Charlestown has a rich history of interesting people, events and epic transformations in its history. A couple of years ago, several residents decided that we needed to begin to sort and organize this history into some semblance of order. Hence began the Charlestown Historical Society, dedicated to the preservation of Charlestown Township history. Like all historical societies, we have begun with sorting and organizing the volumes of paperwork stored in boxes in our town hall.
One of the goals of the CHS is to bring history alive to the residents of the township. We have begun to host social events and speakers. Wayne Enders, the current preeminent historian of the county, entertained a large audience in January of 2011, with anecdotes of our township's beginnings and early history. This past October we were fortunate to listen to three sisters from the Griffith family, whose family farm was on the north side of Newton Falls Rd., close to Paris Township. Phoebe Griffith Beetler Swain, Marcene Griffith Sorboro and Joanne Griffith Schwab Butz regaled us with memories of what it was like to live in quiet Charlestown before the Arsenal and West Branch. Their memories were clear and poignant, speaking of hearing only the birds, hiking down to the Mahoning river for a swim, hugging the heat registers in the school during cold winter days because they had no central heat at home and then of the devastation of their simple lives when the federal government came through and told them to leave their farm in thirty days.
In addition, we would love to interview any older persons and record their memories for posterity. If you would like to speak at one of our meeting we would appreciate that also. Future plans include creating a museum in the upstairs of the Town hall, dinners sponsoring families, maybe an Antique Roadshow type of event and several other fun ideas to get the people of the township together and celebrate our history.
If you have any items that are donation worthy, please consider giving them to us. We would like old pictures that are labeled and artifacts from the bygone eras. Military uniforms are also desired. Monetary donations are very important to get our museum up and running. We would certainly appreciate that!
We are proud of our township, its history and our fledgling historical society. Please feel free to come to a meeting or contact us for information and donations. Our meetings are held the second Wednesday of each month at 7PM in the town hall. FMI: Pat Eskridge, Charlestown Historical Society President at 330-842-2965