SUBJECT: Charlestown HARB/Historical Commission Meeting
HARB met on May 16th. Those members present are in bold: Linda Appler; Tom Filippo; Carol Quigley (for Dale Frens); Sheila Klement; Ann Kline; Nancy Long; Rosemary Philips; John Pittock; Fran Rodgers; Dan Wright.
Darrah Ribble, Sue Marshall , Nancy Pittock and Anita Lawson were also present.
Sue Marshall of the Chester County Historic Preservation Network (CCHPN) announced that their organization would hold the Annual Volunteer Recognition Dinner on June 28th.
Rosemary Philips gave an update report on the Charlestown Township Mill restoration project and, essentially,
the project consists of three components. At this point, all are coming together very nicely. The exhibit signage portion
has not yet been bid but as final details are worked on, it is expected that the Supervisors would put this out for
bid in their June meeting. The lighting component has been approved by the BOS and will be put out for bids. Landscaping
is underway with planting on the road slope complete and work is being done on the footprint of the old farmhouse section.
Also, stones have been laid for the cleared water channel.
Rosemary also spoke of the historic resource map which has not been updated for a number of years. She and Tom Comitta are now working to incorporate and correct revisions for a new map. Some structures on the present map no longer exist because of demolition. Subdivided properties will be reflected on a new map and a new color code will be implemented. No additional structures have been added since the 1987 survey was done. John Pittock asked about the time requirement for structures and Rosemary said that it was usually 100 years unless the site was important in township history. An example is the original part of Charlestown Elementary School.
Dan Wright updated us about the Ice Dam. He felt that there should be reaction from HARB as to how much should be done at the Dam. The question is whether to do some minor repositioning of some stones or should there be major repairs. The present concern is for the safety of anyone climbing over the structure. There is evidence that has happened recently since a political sign was found there. Previously, Dale Frens had made some recommendations and Dan plans to confer with Dale about some ideas for us to consider.
Ann Kline and Darrah Ribble, board members of the Charlestown Historical Society (CHS) spoke about
a possible and interesting study at the Charlestown Township Cemetery.
As background, Ann described a study done by Dr. Laura Sherrod and her students from Kutztown University for the Phoenixville Historical Society. They did a survey at the PHS headquarters in the Old Quaker Cemetery there and discovered unsuspected remains of four persons. Ann and Darrah spoke with Dr. Sherrod about doing a survey of our Township cemetery of which Harmon Rees had incorporated a copy of a map in his writing (and in the CHS book on Charlestown) found at Yellow Springs showing grave sites and one mass grave for unnamed Revolutionary soldiers. Without disturbing the ground or any structures and using Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) Dr. Sherrod may be able to confirm if and where these sites exist.
This project would be done with no cost to the Township and Dr. Sherrod asks that she would be able to present findings to an educational conference and present this at a public meeting of CHS. Using a magnetometer she might also pick up evidence of metallic remains but these findings would be kept private to ensure that no one should try to find them later.
Carol Quigley made a motion that Dr. Sherrod and her students of Kutztown University be permitted to conduct a Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) survey at the Charlestown Township Cemetery. No disturbance of ground or destruction of structures would result from this survey. Dr. Sherrod would like to share these results at a geophysical conference. If possible, a magnetometer survey would also be done but these results would be kept private.
John Pittock seconded the motion and all members agreed to it. A Certificate of Appropriateness will be sent to the Supervisors for their approval.
Since there was no further business, the meeting was adjourned with a reminder that our next scheduled meeting would be July 18th.