Charlestown Township
Historical & Architectural Review Board
Great Valley Middle School
Minutes of Tuesday, November 17, 2015

TO: Board of Supervisors; HARB/ Historic Commission Members
FROM: Fran Rodgers, Cochairman HARB
DATE: November 24, 2015

HARB met on Tuesday, November 17th at the GYMS. Those members present are in bold; Linda Appier, Tom Fillipo, Dale Frens, Sheila Element, Ann Kline, Wendy Leland, Nancy Long, Rosemary Philips, John Pittock, Fran Rodgers, and Dan Wright. Nancy Pittock attended as a guest.

During the announcement segment, John Pitttock said that the Markley House was now vacant-and that the Charlestown Historic Society would welcome any help in procuring a suitable renter.


Rosemary Philips informed the group that she and Fran Rodgers had met with Linda Csete to discuss the 2016 budget. Linda provided a pattern of expenditures from this year and previous years so it was possible for us to set a proposal for the coming year. Much of the expense on our budget has been for work done at the Township Mill and upcoming expenses will involve the setting up of the museum type exhibits. The BOS has approved funds for landscaping to be done at the Mill which will include the cleaning of the mill race and also the establishment of some low maintenance planting material on the hillside that should improve the viewshed and remedy the situation of debris entering through the Mill gate after severe rain storms and snow melts. Rosemary and Dale Frens have also met with Richard Frunze and all feel that the project is running smoothly. Plans also include work on the guard rail on Charlestown Road, replacement of the asphalt paving area and steps going down the steep hill. Previously, no allowance has been made for either the Ice Dam or the Revolutionary Cemetery but new funding will be added for 2016. Dan Wright, Dale and Rosemary met with Rob Deevy at the Ice Dam and were particularly concerned with issues of safety at the site. Although the stone facade was in good condition, a plan for removal of diseased trees and many small trees should be set up. Also, they would like to have further study of the feasibility of tying this site into an existing township trail at a future time. The stone structure is impressive and could be an attractive aspect along a trail but some work on parking would need to be addressed. In reply to a question about the total amount of the budget, Rosemary replied that that figure is not available now but our proposals are reasonable and acceptable. (The budget estimate is now available on the Township internet site).


Rosemary reported that the Certificate of Appropriateness for the property at 2100 Foster Road, now owned by Larry and Anndee Feiner, had been presented to and accepted by the BOS at their October meeting. Dan said that zoning permits had been obtained and work is able to proceed.


At our September meeting, John brought up that the former Zeigler property on Howell road was vacant and he was concerned about vandalism since it is isolated from the road. Dan and Rosemary visited the property and noted that the house was vacant and there was no apparent damage but the door lock was broken. In April the property was sold to Otto Hanyuk and Dan has spoken with him. Mr. Hanyuk is occupying the small house on the property and had done some repair work on the barn. He was leaving for Germany and Dan reminded him that he should be obtaining proper building permits and suggested that he secure the door of the large house since he would be away for a time.


It has been necessary to do extensive research because the Mill has been involved in producing many different items. For example, since no textile equipment has been found, that type of scenario had to be imagined. Sallie Willig will be evaluating what the type of stone is in the large Millstone that is now on the lower level. Hopefully, the exhibits can be fabricated during the spring months and be completed by the summer.


Wendy Leland reported that some members of the Planning Commission had visited the site and the consensus was that the project was progressing well although some minor problems were noted. Several home sites have been sold and a few families are already residing there.


Previously, there had been a question of why the sign commissioned by the Township had not been displayed. Parking at the site is a problem and earlier plans had parking done at the lower end with an entrance through a break present in that wall. Since Playschool patrons no longer park at the upper entrance, it should feasible to set up parking at the lower end. Dan will be looking at that possibility and plans will be made to erect the sign. Ann Kline wants more study done on the numerous unmarked grave sites. Rosemary explained that several churches around Valley Forge had been asked to bury soldiers from Yellow Springs Hospital and no official records are available. Perhaps, some archeological work could help with identification.

The next scheduled meeting will be January 20th, 2016. The meeting ended at 4:50 p.m.