.:1865:. A post office was established along with changing the town's name from Centreville to Centralia. The name was changed to Centralia because there already was a Centreville in Schuylkill County and the Postal Service would not allow duplicate named Post Offices.
.:1866:. Centralia was incorporated as a Borough.
.:1962:. Underground fire "may" have started as early as May.
Theory One: In May 1962 the Centralia Borough Council five members of the volunteer fire company to clean up the town landfill (near abandoned strip mine pit next to the Odd Fellows Cemetery). The firefighters (as they had in the past) set the dump on fire and let it burn and then extinguished the fire. Unfortunately, it appears that the fire was not completely extinguished.
Theory Two: One of two trash haulers (Curly Stasulevich or Sam Devine) dumped hot ash and/or coal (discard from coal burners) into an open trash pit. It appears that there were some hot coals present that penetrated a vein of coal underneath the pit and caught fire.
Further Research: My Centralia Reporting - April 26th, 2007 - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
First, I interviewed several former residents who were present at the dump in the hours and days after the mine fire started. These eyewitnesses include Mary Lou Gaughan, who ran to watch the firefighters at the dump, where she overheard a bystander say that someone had flung hot ashes on the landfill. Her account with -- and provided fresh insight into -- an explanation I heard frequently over the years when I asked former residents how the fire started: someone heaved hot ashes on the dump. Another eyewitness, who went to the landfill either the day the fire started or the next day, with me, on condition of anonymity, what a firefighter said during this visit: Curly Stasulevich was just up here and he dumped a lot of hot ashes.
.:1979:. Locals became aware of the scale of the problem when a gas-station owner and then mayor, John Coddington, inserted a stick into one of his underground tanks to check the fuel level. The temperature of the gasoline in the tank was 172 °F. Statewide attention to the fire began to increase.
.:1981:. On Valentine’s Day a 12-year-old resident (Todd Domboski) almost fell into a 4' X 150' deep hole (that suddenly opened beneath his feet) while playing in his grandmother's backyard. He was saved only after his older cousin, Eric Wolfgang, pulled him from the mouth of the hole before he could plunge to his probable death.
.:1984:. Congress allocated more than $42 million for relocation efforts. A few families opted to stay despite warnings from state officials.
.:1992:. Pennsylvania claimed Eminent Domain on all properties in the borough thereby condemning all the buildings within.
.:2002:. The United States Postal Service closed and revoked Centralia's ZIP Code (17927).
Chapter XXII - Conyngham Township and Borough of Centralia
Source: Columbia County Pennsylvania Genealogy Project
Conyngham Township and Borough of Centralia
Source: Columbia County, Pennsylvania PAGenWeb