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flag  History of Chester, Massachusetts, USA

Journey back in time to Chester, Massachusetts, USA

Visit Chester, Massachusetts, USA. Discover its history. Learn about the people who lived there through stories, old newspaper articles, pictures, postcards and ancestry.

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Chester, Massachusetts, USA - Riverside Inn, Chester, Mass.  Originally built as a two-story house in 1850, it was initially occupied by Chester Railway station master E.D. Cook,

Chester, Hampden, Massachusetts, USA

In March of 1932, deep in the midst of the
Great Depression, forty employees of the
Chester Granite Quarry Company went on strike
over a wage dispute.
www.chestermass.com

Chester includes: Bonney Ridge Four Corners, Dayville, and Littleville.


netronline.com/mass_lookup.htm

There is MUCH more to discover about Chester, Massachusetts, USA. Read on!

Chester Nostalgia: Vintage Photos, Ads, and Postcards

Riverside Inn, Chester, Mass.

Originally built as a two-story house in 1850, it was initially occ
Chester, Massachusetts, USA

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Riverside Inn, Chester, Mass.

Originally built as a two-story house in 1850, it was initially occupied by Chester Railway station master E.D. Cook, who was once accused and tried for selling intoxicating beverages at the train station. Smith-Lee said Cook was acquitted after one of his patrons testified that, although the beverages were indeed served, they did not intoxicate him.

The building was purchased in 1881 by William R. White, who added a third story and opened it as White’s Hotel. Documentation from a Chester train wreck in 1893 talks about wounded passengers being treated at the hotel.

In 1904, new management assumed control and renamed it the Riverside Inn, which had the longest tenure in its colorful history, including surviving the great flood of 1927... thereminder.com

Chester, Massachusetts, USA

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Railroad Station
Chester, Massachusetts, USA

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Railroad Station
Main Street Bridge (Westfield River)
Chester, Massachusetts, USA

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Main Street Bridge (Westfield River)
Old Tannery Dam
Chester, Massachusetts, USA

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Old Tannery Dam
Bird's Eye View of Chester, Mass., Looking North
Chester, Massachusetts, USA

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Bird's Eye View of Chester, Mass., Looking North
Main Street, 1910
Chester, Massachusetts, USA

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Main Street, 1910
The Berkshire Hills, near Chester, Mass., 1912
Chester, Massachusetts, USA

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The Berkshire Hills, near Chester, Mass., 1912
Main Street looking East, 1912
Chester, Massachusetts, USA

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Main Street looking East, 1912
Blue Door Tea Shop
Chester, Massachusetts, USA

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Blue Door Tea Shop
Huntington Road
Chester, Massachusetts, USA

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Huntington Road
Grammar School
Chester, Massachusetts, USA

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Grammar School
High School & Library
Chester, Massachusetts, USA

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High School & Library

Discover Chester: History, News, Travel, and Stories

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1839 - Chester
Chester, Massachusetts
Hampden county. This is a mountainous township, but good for grazing. In 1837 it has 3,720 sheep; their wool weighed 10,325 pounds, and sold for $5,818. There are 2 cotton mills in Chester, 3 tanneries, and a window blind factory. Total amount of manufactures, in one year, $47,975. Branches of Westfield river pass through the town. Incorporated, 1765. Population, 1837, 1,290. 115 miles W. by S. from Boston and 20 N.W. from Springfield.
The New England Gazetteer containing descriptions of all the states, counties and towns in New England: also descriptions of the principal mountains, rivers lakes, capes, bays, harbors, islands and fashionable resorts within that territory. Alphabetically arranged. By John Hayward, author of the Columbian Traveller, Religious Creeds, &c. &c. Boston: John Hayward. Boyd & White, Concord, N.H. 1839
1845 - CHESTER. [Pop. 1,632. Inc. 1765.]
A factory village is at the southeastern corner of the township, but the rest of the town is agricultural.

Westfield River runs through Chester, and affords good water-power. The chief manufactures are cotton cloth, leather, and window-blinds. Distance from Springfield, 21 miles; from Boston, 118.
An Elementary Geography for Massachusetts Children by William Bentley Fowle and Asa Fitz, 1845
1848 - Chester
This town was incorporated in 1765. The Rev. Aaron Bascom and. Samuel M. Emerson appear to have been the first ministers. Rev. Rufus Pomeroy was settled here in 1819; he resigned in 1827, and was succeeded by Rev. Saul Clark in 1829. Mr. Clark was succeeded by Itev. Alanson Alvord, in 1834.

The above is a southern view of Chester village situated in the south eastern corner of the town of Chester. This place is situated at the corners of four towns, viz. Chester, Blandford, Norwich, and Montgomery. The Methodist church seen in the engraving stands on the line between the towns of Chester and Blandford; the house on the left is in Blandford. This little village, consisting at present [1838] of about 15 dwelling houses, a cotton factory, and some other buildings, is situated in the gorge through which the Westfield river passes. The route of the Western railroad is laid out through the village. Part of the mountainous elevation seen in the back ground is within the limits of Norwich. ... Read MORE...


