History of Centralia
Centralia was first known as the "Bull's Head", and the first house in the town on the Catawissa road was built in
1841 by Jonathan Faust, and called the "'Bull's Head Tavern". This Hotel subsequently passed into the hands of
Reuben Wasser, but retained it's former name throughout it's natural life. It was a stopping place for travelers, and
for about 12 years comprised all of Centralia that then existed. Jonathan Faust did not own the land on which the
house was built; he did not even buy the lumber but appropriated it without compunction, and his right of
possession was never disputed.
The "Bull's Head Tavern" was originally a log house and in 1916 it was razed to make way for a store. Patrick
Dempsey, a contractor, erected the property which was used as a fruit and seed store and a residence. Mr.
William Weidensaul conducted the tavern as a saloon till 1867. He was follwed by James Goldsworthy, and later it
became the property of Mr. Andrew Zimbo.
In 1860 Jonathan Hoagland opened the first store opposite the "Bull's Head Tavern". two years later he was
appointed postmaster. for a few years the village had been know as centerville, but as an office of that name
already existed in the State, at the insistence of the postal authorities, Centralia was suggested by Mr. Rae.
In 1865, the Lehigh and Mahanoy Railroad Company, later known as the Lehigh Valley, Built a line through the town
on what is appropriately known as Railroad St. A freight and passenger station was then built on the Western
extremity of Railroad Street. With this new entrance into the town several new collieries were opened and the
town began to grow in size, population and wealth.
Increasing lawlessness caused an application to be made for incorporation, and at the February session of
Columbia County Court, Bloomsburg, in 1866, the Borough of Centralia was formally chartered. James Dyke was
elected first mayor, or chief Burgess as it was then called.