History of the Charotin Hose Co. No. 1 - Origin of Charotin

Origin of Charotin Hose Co. No. 1

One of the frequent questions asked about Charotin Hose Co. No. 1 is, “What is Charotin?” To this date, there remains some mystery as to the origins of the name “Charotin”.

A History of Catasauqua published in 1914 and another history written for the Charotin Hose Co. No. 1 75th anniversary in 1984, state the name is derived from Lenni Lenape Chief Charotin. Chief Charotin and his tribe were believed to have inhabited the area of present day North Catasauqua and welcomed white settlers to the area. However, Chief Charotin was researched by the Lenni Lenape Historical Society of Pennsylvania Museum in Allentown, PA, who could find no records of such a chief existing.

The current origin of Charotin is actually the result of a misspelling dating back to the early 20th Century. During the 18th Century, William Penn deeded a 10,000 acre tract of land to his daughter, Letitia. In 1731, Letitia and her husband conveyed the same land tract to John Page, a land speculator from London, England. A few months later, Mr. Page secured a warrant in London dated October 10, 1731, to take a 2,723 acre tract of his land. This land was surveyed and then set aside for him as a manor on October 10, 1736. The manor was to be called Chawton, after the ancient English estate of the same name. Chawton included land in and around the present day Boroughs of Catasauqua and North Catasauqua.

Some deeds on record in the Northampton County Court House at the turn of the 19th century had the name of the manor as Charotin and for a short time the area now known as Catasauqua was called Charotin. Historians agree that the name, “Charotin”, was a misspelling of Chawton in the early 20th Century. The misspelling is believed to be the result of poor penmanship and records kept in long hand. The “wton” of Chawton was misinterpreted as “rotin” and Chawton became Charotin. This is the true origin of the name “Charotin”, however less romantic this explanation might be than an ancient Indian Chief Charotin.