Local History: Crowley Cheese Factory

A farmer delivery his milk to Crowley's

As I get older, I often find myself reminiscing about the old days. One of my early memories is the Crowley Cheese Factory in Healdville. My father first took me there over 60 years ago. To a young boy, the … Continued

Local History by Ron Patch: Stonewall panthers

Scarface in Lee's hand. Something else bit Lee's thumb off. Photo provided

I have an abundance of stonewall panthers this summer, aka chipmunks. This is something new at my place. I’ve always had dozens of snakes. The snakes kept the panther population in check, but in recent years my snakes have disappeared, … Continued

Local History by Ron Patch: Allie Hawkes

Chester Boot Shop showing the intersection of Main, Depot and Grafton streets. Photo provided

Allie Hawkes was born in Chester in 1884, living ‘til 1970. Allie had been Chester town manager. Thankfully, he recorded some of his early Chester memories. In 1987 Martha Bessey made notes in the margins of Allie’s typewritten histories. Martha’s … Continued

Van Diemen’s Land

1843 Whig Standard on Van Dieman's Land. Photo provided

Frank Bidwell found this article in the Dec. 14, 1843 Whig Standard at the Library of Congress. The Whig Standard was a daily newspaper in Washington, D.C. I suggest you read the Whig newspaper article from Frank first, and then … Continued

Local History: The old man

Nelson's slate grave. Photo provided

Lee Kendall is Kim’s older brother by two years. Back about 1985 Lee wrote a few stories about growing up on the farm. Today, Kim owns the property. Lee mentions a cousin John on the Suwanee River. John is Kendall … Continued

Chester Historical Society flower gardens

Chester Historical Society garden with the urns and iron gate. Photo by Ron Patch

I became president of the Chester Historical Society in 2006. At that time, there was an overgrown and rotted picket fence separating the historical society lawn from the cemetery. Grapevines had become established and were aggressively growing on the fence. … Continued

The Wall

Class of 1969 at the wall. Hearse House on the right. Photo provided

Perhaps you’ve heard tell of the wall, or maybe you took part in the 1960s. Chester’s downtown used be very busy. Kids have always needed a place to hang out. The wall at Brookside Cemetery was Chester’s hangout. In the … Continued

E.H. Jenkins

Ed Jenkins delivery wagon. Photo provided by Dave Amidon

Last summer when Frank Bidwell, Danny Clemons, Peter Farrar, and I were working at the historical society, Tom Hildreth stopped by. Dave Amidon from Connecticut, an acquaintance of Tom’s, had contacted Tom about his “Abbott” family members who had served … Continued

Historic fire

Chandler-Healy place. Engraving from the 1883 Child's Gazetteer. Photo provided

The article here was found in the March 13, 1975 Springfield Reporter. I don’t remember the fire, but Ted Spaulding does. Peter Farrar told me there was a picture of the house and some history in Child’s 1883 Gazetteer. I … Continued

School days

Dooley Merrick, Bud Nadeau, Ron Patch and Steve Bowler

I paid Ted Spaulding a visit this past Saturday, May 29. It’s not uncommon for one of us to mention a person or event from the past that gets the other to thinking. I’ll say to Ted, “Do you remember … Continued

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