Charlestown, Indiana

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Charlestown is a city in Clark County, Indiana, United States. The population was 6,533 at the 2010 census.



Charlestown was established in 1808, named after one of its surveyors, Charles Beggs, upon 300 acres (1.2 km2), of which 3 acres (12,000 m2) was designated for a town square. It was established one mile (1.6 km) northeast of Springville, and was responsible for Springville's demise.

Milling was important to the town, as the first mill was built in the area, on Fourteen Mile Creek, in 1804. This mill would be abandoned when John Work built a mill by use of a tunnel in 1814. Today, that mill is part of the Tunnel Mill Scout Reservation.

Charlestown was the home of the first Indiana state governor, Jonathan Jennings.

From 1811-1878 Charlestown was the county seat of Clark County, but as Jeffersonville had surpassed it economically, the county seat reverted back to Jeffersonville in 1878.

In 1818 the first Grand Lodge of Free & Accepted Masons in Indiana met in Charlestown, due to Jonathan Jennings' influence.

In 1940 the population of Charlestown was 900, but it swelled to 13,400 due to the building and operation of the Indiana Army Ammunition Plant (INAAP). This created a housing problem, as chicken, wood, and wash houses had to house all the new residents that flocked to area for the jobs created by the INAAP. Additional problems caused by the rapid influx of new residents was improper sanitation at restaurants, inefficient sewers, gambling, panhandling, and diseases such as typhoid and malaria.


Charlestown is located at 38°27′7″N 85°40′2″W / 38.45194°N 85.66722°W / 38.45194; -85.66722 (38.451984, -85.667224)[3].

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 2.3 square miles (6.0 km²), all of it land.


As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 5,993 people, 2,341 households, and 1,615 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,570.0 people per square mile (993.1/km²). There were 2,489 housing units at an average density of 1,067.4/sq mi (412.4/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 92.91% White, 2.47% African American, 0.27% Native American, 0.17% Asian, 0.07% Pacific Islander, 2.77% from other races, and 1.35% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 5.32% of the population.

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