Going to town

1891 New year's Eve Yo-Semite dance card

Here in the country, dances were our entertainment from the mid-1800s well into the 1900s. In those days most every fraternal organization held dances. Fire departments, Masons, Odd Fellows, and others held dances. Many rural families played music together. Mom … Continued

Yo-Semite history

The earliest known Yo-Semite badge in existence, circa 1870s

Here is a 1956 article written by Ed Kendall for the Springfield Reporter. It will be included in our “History of Chester’s Fire Departments.” “Old Yosemite pumper fought many a fire. In Pember Hazen’s barn at Chester Depot in some forgotten … Continued

Rod & Gun Club history

The 1950 Chester Rod & Gun Club pin

Here are minutes from a 1954 to 1965 Chester Rod & Gun secretary’s book in my collection. These were different times. Dues were $1 per year. Game suppers were $1.50 adults and $0.75 for kids. Land could be bought for … Continued

Vermont humor

May 1924 Carpenter's Store News.

Below is a front page article from the May 1924 Carpenter’s Store News. “Carp,” as he was known, wrote stories under a number of pseudonyms: B.V.D., Jack, Diogenes, Heinie, and others. Carp’s hyperbolic sense of humor was enhanced with his … Continued

Eugene R. Wiggins fire

Ed Spaulding at Cobleigh Field with Yo-Semite hand-pumper. Wiggins barn can be seen on the right circa 1923. Photo provided by Ted Spaulding

A couple weeks ago, I wrote about the 1888 fire that destroyed the Central Hotel and Chester Drug Store. In the accompanying photo I drew your attention to Orrick Ball’s livery stable. I pointed out its classic New England rooflines. … Continued

Perils of the plowman


Well, we finally had a good storm. How did you handle it? Below is how friends and I dealt with it.   My place Route 11, where I live, was snow covered with very few venturing out. Mainly all I … Continued

A historic photo

Central Hotel, Livery Stable, and Chester Drug Store.

The photo with this article was a gift of Ted Spaulding to Chester Historical Society. This photo answers questions I have had for years. It dates to the mid-1880s. The photographer was standing on Main Street looking toward the current … Continued

Let’s go fishing

The boys going fishing circa 1915

The photo with this article is in the 2021 Chester Historical Society calendar. It would date to about 1915. Tom Hildreth who scanned the photo and performed his magic in Photoshop commented, “It’s very Norman Rockwell-like.” Two young boys sit … Continued

Junior High School

The Academy Building with gravestones below.

The Academy Building was built in 1881 as the Central High School. When the new high school was built on Depot Hill, circa 1911, the Central became a graded school. When Chester Elementary was built, the Central became Chester Junior … Continued

Hold your horses

William Ryland Spaulding on North Street in Chester. Photo provided by Chester Historical Society

The photo with this article is the cover of the 2021 Chester Historical Society calendar. William Ryland “W.R.” Spaulding sits in his buggy one sunny morning on North Street. W.R., as I refer to him, was Ted Spaulding’s grandfather. W.R. … Continued

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