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Established June 2, 1997
by citizens for citizens
March 16, 1998
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Daily Local News
August 13, 1997
A beautiful part of southeastern Pennsylvania
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Pictures from Memory's Wall
In 1905, Richard S. MacNamee, then a fifty year old educator and long time resident of Charlestown Township and surrounding communities, wrote a poem about our Township and published it in a booklet with accompanying photographs. Mr. MacNamee's poem was described in the West Chester "Daily Local News" of December 16, 1905: "One of the most charming Christmas booklets this year will see is 'Pictures from Memory's Wall', a richly illustrated poem by Prof. Richard S. MacNamee, Supervising Principal of the Public Schools of Tredyffrin . . ."
The booklet was reprinted in 1983 by the Charlestown Historical Society, with the help of the Chester County Historical Society through the gracious assistance of Robert S. Goshorn, and from the private papers of Frank A. Young.
The Charlestown Historical Society has provided a copy of the reprinted booklet, and we have in turn scanned it and done various manipulations so as to be able to reproduce the booklet on this web site. We are very grateful to the Charlestown Historical Society for providing the booklet for this purpose, and we think you will be, too.
The booklet contains thirteen photographs of Charlestown scenes around the turn of the century, plus a photograph of the author. In the booklet, each photograph is printed close to the text in which it is referenced. While we cannot orient the photographs and corresponding passages from the poem exactly as in the booklet, we have strived to achieve the same effect. As you read the poem, you will see small images of the corresponding photographs. You may click on these small images at any time to see a larger image on a separate page, and then click your browser's "Back" button to resume reading the poem.
The small images viewed with the poem are captioned as in the booklet. The separate larger images of these same photographs are captioned with the information provided by the Charlestown Historical Society when the Society reprinted the booklet in 1983. Since many of the structures in the photographs no longer exist, the Society has done us a great favor by indicating where each photograph was taken.
We have also reprinted the section of the booklet titled "About the Author", which traces the life of Richard MacNamee, who at times taught in schools that no longer exist in Charlestown Township.
Navigating the Booklet
A row of links at the top and bottom of each page of the booklet enable you to easily go to the previous or next page, as well as to return to this introduction page or to the "About the Author" page.
More to come...
As time permits, we will take current photographs that are, to the extent possible, equivalent in view and perspective to the photos in the booklet. The paired photographs will be posted as a new series in our Then and Now section under The early days.
Many people seem to enjoy seeing our Township in the "old days", and we solicit the brief loan of old photographs of Charlestown so we can scan them and add them (with current equivalents) to our Then and Now section. (We will soon be posting a series taken in the 1930's of Swiss Pines.)
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