Celina was founded in the 19th century and named after the daughter of local pioneer entrepreneur and educator, Moses Fisk. In the late 19th century, Celina prospered as a logging town, receiving logs that had been cut in the forests to the east and floated down the Obey River. Celina is located near the center of Clay County at 36°32′54″N 85°30′7″W (36.548379, -85.501980). The city is situated in a relatively broad valley surrounded by rugged hills characteristic of the eastern Highland Rim. This valley is created by the confluence of the Cumberland River, which approaches from the north, and the Obey River, which approaches from the east. This section of both rivers is part of Cordell Hull Lake, a reservoir created by Cordell Hull Dam near Carthage several miles to the southwest. Dale Hollow Dam, which creates the vast Dale Hollow Lake, lies along the Obey River just east of Celina.