Charm history - and a mystery

Charm history - and a mystery

A man rides a horse-drawn carriage.

Charm, Ohio

While Holmes County historians have ascertained that the hamlet of Charm began in the 1840s when a blacksmith shop opened along an old Indian trail near Doughty Creek, no one knows for sure how Charm got its unusual name. Other businesses gradually joined the blacksmith shop, and by the 1860s, a community had evolved that locals called Stevenson, apparently because Stephen Yoder and his son farmed the land there. When Stevenson’s citizens applied for a post office in the 1880s, the postal department asked them to choose an official name. They picked Charm. Why? Perhaps their collection of shops surrounding a stream seemed, well, charming.

Or perhaps it was because of one particular shop — the watch and clock business owned by Joni Yoder, a jeweler who typically attached an ornamental charm to the chain of every watch he sold. Interestingly enough, after Charm got its post office, Joni Yoder became the postmaster.

Charm today still has its own post office — ZIP code 44617 — and just down the hill from it, Joni Yoder’s little shop still exists too. Though remodeled in the 1990s, the old building sits in the heart of Charm where County Road 70 meets St. Rte. 557. Look closely at the brick wall encircling its yard, and you’ll see a stone plaque carved with the words “The Watchman’s Cottage.”