City Lifestyle

Want to start a publication?

Learn More

Featured Article

Diving Deep into History

West Chester Township Celebrates 200 Years

Article by Mia Hilkowitz

Photography by Provided by West Chester Township + West Chester–Union Township Historical Society

Originally published in West Chester & Liberty Lifestyle

This summer, 200 years after its establishment in 1823, West Chester Township will commemorate its founding. This milestone will be honored with a spirited and highly anticipated yearlong bicentennial celebration.

According to Monica Dexter, Community Outreach Coordinator for West Chester Township, residents can delve into West Chester’s history by accessing a community storytelling platform, where they can upload photos and videos capturing their memories of the area. Event planners will also release a collection of video interviews conducted with members of West Chester’s founding families.

The culmination of celebrations will take place June 1-4, West Chester’s Founder’s Day Weekend. This weekend-long celebration will include a concert, ice cream social, food trucks and a lively festival on June 2—the exact 200th anniversary of the township’s founding.

Public Information and Engagement Director Barbara Wilson says the bicentennial celebrations can connect residents with the rich history of their township.

“It is our wish that the bicentennial celebration builds upon a strong sense of community,” Barbara says.

According to Barbara, many people settled in West Chester long before its official establishment. Additionally, President of the West Chester Historical Society, Mary Jo Bicknell says Native American antiquities and burial mounds discovered here point to much earlier settlements. Pioneers settled the community along transportation routes farming the fertile soil and establishing the trades in small settlements such as Port Union, Pisgah, Olde West Chester, Tylersville, Gano and other neighborhoods that all became neighborhoods and commerce centers of today’s West Chester Township.

“I find it interesting that our continued development in many ways is still driven by transportation routes,” says Barbara. “Rather than canals and buffalo trails, however, our community today thrives because of its position on I-75, development of the Union Centre interchange and other infrastructure investments.”

Originally part of neighboring Liberty Township, Union Township was established in 1823 after Butler County Commissioners met with a group of petitioners requesting the division of Liberty Township. In the summer of 2000, Mary Jo says residents voted to rename the township to “West Chester Township” in order to stand out from the several other “Union Townships” in Ohio.

“The West Chester of today mirrors the spirit of the earliest settlers in many ways,” Barbara adds. “West Chester maintains a diverse local economy with varied industries and varied neighborhoods to meet the needs and interests of all.”

“People came here and continue to invest in our community with their businesses and find success,” Barbara says. “Whether a small company that grows to be a big company or big companies that are looking for a place to plant their roots, they find safe neighborhoods for their employees to live in and all the things available to them to make their lives great and help their businesses thrive.”

In addition to corporate growth, Barbara says West Chester began experiencing high levels of residential growth in the 1990s as Lakota Local School District “became so well recognized as a district of distinction.”

Barbara says that within its 35 square miles, West Chester is home to more than 64,000 residents and 3,700 businesses—all of whom are welcome to celebrate in the upcoming bicentennial events.

Barbara says, “West Chester is a large vibrant community of diverse neighborhoods and we want to celebrate all that we love about our community—not just our history, but what defines us as a thriving, welcoming, energetic community.” Looking to the future, Barbara says residents should expect to see “continued investment in the things that people value for their hometown,” from developing infrastructure and recreational opportunities, to investment in safety.

“We really want our residents to live their best lives here and know that they can live here their whole lives,” Barbara adds. “We want to build a community with energy and new opportunities and things to do.”

Find more information regarding the bicentennial celebrations at WestChesterOH.org. Follow West Chester Township on social media and subscribe to the township’s digital newsletter to receive finalized details and news as the year progresses.

Celebrate 200 Years of West Chester Township

SHARE STORIES

Upload photo and video memories on a community storytelling platform and view video interviews with members of West Chester’s

founding families. YouTube.com/@WestChesterTownship

SELF-DRIVING TOURS

Take a self-guided driving tour of West Chester’s most prominent historical sites, as provided by the historical society.

WestChesterHistoricalSociety.org

FOUNDER’S DAY WEEKEND—JUNE 1 -4

The weekend-long celebration includes a Bicentennial Takeover concert on June 1 at The Square @ Union Centre, more live music and great food at the Food Truck Rally on June 2, a community ice cream social and much more to mark the anniversary.

Bicentennial celebrations can connect residents with the rich history of their township. 

  • West Chester Historical Society History Center, 6670 Station Road
  • Travel by trucks, wagons & trains established West Chester as an integral stop along nearby transportation routes
  • The Square @ Union Centre is a landmark West Chester celebration spot