Paltryville is surrounded by the Finite Forest which is described as dark and eerie. The town itself is not listed in any guidebook and the Baudelaire orphans instantly see why, when they arrive at the Paltryville station. Firstly, the train only stops once a day in Paltryville. There are a few shops on its one street but none of them have any windows; and instead of a flag flying from the post office's flagpole, there is a shoe dangling from it. Opposite the post office is the Lucky Smells Lumbermill, and its sign is written in rough and slimy letters made out of chewed-up gum. Instead of there being trees along the sidewalk there are towering stacks of old newspapers.
In the TV series, the town of Paltryville is depicted as being burned down in its entirety with only the Lucky Smells Lumbermill and Dr. Orwell's Office still standing by the time the Baudelaire orphans arrive in the town. Sir claims that Beatrice Baudelaire and Bertrand Baudelaire burned down the town. However, it is later revealed at the end that they actually put out the fire and helped survivors.
The Incomplete History of Secret Organizations strongly implies that Dr. Orwell started the fire that destroyed most of the town as its contents reveal she owned a flamethrower. This act was most likely one of many crimes that Dr. Orwell performed once allying with Count Olaf until he leaves her for dead years later.
As seen in an old VFD photograph, before the fire, the town flourished and had many businesses and restaurants.
- Lucky Smells Lumbermill
- Dr. Orwell's Office
- Ahab Memorial Hospital
- Post Office
- In The End, Ishmael mentions that there was a farm called Lucky Smells Melon Farm, which was owned by two brothers. The farm no longer exists.
Current/past residents of Paltryville:
- Phil (formerly)
- Dr. Georgina Orwell
- Foreman Firstein
- The Bald Man with the Long Nose (disguised as foreman Flacutono)
- Paltryville's Mayor
- Count Olaf (disguised as Shirley) formerly
- Violet Baudelaire (formerly)
- Klaus Baudelaire (formerly)
- Sunny Baudelaire (formerly)
- Jacques Snicket (formerly)
- Quigley Quagmire (formerly)
- The Miserable Mill
- File Under: 13 Suspicious Incidents (Mentioned only)
- A Series of Unfortunate Events (TV series)