"Some Historic Buildings Survive" Centralia by glabah

Centralia Travel Guide: 31 reviews and 101 photos

Centralia has a downtown area with a number of buildings that have been preserved somewhat by accident: when Interstate 5 was built just west of downtown, much of the business activity moved there. Many structures that might have been otherwise demolished and replaced with more modern structures were thus preserved.

Today, downtown Centralia has a number of local restaurants as most of the chain restaurants are closer to Interstate 5. There are also a number of historic buildings that serve as antique stores and other businesses themed around the historic downtown.

However, it should be noted, businesses survival here is difficult, and there are also a number of vacancies.

Perhaps the most famous feature of Centralia is its role in early 20th century political unrest, as an event called the Centralia Massacre was turned into a major event in the national press.

However, Centralia really should be known for a much older event: its founding. Specifically, it should be known that Centralia was founded by an ex-slave named George Washington. A monument memorializing this fairly unique story is located in George Washington Park in the core of downtown Centralia.

The core of downtown Centralia is easily walkable, but should you want to go further afield there is local bus service provided by Twin Transit. A number of longer distance services connect at the historic Centralia Amtrak Station, so that there are quite a lot of things in the community that may be accessed without a personal vehicle, nor is it necessary to have a vehicle to get here.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Downtown core very walkable.
  • Cons:Several busy roads make getting around a little difficult in places. Much business activity close to Interstate 5, where it is much harder to get around on foot. Small town with limited activity.
  • In a nutshell:Downtown with a lot of personality and worthy of further exploration.
  • Last visit to Centralia: Aug 2011
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (30)

Comments (1)

  • atufft's Profile Photo
    Sep 6, 2011 at 11:05 PM

    Glen, thorough research and excellent writing really brings this small town to life. The Centralia Chamber of Commerce should send a letter expressing gratitude. We definitely share a passion for finding the off-the-beaten-path sorts of town that speak volumes in terms of the nation's history.


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