Charming Chester

I had signed up to be on the list to receive emails from a lovely Bed & Breakfast in Vermont called the Inn Victoria and about a month ago I received an email from them that said they were looking for volunteers for a "Work Weekend" wherein they'd exchange lodging and board for a little elbow grease in getting the inn fixed up for the season.  It sounded like an excellent deal to me so I immediately fired off an email and was fortunate to be amongst the first to do so and secure a spot.

On Friday morning Jamie and I set off from Connecticut around 10:00 a.m. to make the roughly 160-mile drive north to Chester, a small town in southeast Vermont.  For a change the weather seemed downright spring-like and the traffic was light as we made our past Connecticut's Capitol city of Hartford and Springfield, Massachusetts into the less populated area of Massachusetts north of Holyoke.  I'd only driven to Vermont once before myself and that was in February 2009 when I took a few days to search out covered bridges in the Quiet Kingdom but the traffic was just as light as I remembered it back then and being behind the wheel was a real pleasure for a change.

I91 in Vermont

We stopped briefly in Guilford at the Vermont Welcome Center where Jamie posed for a few pictures as we stretched our legs walking around what I still think is one of the nicest rest areas I've ever been to. This is Jamie's very first trip to Vermont so she wanted some pictures to show her friends.

Jamie in the Ski Gondola

Jamie's First Trip to Vermont

Jamie2

Not too long after our stop at the rest area, we turned off onto Vermont State Highway 5 at Exit 6 and made our way slightly west towards Chester. Spotting a grist mill and - of course! - a covered bridge just off the road in Rockingham I simply had to pull over and take some pictures!

Jamie at the Grist Mill

Jamie and the Water Wheel

Vermont Pond

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Built in 1872, the bridge was originally known as Depot Bridge and was located in West Townsend, Vermont.  The bridge was condemned in the 1950's when the Townsend Dam was being built so the Army Corps of Engineers dismantled it in 1955 in order to make way for the flood plain and new dam.  As there was no place to move it to, the boards were all numbered and moved to the farm of Mr. Aubrey Stratton in West Townsend until Vrest Orton, who was then Chairman of the Vermont Historical Sites Commission, had it rebuilt in 1967 on property that he owned in Rockingham.  It was shortened a little bit and rechristened as the Victorian Village Bridge.  Today it's the Vermont Country Store Kissing Bridge and stands nearby the store of the same name that I promised Jamie we could stop at on our way home Sunday!

Continuing down Route 5 we arrived in Chester just a little after 1:00 p.m. and a more quintessential New England town I don't think you'll ever find! I almost felt as if I had stepped back in time a little bit - a time when neighbors all knew each other, a time when houses had some character, and a time when small businesses still flourished in a downtown area. Needless to say, I was enchanted!

Named after George Augustus Frederick, the Earl of Chester and the eldest son of King George III, Chester was originally established as Flamstead in 1754 by New Hampshire Governor Benning Wentworth. The terms of the charter were not met and the town was re-chartered in 1761 and named New Flamstead until 1766 when a third and final charter was granted and the town became Chester. Now not to get too ahead of myself, I took a little walk around town after dinner on Friday evening as I wanted to get some pictures of the town before the positively perfect weather turned into rain so that you could see how nice Chester is, too!

Chester Historical Society

The Chester Historical Society Museum and a local cemetery

Chester Public Tomb

Chester Public Tomb dated 1850

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A beautiful Victorian home

Chester Baptist Church

The First Baptist Church of Chester

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Whiting Public Library

Main Street Chester

"The Main Drag"

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Civil War Monument 

Civil War Monument

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Chester Historical Society Museum 

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Chester's Masonic Temple

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A shop that Lois would just love! 

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The Moon Dog Cafe with some very nice folks sitting out front! 

St Luke's Church

St. Luke's Episcopal Church 

The Fullerton Inn

The Fullerton Inn on the Chester Green

Chester Congregational Church

Chester Congregational Church 

Chesire Congregational Church Clock & Steeple

The clock in the steeple was donated in 1918 by Gilbert Asa Davis in memory of his father and mother, Asa and Mary (Hosmer) Davis.

Evening in Chester

The sun starts to set in the west 

The Inn Victoria

And - of course - our accomodations for the evening - the Inn Victoria with the moon as just a small white dot in the sky though it was quite pretty in person!

I'll be continuing my series on Chester and the Inn Victoria in coming posts so I hope you'll come back to see just how lovely the inn was and to see that it isn't just Chester that's charming! 



Comments

  1. Wow these photographs are great, the lighting is absolutely lovely.

    The county I am from is 'Cheshire' and Chester (UK) is a lovely place. So I am pleased to see that this Chester is lovely too!

    Just love the idea of volunteering for boarding, in what looks to be such a lovely house!

    Looking forward to the next chapter.

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  2. I've been to Chester in England. This one in the US is just as beautiful

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  3. This looks like the quintessential New England town. Oh, you're making me miss that part of the country.

    Tell Jammie I had my photo taken at the very same place. It's one of the best welcome centers/rest stops anywhere!

    What a great idea to offer lodging in exchange for some sweat equity. Love it!

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  4. These photos are really something! It's like a little snippet from another time - just like you stated earlier. The light at dusk is perfect for bathing the town in a warm light that I prefer to morning sun.
    Anxious for the next part!
    ~~~Blessings~~~

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  5. Beautiful photos, as always, and excellent commentary. Maybe we can visit in July...

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  6. I am in LOVE LOVE LOVE with this story, The Kissing Bridge... Wow I wondered to myself how many babies may have been conceived on a Vermont Covered Kissing Bridge. Linda Country Living Magazine needs to sign you on. I loved the Cemetery and the Town Tomb... Jamie is so lucky to have a mom that loves wandering around... I am proud of you girl :)

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