Charlestown Park and Valley Forge University arose from part of what was the Valley Forge Army Hospital, a former military hospital located outside of Phoenixville, Pennsylvania. Its speciality was eye treatment. It was one of seven installations of its kind operated by the U.S. Surgeon General’s Office.
The hospital was built in 1942 on 182 acres of farm land, and opened on Washington’s Birthday in 1943 to care for the wounded soldiers during World War II and the Korean and Vietnam conflicts. Eventually, the hospital had well over 3,000 patients and more than 100 separate buildings. The final closing came in 1975 and had cared for over 200,000 patients over a 31 year period. The hospital was featured in a 1951 movie, Bright Victory staring Arthur Kennedy, Jim Backus, and Peggy Dow. Bright Victory highlighted several area locales including scenes in Phoenixville and the house next to the Kennedy Bridge on the French Creek.
Charlestown Township acquired 52 acres in July 1977 under a 30-year lease agreement that deeded the land to the township at the end of the term.
The Park Today
Charlestown Park is home to two great organizations, the Phoenixville Area Soccer Club and the Phoenixville Marian Youth Club, which provide hundreds of area children with the opportunity to play sports. In addition, there is a tot lot, and a paved fitness trail.
The summer of 2016 saw the construction of picnic pavilions, the start of a restroom facility, and the completion of structured play areas and ball courts.
Use of the Park
Charlestown Park features new pavilions, walking trails, and playing fields. The facilities of the park are available to the public. We ask that you observe these usage rules. Pavilions of varying sizes may be rented for your private event at a small fee. This provides you private use of a pavilion while other areas of the park remain open to public access and use. Pavilion reservations are taken between April 1st through November 1st. Submit a Pavilion Reservation Form to reserve your event.
The township’s most frequented trail is the one at Charlestown Park. It’s a one-mile paved trail that circumnavigates the park adjacent to the Christian College at the corner of Coldstream and Township Line Roads. The trail entrance is from the first parking area to the right of the park road that enters from Township Line Road.
The walking trail is not only beautiful; it’s ideal for both leisure walkers and serious exercisers. Dogs like it too, as seen above in a “Bark for Life” American Cancer Society Fundraiser. Dog stations are positioned at various locations along the trail. Walk the long or short route, and visit the observation deck. Relax and enjoy the park by taking a seat on one of the many memorial benches now placed along the trail.
The Phoenixville Area Soccer Club was organized in 1961 and has extensive programs for boys and girls. The PASC moved into Charlestown Park in 1973 where they developed several fields.
The Soccer Club is located in Charlestown Park, with a clubhouse, snack stand and four playing fields. There are two full-size, one intermediate and one smaller sized field, all of which are expertly maintained and offer a great soccer experience.
The soccer club has had a long and successful relationship with Charlestown Township.