Charlestown Township, Chester County, PA

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Established June 2, 1997
by citizens for citizens


March 16, 1998

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August 13, 1997
A beautiful part of southeastern Pennsylvania
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Archived Home Pages - January 1999

The weekend Philadelphia Inquirer Neighbors section has an article by Lubna Khan titled "Schools go high-tech with federal grant funds" reporting on an unusual $200,000 grant received by the Great Valley School District to create "a group of high-tech courses that will work together as a corporation, with the aid of area business partners". The article is available on-line from the paper's web site by clicking here.
Articles in today's local papers deal with two different approaches to combating development of farmland. "Neighbors unite to save open space", an article by Leslie Phipps in today's Daily Local describes how a 135 acre farm in West Vincent was purchased by a township resident (actually one of the West Vincent supervisors) and subdivided into six large parcels and then sold to neighbors of the farm. This article is available on-line from the paper's web site for today only by clicking here.
"Builders petition Pa. high court on moratorium", an article in today's Philadelphia Inquirer by Meredith Fischer and Mary Blakinger, describes the ongoing court battle associated with a different approach to slowing development, this in Newtown Township, Delaware County. Newtown instituted an 18 month building moratorium, and the action is being challenged in court by builders and trade groups. This article is available on-line from the paper's web site by clicking here.
Many thanks to Ellen Behrle whose timely report on last night's meeting of the Planning Commission is posted on our Neighborhood News page.
The preliminary agenda for the February 1st meeting of the Board of Supervisors has been posted.
Today's The Mercury has another article by Donna M. Heron on Chester County development, this one titled "Chesco won't be caught unaware of development". The article will be available on-line from the paper's web site for the next few days. You can read it by clicking here.
I have started an archive of the "Did You Know?" historical tidbits first posted on December 30th. If you missed any of the previous postings or simply want to review those that have been posted, check the new archive page. It will always be available from The Early Days section of our site which is on the left menu column. A new posting follows.
Did You Know?   "Bacton", as in the Bacton Hill portion of Route 401, was originally named "Backtown". The story is: "When a little settlement in East Whiteland Township was about to receive a railroad station, a stockholder complained that the Phoenixville branch of the railroad would serve only the back towns. So the station halfway between West Chester and Phoenixville was named Backtown, and soon the passengers shortened it to Bacton. The citizens used the abbreviated form in their application for a post office in 1887. The same village had been served six decades earlier by a post office knows as Valley Hill, located for three years in Stump Tavern, which has since become a private dwelling." [Ref: Pinkowski, p.27]
The weekend "Neighbors" section of the Philadelphia Inquirer had a feature article by Susan Weidener titled "Ordinance proposes smaller-lot residences". The article describes the Township's proposed Open Space Option Ordinance in the context of the Deerfield development [see 30-C] and quotes several Charlestown officials and residents. The article has not been posted on the paper's web site.
Today's The Phoenix has an article by Lou Costello on the procedures and issues for nominating residents to fill the four supervisor positions to be filled this year. The article is available from the paper's web site for today only by clicking here. Note that additional information is available from the Republican Committee's January 15 Newsletter which we posted last week.
An article titled "Developers can expect to face a battle" by Donna M. Heron in today's The Mercury looks at development issues in Northern Chester County and quotes a West Vincent resident's comments on Charlestown, "They have gone to court repeatedly and the word is out. You don't want to build there because they are a pain in the neck. As a result they have wide open, beautiful spaces. Maybe it's costing a lot of money, but it's worth it." This article is available for a few days from the paper's web site by clicking here. A companion article by Heron titled "Rural charm brings people in droves to Chesco" addresses the growth along Route 100. This article is also available for a few days from the paper's web site by clicking here.
The preliminary agenda for next Tuesday's meeting of the Planning Commissin has been updated.
The preliminary agenda for the January 26 meeting of the Planning Commission has been posted.
Our page listing Elected and Appointed Township Officials has been updated for 1999. Changes from 1988 are indicated by a red asterisk. This page is accessed from our General Info page.
The Republican Committee has published a January Newsletter. They have clearly laid out the process for selecting Republican candidates for the four Township Supervisor positions to be filled via this year's elections. It would be great to see a large list of qualified candidates for these positions. The newsletter also provides an update on the Turnpike slip ramp issue and introduces a "citizens slip ramp committee". This newsletter is available from the Republican Committee's "home page", or directly by clicking here.
I have posted Kevin Kuhn's report on last night's meeting of the Board of Supervisors (see Neigborhood News), as well as the Official Minutes of the November and December meetings of the Planning Commission.
Today's The Phoenix has an article titled "Charlestown board considers open space ordinance" by Lou Costello. The article is available today only from the paper's web site by clicking here.
Kyle Ashinhurst reports in today's Daily Local on an interview with PA Turnpike representatives regarding slip ramps in Chester County. The article, "Turnpike panel says it will hear concerns", is available from the paper's web site for today only by clicking here.
"Poll: Local residents happy but hate traffic", a second article by Ashinhurst, reports on the results of a poll taken by the organization Greater Philadelphia First. The article identifies interesting trends in Chester County residents' concerns since last year's poll. This article is also available from the paper's web site for today only by clicking here.
