area. The borough is completely surrounded by Conyngham Township.

All properties in the borough were claimed under eminent domain by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in 1992 (and all buildings therein were condemned), and Centralia's ZIP code was revoked by the Post Office in 2002.[1] However, a few residents continue to reside there in spite of a failed lawsuit to reverse the eminent domain claim.



Early history

Johnathan Faust opened Bull's Head Tavern in 1841 in what was then Roaring Creek Township. In 1854, Alexander W. Rea, a civil and mining engineer for the Locust Mountain Coal and Iron Company, moved to the site and laid out streets and lots for development. The town was known as Centreville until 1865. There was another Centreville in Schuylkill County, however, and the Post Office would not allow a second one, so Rea renamed his village Centralia.[3]

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