Town of Charleston celebrates 225 years

Celebration and marker unveiling set for Saturday

CHARLESTON — The town will be celebrating its 225 year anniversary Saturday with the unveiling of a new historic marker.

The new historic marker will be unveiled at the celebration and will be placed in front of the Charleston Municipal Building at 480 Corbin Hill Road.

Friends and family are welcomed to help celebrate the special day from 3 to 4 p.m. and can enjoy some light refreshments.

“I think it needs to be noted as a historian of the town’s existence,” said Lorraine Whiting, town historian.

Charleston, located in Montgomery County, west of the Schoharie River, was established on March 12, 1793 when the old town of Mohawk was abolished, creating the towns of Florida and Charleston.

“At that time, the town extended north to the Mohawk River, south to the Schoharie County border, east to Schoharie River and west to Canajoharie,” Whiting said in a news release.

On April 10, 1823, the town of Glen and part of the town of Root were created from Charleston.

The town, which is named after Charles Van Epps, an early settler, has four hamlets in the town including Burtonville, Charleston Four Corners, Oak Ridge and Ryder’s Corners. It is the only town in Montgomery County that does not border on the Mohawk River.

Whiting said the school system began in Charleston in 1800 with 11 one-room schools throughout the town. By law, children ages eight to 16 were required to attend school and were taught reading, writing, arithmetic, English grammar and geography. There was one teacher who taught all grades, every day from first grade up.

Religion played an important role in the town with its First Baptist Church built in 1793. The Reformed Dutch Church of Charleston had its first meeting in 1794, and the Christian Church of Charleston started in 1813 near Oak Ridge, but later moved to its present location in Charleston Four Corners. The Christian Church is the only church still active within the town.

“The Charleston Historical Society purchased the First Baptist Church in 1994 and has maintained the building and its grounds since. It offers various programs throughout the year,” Whiting said.