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1859
CHESTER, a township of Hampden co., in the state of Massachusetts, 116 m. SW of Boston. It is generally mountainous, and is drained by branches of Westfield river. It affords excellent pasturage. Pop. 1,632.
A Gazetteer of the World: Or, Dictionary of Geographical Knowledge, Publisher A. Fullarton, 1859
1868 - Hiram Smith, and eccentric old bachelor at Chester, Mass., is having his sepulcher hewn in a large rock in that town.
He pays a man $700 to do the work, and by the stipulation the cave is to be seven feet long, four wide, and four deep, and after his coffin is put in, the aperture will be sealed up with a marble slab and cement. Smith says he doesn't want mud to get around his bones; he means to have a good dry place for them. The scheme is an old fancy of his, but nobody has supposed till lately that he would attempt to carry it out.
St Joseph Herald
Saint Joseph, Michigan
March 7, 1868

Read more about Hiram SMITH
1880 - A New York dispatch says: It is believed a practically inexhaustible supply of emery ore has been discovered near Peekskill.
The discovery is regarded as one of the greatest importance, from the fact that this metal, in a sufficiently pure state to make it marketable, is found in only one place in the United States - near Chester, Mass. - though beds of corundum containing emery have been found in North Carolina, Georgia and Montana.
St Joseph Herald
Saint Joseph, Michigan
January 24, 1880
Chester Massachusetts, 1890
Chester, noted for its wild and picturesque scenery, occupies the northwest extremity of Hampden County, and has for its bounds, Worthington on the north, Huntington on the east, Blandford on the south, Becket on the west, and Middlefield on the northwest.

The inhabitants number 1,318, with 324 dwelling-houses, situated almost entirely in the villages of Chester, Chester Centre, North Chester, Littleton, Dayville and Micaville. The first four are post-offices. The west and middle branches of the Westfield River, with their tributaries dashing down the wild ravines, furnish abundant motive power, which will perhaps sometime be further improved. The Boston and Albany Railroad winds along the margin of the west branch, through the southwest section of the town, having its "Westfield" station near the western border, 126 miles from Boston.

The area of the town is variously stated. The actual measurement of the farms is 21,783 acres, including 5,816 acres devoted to wood. The land is ... Read MORE...

1893 - A TRAIN'S FATAL PLUNGE IT GOES THROUGH A BRIDGE IN MASSACHUSETTS
The Locomotive Got Across Safely, But Four Wagner Cars Plunged Into the Stream - Many Persons Killed or Injured - The Scene at the Wreck.

The Chicago limited express train for Boston broke through a frail iron bridge on the Boston and Albany Railroad one mile and a half east of Chester, Mass., at noon, and four Wagner cars were crushed, killing fourteen or fifteen persons, fatally injuring several others, while at least twenty were badly hurt. The wreck is the worst ever known on the road. The bridge was being strengthened for the big locomotives, and the workingmen who were putting on the plates were at dinner when the crash came. The locomotive passed over the structure, but was smashed, the water tank being thrown a long distance.

The buffet car, two sleepers and a dining car were smashed to kindling wood when they struck the stream twenty feet below, but two day coaches and a smoker in the rear did not leave the track. The dead are:

MISS EMMA DELERTY, Columbus, Ohio; H.... Read MORE...

1895 - Chester
Chester, a post-village of Hampden co., Mass., on a branch of Westfield River, 28 miles by rail W.N.W. of Springfield. It has 2 emery-mills, 2 churches, a newspaper office, granite-mills, manufactures of mica and porcelain, bedsteads, &c. A mine of emery has been opened here. The township has a manufactory of edge-tools. Pop. of the township, 1295.
Lippincott's Gazetteer of the World: A Complete Pronouncing Gazetteer Or Geographical Dictionary of the World Containing Notices of Over One Hundred and Twenty-five Thousand Places ... Joseph Thomas January 1, 1895 J.B. Lippincott
1916
Chester, a post-village of Hampden co., Mass., on a branch of the Westfield River and on the Boston and Albany R., 28 miles WNW. of Springfield. It has granite- find emery-mills, manufactures of paper, etc. Pop. of the township in 1900, 1450.
Lippincotts New Gazetteer: A Complete Pronouncing Gazetteer Or Geographical Dictionary of the World, Containing the Most Recent and Authentic Information Respecting the Countries, Cities, Towns, Resorts, Islands, Rivers, Mountains, Seas, Lakes, Etc., in Every Portion of the Globe, Part 1 Angelo Heilprin Louis Heilprin - January 1, 1916 J.B. Lippincott - Publisher
1975 - August 2 - 107°F (42°C) at Chester/New Bedford, Massachusetts (state record)

historyorb.com
1981 - January 12 - 35°F, Chester, Massachusetts (state record)

historyorb.com
2023 - Here's a list of places to go and things to do in and around Chester:
Chesterwood: Start your exploration with a visit to Chesterwood, the former summer estate of sculptor Daniel Chester French, who created the statue of Abraham Lincoln for the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. You can explore his studio, admire his sculptures, and enjoy the beautiful gardens and scenic views.

Blandford Ski Area: If you're visiting in the winter months, Blandford Ski Area is a great place for skiing and snowboarding. It's family-friendly and offers lessons for beginners.

Hiking: Chester and the surrounding area boast numerous hiking trails for all levels. The Chester-Blandford State Forest has several trails, including the easy Chestnut Trail and the more challenging Laurel Loop. Don't miss the Chesterfield Gorge Natural Area, where you can hike along the Westfield River and enjoy waterfalls.

Cycling: The Berkshires are a cyclist's paradise, and Chester offers excellent opportunities for biking. You can explore scenic country roads, and there are various... Read MORE...

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Ancestors Who Were Born or Died in Chester, Massachusetts, USA

We currently have information about 66 ancestors who were born or died in Chester.

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Ancestors Who Were Married in Chester, Massachusetts, USA

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Genealogy Resources for Chester

Massachusetts Newspapers

Our Chester Gift Ideas


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Updated: 2/9/2024 4:13:03 PM