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Chester

Vermont Hardwoods is set in the beautiful town of Chester, Vermont. This page gives some information on our lovely town.

Quick Facts

Established 1766
Population 3,044 (2000 census)
Density 54.5 / sq. mi.
Area 55.9 square miles
Elevation 823 feet
Historic Sites Stone Village Historic District
Jeffrey House
Chester Village Historic District
Greenwood House

History

The town was chartered twice before it was finally successfully chartered as Chester in 1766. This came after King George III defined the western boundary of New Hampshire as the west shore of the Connecticut River, which is the boundary between Vermont and New Hampshire today. Chester was issued a charter by the Royal Governor of New York and named for King George III's oldest son, George Augustus Frederick, who was currently Earl of Chester, England.

Early in the town history, Chester became famous for the intersection of two important routes that stage coach lines used: one from Boston to Montreal which followed the Green Mountain Turnpike onto what is currently North Street, the other from Hanover, New Hampshire, to Albany and Saratoga Springs, New York, which ran along what is now Main Street.

The Rutland Railroad, built to run between Rutland and Burlington, was running by 1850 and brought many sales representatives through Chester. The increased traffic led to new hotels, and livery stables did business to transport people to the surrounding areas. Soon freight was not only being shipped into Chester, but shipped out of Chester.

Since Vermont was the first state to make slavery illegal, it was safer than most and therefore along some of the routes of the Underground Railroad. A number of Chester residents took part in this abolitionist movement and hid fleeing slaves. Some of the buildings used included the train depot and houses nearby.

For more details, see Chester's Historical Information.

Trivia

  • There are 26 Chesters in the United States
  • Moonlight and Mistletoe, a movie starring Candace Cameron Bure (of Full House) was filmed in Chester in 2008

Essence of Chester

Today, Chester is a charming small town and a destination for many vacationers. Cooler summers, brilliant fall foliage, and the sparkling coziness of snowy winters draw people from the nearby states of Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New York; many even come from further away in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Unsurprisingly, Chester has over 15 inns and bed and breakfasts.

In addition to the inns and bed and breakfasts, Chester is home to many restaurants and shops, a grocery store, a couple of gas stations, two schools, a post office, a number of services, and a few manufacturing companies. With a small population of just over 3000, residents form a tight-knit community.

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