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Beginning in the 1760s, the area was known as Newgate due to the popularity of the conveniently-located Newgate tavern. William Carr Lane operated the tavern and was co-proprietor of a nearby store with James Lane Junior.The Lanes sold convicted servants, which may explain why the tavern had the same name as a London prison. The small stream that passed near the tavern was named the River Thames, another London association.
Town development established a pattern of mixed residential and commercial use. Frame houses, several taverns, stores, blacksmith shops, tanyards, and a school house were constructed on the 1/2 acre town lots.
In 1943, Centreville was still so small that a state map book individually, on a map of the entire county, indicated each building in the town (and also misspelled its name). In more recent times, Centreville has become a suburb of Washington, D.C. Most growth occurred in the late 1990s and early 2000s due the influx of technology companies. Now, Centreville is quite a typical wealthy American suburb, composed of luxury townhomes, strip malls, a movie theater, and large housing developments. A local newspaper, The CentreView, now records local events and happenings in the community and surrounding communities such as Clifton.