Charlestown, Indiana

Exploring Indiana's Historic Sites, Markers & Museums - South East Edition
Exploring Indiana's Historic Sites,
Markers & Museums
 South East Edition
Charlestown, Indiana
County - Clark
Area Total - 2.3 sq mi
Elevation 591 ft
Population (2013) Total - 7,990
ZIP code 47111
Area code(s) 812
Charlestown, Indiana draws its name from the man who surveyed the town when it was established in 1808, Charles Beggs. Begs platted the town on 195 acres located within the 150,000 acre Clark Grant. To spur development, the town's developers used the proceeds from the sale of the first 30 lots sold to build community buildings around the three acres in the center that had been set aside for use as a town square.
This strategy paid off, as the new town grew quickly and was designated the county seat of Clark County in 1812. In 1809, future first governor of the new State of Indiana, Jonathan Jennings, moved to the new town from Pennsylvania. The town remained the county seat until 1878 when the county government was moved to nearby Jeffersonville.
The town's fortunes improved in 1940 when the United States government selected the town as the site for a plant to make smokeless gunpowder at the newly constructed Indiana Army Ammunition Plant. This swelled the population from 900 to 13,400, creating many problems for the town. This facility was abandoned in 1998. A portion of the property was given to Indiana Department of natural Resources to expand Charlestown State Park, and the remainder given to the Clark County Reuse Authority for use as a commerce center.
The 1960's brought urban renewal to Charlestown, Indiana. The town has expanded, built new buildings and parks and implemented other improvements.
Charles Beggs (October 30, 1775 - October 21, 1869)
The son of Thomas & Sarah Barnes Beggs, Charles was native to Rockingham County, Virginia. An accomplished equestrian, Beggs married Dorothy Trumbo on August 1, 1797. The couple would have six children before her death in 1811. Beggs would marry Mary Ruddell in 1813 and would have eight children with her. He and Dorothy moved to Kentucky upon their marriage. Disgusted by slavery, Beggs crossed the Ohio River to the Indiana Territory, settling near the Ohio River in 1800. He gained election to the territorial assembly. Beggs commanded the Indiana Militia, Company of Light Dragoons, at the Battle of Tippecanoe, serving from September 11, to November 23, 1811. In 1813, Beggs constructed a gristmill in the area. Beggs remained in Indiana until 1828, when he migrated to Morgan County, Illinois. He would pass away there on October 21, 1869.Morgan County, Illinois

Indiana State Road 3
Indiana State Road 62
Indiana State Road 403
Indiana State Road 160

Parks and Activities
Family Activities Park
Greenway Park,
Church Street Park
Charlestown State Park
For dining, lodging and event information in Charlestown, contact:

Charlestown City Hall
304 Main Cross St.
Charlestown, IN 47111

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