New Charlestown Historical Society President Julie Hall said she’s not quite ready to dress up as a re-enactor, but admitted that day may come sooner than later as the 15-year Charlestown resident gets comfortable behind the reins of the Town’s vaunted Society.
Hall took over the presidency from long-time President Tom Coots, and has been under the invaluable tutelage of Charlestown historian Arthur Hurley since becoming president in September 2018.
“I feel really, really lucky that I was able to meet Arthur Hurley four years ago and get a chance to learn more about the history of Charlestown,” she said, noting that she grew up in Philadelphia and once played Betsy Ross’s sewing basket as a kid in the Bicentennial celebration there. “Charlestown is such a gift and I’m blessed to get to know about it all.”
Hall went to college at Providence College and made her way to Boston where she had a very successful 25-year career public relations and marketing. She and her husband moved to Charlestown about 15 years ago, and have raised their children here. All along, Hall said she was interested and curious about the amazing history that surrounded her, including in her own back yard on Cross Street.
As an American History major in college, the draw to the history and the Society were very strong. Now, she splits her time between her real job at Weber Shandwick and her volunteer job at the Historical Society.
“I really want to get more people involved in the Society,” she said. “As the neighborhood changes and it’s changed a lot in the last 15 years I’ve been here. What we’re seeing is gentrification in Boston and Charlestown. We need to reflect on what was here. God forbid if the buildings we cherish now had been torn down…I feel it has changed a lot and this is an opportunity to bring more and more people into learn what Charlestown is all about.”
Sitting in the Historical Society office at the Bunker Hill Museum, amazing historical items and texts are on every wall and every table. One thing Hall has started doing is to use those items in collaboration with speakers to create monthly events.
On Tuesday, April 16, they will have a program featuring Charlestown and the Civil War at Memorial Hall on Green Street. Ted Urbanski from the Phantom Signal Corps Association will speak and honor the late Charlestown soldier Charles T. Fell.
Also, they will highlight 1st Lt. P. Marion Holmes of Charlestown, and show the rare Civil War pistol that the Society has in its collection.
The program begins at 7 p.m.