Today's Philadelphia Inquirer and today's Daily Local have articles on the Chester County Commissioners taking a stand against turnpike slip ramps in the county. The Inquirer article by Nancy Petersen is available from the paper's web site by clicking here. The Daily Local's article by Kyle Ashinhurst is available from that paper's web site for today only by clicking here.
The preliminary agenda for next Monday's meeting of the Board of Supervisors has been posted. Note that this meeting is being held in the upper level of the Great Valley Nature Center Barn.
Today's Suburban Advertiser has an article titled "Bomb threats mailed to Great Valley" by Bryan G. Robinson, reporting on multiple bond threats received by the High School last week. The article may be read on-line from the paper's web site through next Wednesday by clicking here.
Did You Know?   The area called "Aldham", along Rt. 29 in the vicinity of the Great Valley Nature Center, was originally to have its railroad station named "Reeseville" for John Rees, who owned a paper mill in the area. Since there was already a "Reeseville" in southeastern PA, the station was renamed "Aldham" after a village in Essex, England. [Ref: Pinkowski, p.21]
I have posted Kevin Kuhn's reports on last Monday's reorganization meeting and regular meeting of the Board of Supervisors. As usual, they are in our Neighborhood News page.
We recently received a photo of Eric Churchill from his track coach, Paul Gring, and have posted it on our Neighbors of Note page.
Last night we suffered our worst network outage since this site first went on line in June 1997. One of the network line segments between our service provider (PSI-Net in Herndon, VA) and our own server's connection through Bell Atlantic went dead about 4:30 pm yesterday and was not restored until approximately 8:45 pm last night. I apologize to anyone who was inconvenienced by the outage. While I was babysitting the problem, I did get some things posted -
  • The official minutes of the two December meetings of the Board of Supervisors
  • The schedule of Fees charged by the Township for providing various documents or services. The schedule is a permanent addition to our General Info page available from the left column menu.
  • Rules for a contest for the design of a new logo for Charlestown Township. The old logo depicts the former location of the Township office. The contest is sponsored by the Board of Supervisors. I hope you folks submit many designs.
The Phoenix reports that there was no change in the organization of the Charlestown Board of Supervisors resulting from last night's reorganization meeting. John Sauser retains the position of chairman and Robert Wert remains as vice-chairman. We hope to have a report on the regular meeting soon. The article by several Phoenix staff writers covers neighboring township reorganizations as well and may be read on-line by clicking here.
I have posted Fred Alston's Fire Marshall report for December which includes a 1998 summary and notes the continuation of the ban on outside burning.
The preliminary agenda for the January 12 meeting of the Planning Commission has been posted, as well as information on a work session of the Commission scheduled for January 26th.
Reminder: The regular meeting of the Board of Supervisors will be held this evening after the reorganization meeting, which begins at 7:30 pm at the Charlestown Elementary School. There is no published agenda for tonight's regular meeting.
The Republican Committee is holding a meeting open to all residents at the Charlestown United Methodist Church (on Church Rd., in the village) tomorrow night, Tuesday January 5th, at 7:30 pm, to inform residents of the process and procedures for nominating candidates for the four supervisor positions to be on this year's ballot. Quoting from the committee's announcement -
The purpose of the meeting is to inform all residents as to the process of running for Supervisor in the Township. This will be an idea sharing session where individuals may come and have their questions answered, suggest potential candidates and learn about the process. This is especially important this year as we will have four positions up for election on the board.
Today's Daily Local has an article by Jennifer Lawson titled "Booming communities demand more fire coverage" reporting on the effects of rapid growth and increased road congestion on fire fighting in our area. East Whiteland Fire Chief Steve Allen, who is responsible for a significant portion of Charlestown Township (see our fire map), is quoted. You may read the article at the paper's web site (today only) by clicking here.
The Phoenix, whose web site has been "stuck" on September 23rd, 1998 since that date, appears to be publishing on-line again at its original URL, though with limited scope. We hope they can keep the site current, as we have linked to Charlestown-related articles in that paper many times in the past.
I have "rolled" the balance of November's and most of December's home page material to the home page archives, which you may access via the link at the bottom of this page. Home page material going all the way back to our first day on-line is available from these archives. Note that our Search feature searches the entire site for any words you enter, and that is the quickest way to find coverage of specific topics.
We have had a number of new subscribers to our email notification service since Christmas, and suspect we may have a number of new visitors who received their first computer over the holidays. A suggestion for them and all other visitors to this site-
If your computer supports more than 256 colors, we highly recommend that you set your monitor to display "Thousands" (16 bit) or "Millions" (24 bit) of colors. There is a very significant improvement in the quality of our photographs when displayed at more than 256 colors.
Happy New Year
MANY THANKS TO ALL OF YOU WHO HAVE SUPPORTED THIS WEB SITE BY VISITING FREQUENTLY, BY CONTRIBUTING NEWS AND INFORMATION FOR THE SITE, AND BY YOUR COMMUNICATIONS OF APPROVAL AND ENCOURAGEMENT. The phrase "You're eyes are bigger than your stomach!" applies to me in that there is so much I'd like to do soon but so little time to do it. Hopefully, we will experience a lot of growth in historical content in 1999.
Happy New Year!
Did You Know?   "In 1825, when the Schuylkill Canal was opened in 1825, the inhabitants of Charlestown Township had a road laid out beginning in Nutt´s Road near Moore Hall Mill, crossing Pickering Creek and continuing its course on the south side of that stream until it intercepted a public road on an island in the river nearly opposite the mouth of Pickering Creek called the Long Ford. By means of this road they hoped to have 'an open course to and from the Schuylkill Canal and to be able to deposit their produce there and to receive at the same point lumber, iron and coal.'" [Ref: MacElree, p.395]

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