Centralia was surveyed and settled shortly after the Revolutionary War when a French sea captain purchased the area after he heard rumors the place was rich in anthracite coal. But mining didn’t begin until the mid-1800s. The town was slowly developed and populated throughout the 19th century and was initially called Centreville. But the Postal Service wasn’t too happy with their name choice since it had already been taken. So, they changed it to Centralia, which doesn’t have as nice of a ring to it.