Chester Reservoir

The 2019 Chester Rod & Gun Club Fishing Derby. That year, there were 60 kids registered. Photo provided

I usually write my weekly column Saturday mornings. When I lay my head on my pillow Friday night, I usually know what I’ll write about the next morning. Not so this week. Saturday morning, May 1, was a sunny but … Continued

Incident in the barn

Lee, left, and his brother Pete driving their homemade buggy 1948

  Lee Decatur and I are good friends. We often go fishing or pal around together. Lee is 10 years older than me. His childhood memories are a hoot. This is a story Lee recently told me. I asked him … Continued

A “Profile” in history

Elizabeth Prescott silhouette. Photo provided

For 50 years I’ve bought, sold, and collected a category of early paper artifacts known as ephemera. This includes old letters and documents. A number of years ago, I bought a large lot of old documents and letters. The family … Continued

Local History by Ron Patch: How to

Illustration from Needham's book

One of my favorite books is “A Book of Country Things.” Walter Needham told his stories to Barrows Mussey who recorded them in book form. Needham was born in 1896 in Vernon, Vt. His Gramp was born in a log … Continued

Local History by Ron Patch: Mr. Majestic

Two bald eagles feeding on a carcass. Photo by Scott Kendall

Kim Kendall is a classmate and friend of mine. This past January I paid him a visit. When I walked in, Kim said, “The eagles are out there today.” I got up to look. Sure enough there was a bald … Continued

Do you remember?


  The icebox When I was young, old-timers called a refrigerator an icebox. In their day they had wooden iceboxes. When the electric refrigerator came along, old-timers continued to call them iceboxes. The refrigerator that I grew up with was … Continued

The party line

Alice Bliss in her kitchen on High Street

Growing up on High Street in the 1950s and ’60s we had a party line. Party lines were the opposite of a private line. In our neighborhood, as I remember now, there were three households on our party line. Ted … Continued

Firemen’s parades

School Street steam-pumper, circa 1907, in front of what is now Sarah Vail's office in Chester

A short chapter in our upcoming book, “History of Chester’s Fire Departments,” will cover firemen’s parades in Chester in the early 1900s. We have a few photos of both Yosemite firemen and the School Street firemen participating in these parades. … Continued

Gravity feed

The Patch Place on High Street circa the 1950s

What prompts me to write about gravity feed water was this sentence in my article last week, “Running into the shed she sat down in the tub, which was used to catch the running water…” I realize some might not … Continued

Town Meetin’

History of Chester's Fire Departments book cover.

Here are select minutes from 1870s Chester Town Meetings. For our upcoming book, “History of Chester’s Fire Departments” we will include these and other relevant minutes. This article existed in one form or another for several years. I think readers … Continued

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