The Centralville neighborhood occupies the northeast section of the city, along the northern bank of the Merrimack River. Centralville was once part of the Town of Dracut.
Development began after 1830 when the Central Bridge Company purchased farmland and subdivided it into house lots. The John E. Cox Bridge (then the Central Bridge) was a toll bridge until 1851. When the toll was discontinued, development of the area picked up its pace.
Outdoor recreation areas located within the neighborhood include: Gage Field, Ferry Landing Park, First Street Playground, McDermott Reservoir, McPherson Park, Monsignor Keenan Playground, Riverfront Park, Saint Louis Playground and Varnum Park.