Vermont justice

The Lovely place today on Ted's property.

It’s probably 20 years since Hessie told me a story about Ernie Duprey. When I was a kid, Ernie lived where the brick bank is today on Main Street in Chester. I remember walking by his house. He always had … Continued

Hardscrabble living

Hannah Driffell in front of her mining hut in Colorado.

In the past I’ve written some about antique photography. The subject of this article is the “Stereo-view.” A “stereo,” as we call them in the trade, is two identical photos side by side and mounted on a stiff cardboard mount. … Continued

The inventor

Robert and Lewis Wilkinson

As we’ve sorted and archived Ted Spaulding’s collection of Chester artifacts, we’ve made some interesting discoveries. Below is an example.   Franklin Wilkinson Franklin Wilkinson was a close friend of Ted’s grandfather, William Ryland “W.R.” Spaulding. W.R. invested with Franklin’s … Continued

The barbershop

A current photo of Jake's barbershop.

In the 1960s, Chester had two barbers. Jake Howe Jake Howe lived in the house next to the People’s United Bank. In the front of his house is where Jake cut hair. Jake had a barber pole out front on … Continued

The intersection

Boot Company

Here I give the history of the old Jiffy Mart location in Chester. In the 1869 Beers Atlas of Windsor County, I see a “Boot Shop” at this location. This would be Chester Boot Company. At the historical society, we … Continued

Snow fleas

Sap buckets at Ashton Spaulding sugar lot in Weathersfield. Photo provided by Ted Spaulding photo

When I was young, in the 1950s and early 1960s, our winters were much more severe than those we have today. Bitter cold could last a week or more. This could be 30 below or colder. Many days the high … Continued

Please be seated

Jim Bolton, the Outhouse man, at Chester Town Farm

In the old days, everyone had a privy. Whether you lived in the city or country, a privy of some sort is what you had. A privy was also called an outhouse or backhouse. While they come in many forms, … Continued

The blacksmith


The blacksmith was an important tradesman in the old days. There were blacksmiths who were farriers. Others made iron strap hinges, rims for wagon wheels, or tools. All could make or repair most anything. The iron they used in those … Continued

Working a team

The largest ox in the world in Bellows Falls in 1908.

In the old days, heavy work was done by horses or oxen. Oxen were slow but powerful animals. The Chester Historical Society has many photos of oxen at work. Some of these photos are drawing massive loads of talc or … Continued

Irina Ohl

The Irina Ohl label from the Chester Historical Society

For several years, I have been interviewed by Green Mountain High School seniors regarding John Butler. Most years I meet with two or three seniors. Bob Ulbrich encouraged John to leave his money to Chester Academy Scholarship. This was a … Continued

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