About

CHS was started in 1973 as a non-profit, non-political organization whose aim was and is to provide future generations with a small “window on the past” – showing through artifacts and records what life was like in this quiet farming community in the 19th Century. A marvelous glimpse of Charlestown’s past is provided by the Society’s 1983 reprint of “Pictures from Memory’s Wall”, a poem and photographs published as a booklet by Richard S. MacNamee in 1905. The entire booklet is available from our The early days section, courtesy of the Charlestown Historical Society.

Wisner PlaqueCurrently, the CHS headquarters is the Jacob Wisner House (affectionately known as the “Wisner House”) on Yellow Springs Road. Built in 1835 by Jacob Wisner, it passed down through four generations until the death in 1957 of great-grandson Ben Rapp.

He left it to his friend and neighbor, E. Baker Pyle. In 1977, the Pyles donated the homestead to CHS. Also on the National Register, the house has never been modernized or altered. There is still no plumbing, and minimal electricity was added during our 1979 restoration.
Every Tuesday, our dedicated volunteers (who always need help) diligently clip, file, research and record information, photos and documents pertinent to Charlestown and its residents. Four times a year, members receive a newsletter reporting CHS and township news and announcing the guest speaker at our four yearly meetings – at present held on the first Wednesday evening of October, November, March and May at the Charlestown Elementary School. We may have an archaeologist, a furniture or art restorer, a collector or conservationist, an historian – or sometimes just long-time residents with tales to tell. CHS lends its support in whatever way possible to historic sites like the old cemetary and the old bridge on Pickering Road.
There are Rapp House work parties several times a year to help maintain our headquarters. Whole families pitch in to weed, plaster, paint, patch or clean – always enjoying the homemade picnic provided. It’s a great way in which to meet new neighbors and help out at the same time.
The officers of the Charlestown Historical Society are:

Corresponding Secretary Nancy Pittock
Recording Secretary Bonnie Houghey
Treasurer David Greer
Vice President Darrah Ribble
President John Martin

You may email the Charlestown Historical Society at charlestownhistoricalsocietypa@gmail.com.
The mailing address of the Society is:
The Charlestown Historical Society, Inc.
PO Box 344
Devault, PA 19432-0344
Membership in Charlestown Historical Society costs $25 per family, $15 per person or $10 per senior per year. To join, send your payment (payable to Charlestown Historical Society) to:
The Charlestown Historical Society, Inc.
PO Box 344
Devault, PA 19432-0344

[Credit: Jacob Merriwether, charlestown.org]

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