Charlestown Township, Chester County, PA

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Established June 2, 1997
by citizens for citizens


March 16, 1998

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Historical Sketches of Charlestown Township

A New Book For Every Charlestown Resident and
Anyone Interested in the History of our Area

(Click here for our Mail Order Form.
Click here for links to portions of the book.)

At the September 10, 2011 Annual Dinner of the Charlestown Historical Society, CHS for the first time offered for sale a new book published by the society. This hardcover book is the first History of Charlestown published by the Charlestown Historical Society.
Historical Sketches of Charlestown Township was written in 1943 by long-time township resident Harman D. Rees. Born in 1873 in Mont Clare, Mr. Rees, a farmer and businessman, held various administrative and governing positions in Charlestown for 52 years. Harman Rees wrote a remarkable manuscript titled "Historical Sketches of Charlestown Township". His work is remarkable in both the depth and breadth with which he reports on the early days of our township. (The Table of Contents can be viewed here.) His hand-written manuscript, totaling approximately 200 legal size pages, generally written edge to edge, is illustrated with many sketches and detailed maps by Rees himself, and also highlighted with images and articles from newspapers, books and magazines available to him. (Two sample manuscript pages are included in the Preface, available here.
The Charlestown Historical Society, in publishing all of the transcribed text and images from Mr. Rees's manuscript, has supplemented Mr. Rees's material with 25 images from the society's archives and images loaned to the society for our calendars and art shows. Many of these supplemental images are in color.
This new book includes an Additional Sketches section containing 38 articles, most of them illustrated (many in color), about long-time Charlestown families, organizations, structures and institutions, each written by a current member of CHS or an area resident.
A Scenes of Charlestown section includes 13 paintings and photographs, six in color.
Two DVD Videos, professionally created and with many professionally filmed segments, are included with the book with on-site interviews with several long-time residents discussing their memories of life growing up in Charlestown. The video also has on-site discussions of places like the old ice dam on Rt. 29, the woolen mill, the village, the Devault Quarry and includes some amateur video of other historically significant aspects of Charlestown.
The entire 316 page book, with 88 color pages, is comprehensively indexed to provide researchers with easy access to people and places appearing in both Mr. Rees's manuscript and the Additional Sketches articles. This large index totals 19.5 two-column pages and can be viewed here.
This new hardcover book is now available for you to examine and purchase at the Charlestown Township Office, above the Devault PO on Whitehorse Road, near Rt. 29. The book will also be available for purchase at all subsequent CHS events (including the Society's information table at all elections), as well as through a mail-order form available here.
The price of the book is $60 if picked up in person and $65 via mail-order.
To give you a better sense of the scope of our township's history covered by this project, links are provided below to view -

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