Centerville, Humboldt County, California

Centerville (formerly, Centerville City and Centerville Beach)[2] is a former settlement in Humboldt County, California.[1] It was located 4.5 miles (7 km) west of Ferndale,[2] on the Pacific Ocean at an elevation of 13 feet (4 m).[1]

Former settlement
Looking South along Centerville Beach
Location in California
Coordinates: 40°34′29″N 124°20′53″W
CountryUnited States
CountyHumboldt County
Elevation13 ft (4 m)

Centerville was founded in 1852, and served as a trans-shipment point for oil from Petrolia to Eureka and was at its height during the 1850s to the 1870s.[2]

In 1857 Arnold Berding, a native of Germany arrived in Humboldt County and set up a store, hotel, livery and post office at the now-abandoned village of Centerville where Abraham Lincoln appointed him the first and only postmaster of the town.[3]

In January 1860, residents provided assistance and shelter to survivors of the wrecked steamship Northerner.[5] Shortly after the victims were buried in a mass grave marked by the Centerville Beach Cross the wreck salvage was sold at auction at Berding's Centerville store.[6]

The Centerville Beach Cross Historic Marker was erected in 1921,[7] wrecked by the 1992 Cape Mendocino earthquakes but rebuilt and rededicated afterwards.

Centerville Beach is administered as a Humboldt County Park.[8]


  1. U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Centerville, Humboldt County, California
  2. Durham, David L. (1998). California's Geographic Names: A Gazetteer of Historic and Modern Names of the State. Clovis, Calif.: Word Dancer Press. p. 36. ISBN 1-884995-14-4.
  3. Genzoli, Marilyn (1994). The Victorian Homes of Ferndale: A Pictorial Guide and History. Ferndale, CA: The Ferndale Museum. p. 16.
  4. Wright, E.W., ed. (1895). Lewis & Dryden's Marine History of the Pacific Northwest. Portland, Oregon: The Lewis & Dryden Printing Company. pp. 95–96.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  5. Vincent, Francis (1860). Semi-Annual United States Register. Philadelphia: Francis Vincent. pp. 14–18.
  6. The Ferndale Museum (2004). Bess Carol; Beryl Newman; Ann Roberts (eds.). Images of America: Ferndale. Charleston, South Carolina: Arcadia Publishing. ISBN 0-7385-2890-0.
  7. CERES State Historical Landmarks. "CERES State Historical Landmarks". CERES. Archived from the original on 2012-03-23.
  8. Humboldt County Parks. "Centerville Beach County Park". Humboldt County, California. Retrieved 22 September 2012.
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