Centralia Pennsylvania once had its own American Legion – Post 608. This was located at the corner of Park Street and Locust Avenue.
As Centralia’s residents began to relocate away from the mine fire in the 1980s, so did the American Legion. It moved in the nearby town of Wilburton PA, where it still meets to this day.
Eventually, the former home of Post 608 in Centralia PA was torn down. However, the Veterans’ Memorial which was located in the lawn beside the building was left intact.
The memorial was, according to the bronze plaque on it, “Dedicated to All Those Who Served Their Country in All Wars.” It was surrounded by white stone, flags, and a few bushes. On top of the memorial was a large bell and behind it stood a flag pole.
For many years after Post 608 moved, the members would still return to Centralia on Memorial Day to pay their respects at the Veterans’ Memorial bell.
As Centralia PA has grown in popularity, so have concerns about vandalism and theft. Noting this, the members of Centralia’s American Legion Post 608 decided to move the Veterans’ Memorial bell in 2009. They incorporated it into a new memorial outside their post in Wilburton.
In addition to moving the Veteran’s Memorial bell, the Centralia 1866 green bench was also relocated to Post 608 too.
The lawn of the American Legion previously contained another notable piece of Centralia Pennsylvania’s history – the Centennial Vault time capsule. Like the bell and the bench, the time capsule was removed in the spring of 2014. It was opened at Post 608 in Wilburton in October of that year.
- Read about the Centralia time capsule being removed
- See pictures of the Centennial Vault opening event
Today, visitors to Centralia can still find the former location of the Veterans’ Memorial bell. The masonry base is located near a stone wall at the corner of Locust Avenue (Route 61) and Park Street.