Charlestown Township
Historical & Architectural Review Board
Great Valley Middle School
Minutes of Tuesday, July 17, 2018

HARB/Historical Commission met on July 17th at GVMS Those members present are in bold: Tom Fillippo; Dale Frens, Shelia Klement, Ann Kline, Nancy Long, Rosemary Philips, John Pittock, Mike Richter, Fran Rodgers, Cindy Thompson, and Dan Wright. Jane Dorchester, John Martin and Nancy Pittock were present as guests.

After an introduction by Rosemary Philips, Jane Dorchester presented a synopsis of the Historic Resource Atlas Project which she and Nanci Sarcinello will be conducting on behalf of our Commission. This study by them was approved by the BOS in their March meeting.
Ms. Dorchester explained that many municipalities have completed Atlases and the primary goal of this study is to build on the previous county-wide survey done in 1979-1982 that listed historic properties that were 50 or more years old. This new survey will update that one by revisiting those named and adding new ones that are now 50 years old. Since part of the project involves photographing the sites, she will wait until the trees have lost leaves in order to have better pictures. Detailed information can then be used to re-evaluate former listings, change designations, and add or remove sites. The Township office will be sending letters to residents of possible sites indicating that photos will be made from a right-of-way position. This Atlas Project will streamline the process of locating, studying and protecting historic resources and should aid in updating comprehensive plans, zoning ordinances and assist planning commissions. The county will give a list of sites to the study team and the team will be using our 2017 Historic Map and the Franklin Map of 1968 for their work. Data from the field survey will be reviewed by the county. Before an updated comprehensive Indexed Geographic Information System (GIS) Atlas can be produced, our Commission will have the option of how structures will be classified or if they should be part of the map. All 50 year old structures do not need to be placed but there could be reasons for their inclusion.

One question was asked of why the 50 year old criterion exists and it was explained that this is a national standard. Another question asked was if the Atlas would be available to the general public. The township will receive the Atlas and the information could be used at the office. Ms. Dorchester anticipated that the project could be completed by the end of the year,

In old business the Charlestown Historical Society cemetery project was brought up. John Martin, CHS president, and Ann Kline reviewed the project results. Mr. Martin presented a large illustrated chart to our Commission that would be a smaller version of the one given to the Society by Dr Laura Sherrod and her group depicting their work and findings. The CHS version will be laminated and kept at their headquarters The chart shows mass areas of disturbances, one a possible midden field and a possible location of the early church. Dr. Sherrod suggested that a further archeological studies could confirm these findings. A discussion followed of what should be done and if the Township could be involved. Dale reminded us that the Township does schedule new projects for the coming year and that a study and repair of the cemetery wall might be one such project. The Commission members agreed that it should make a proposal to the BOS to repair the cemetery wall.

In new business, Rosemary reported on the Township Mill project. Lighting is complete and all the signs have been made. The signs have some alignment correction but the overall impression is great. It was suggested that our September meeting might be held at the Mill.

Discussions and concerns about both Swiss Pines and Great Valley Nature Center were brought up. Both sites have unoccupied historic structures and the concern was for the maintenance of these sites.
Nancy Long reported that the Solon House property has a new owner and should be occupied by that owner soon.

Our next meeting is scheduled for September 18th. As stated previously, we might meet at the Township Mill depending on whether all work has been completed. You will be notified before that date of our September location.

View Dr. Sherrod’s Report on the Old Charlestown Cemetery.