Byrnesville was founded in 1856. Most of the residents were Irish Catholics who worked in the local anthracite coal mines. An elementary school was located in Byrnesville but was discontinued in the 1930s.
Byrnesville was one of the casualties of the Centralia mine fire. The last home in Byrnesville was torn down in 1996, which spelled the end for this town. The only remaining structures there now are a religious shrine on a hillside, a storage trailer, and an unused garage.
The present-day routing of Pennsylvania Route 61 follows what was an old logging road through Byrnesville, bypassing sections of four-lane highway which have been heavily damaged with subsidence from the underground fire.