Posts Tagged ‘Chester History’

Around Chester, 2017

June 28, 2017 2 comments

A few photos for those who haven’t been to town for a while. I started in Pine Hill Cemetery… Later while taking photos downtown, I instinctively smiled and waved at folks driving by. Most gave me a blank stare. It finally occurred to me that I now know a lot of people in the cemetery but very few living in town! Time waits for no one… (I didn’t have a lot of time so these are just a few of the familiar haunts.)

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Cortland Grinding Wheels

December 9, 2015 Leave a comment

Thanks to Carol Chaney for sharing these photos of Cortland Grinding Wheel employees, thought to be taken in the 1940’s or 1950’s. Can you help identify these folks? You can add a comment to this post, the Chester High Facebook Page, or Carol’s Facebook page. One advantage of having the photos on this site is it won’t be hard to find them again! Clicking on the photo should bring up a larger version. Thanks, Carol!

For identification purposes, we'll call this Cortland Photo 1

For identification purposes, we’ll call this Cortland Photo 1

Bottom Row (L to R):

Second Row: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 Bill Kovisto, 11, 12

Third Row:

Fourth Row:


And this is Cortland Photo 2

Bottom Row: (L to R) 1, 2, 3 Earl Cooley, 4, 5, 6, 7 Bill Morrisey, 8, 9.

Second Row:

Third Row:

Fourth Row:

Chester then…

October 22, 2015 Leave a comment

Experimenting with embedding Facebook posts… thought folks would enjoy this photo:

Categories: Around town Tags: ,

CHS Reunion 2015

May 13, 2015 1 comment

Chester – Chester High School Alumni will be coming home to Chester this year for their annual reunion and meeting on Saturday, June 27, 2015. The meeting draws a large group of people associated with the former Chester High School, including Chester Residents who graduated from Gateway after Chester High School closed in the late 1960’s. This year’s festivities begin with a social hour at 2:00 PM at the Chester Railroad Depot and continue informally throughout the entire weekend as “Blue Devils” and “Quarriers” wander around town visiting old friends and relatives. The Association’s annual business meeting will be held at 4:30 PM.

Chester High has traditions dating back well over one hundred years, but the Association has no members from that long ago! Among the many mysteries every year are questions like, “Who will be the oldest member?” and “Who will come from the farthest away?” In the midst of all the reminiscing, prizes are awarded for the first local and first out of state reservation. There is never a lack of laughter, perhaps because the threat of detention is long gone even though former teachers frequently attend. Five year classes will be honored, especially the fifty year class of 1965 and twenty-five year class of 1990.

Association President Walter Boomsma noted that the reunion will be held in Chester for the eighth straight year. “People love meeting in Chester for a lot of reasons, including the relaxed atmosphere. Some can’t resist sitting on the church corner for a while. Small town America is alive and well, at least in Chester.”

Association Leadership is excited that the event provides a bit of an economic benefit for Chester. “We’re thrilled to continue to bring dollars into Chester as local businesses and organizations will make the town open and welcome to those who attend.” Boomsma reports that the Association also enjoys the support of organizations like the Chester Foundation and Chester Historical Society. “The Historical Society has agreed to remain open the day of the reunion from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Alumni visiting the old jail will be amazed at the amount of Chester High and Grammar School memorabilia on hand.”

Reunion invitations are mailed to Association Members in May. Boomsma also notes that the reunion is not limited to graduates of Chester High. “Anyone with a connection to Chester is certainly welcomed to join us for socializing and reminiscing. This is really a town event.” Anyone who does not receive an invitation may simply send a check (tickets are $15 per person, payable to Chester High School Alumni Association) to Annette LaMountain, Association Secretary at PO Box 206, Chester MA 01011.

Additional officers of the Association include Robert Goewey, Vice President and George A. Morey Treasurer. Board Members include Judith Olson of Hatfield, Brenda Budreau of Huntington, Jackie Conklin, Edith Whitaker and Mary Burkholder of Westfield and Tino Cardarelli, Diane DeMoss, and Janice Brown, all of Chester. Any one of these people may be contacted for information or to volunteer some help. The Association maintains a blog at and a Facebook page where alumni can gather information and post comments.

The Alumni Association also manages a significant scholarship fund and Gateway Seniors are encouraged to contact their guidance counselors for additional information. Scholarship Custodians include Duane C. Pease and Paul Petersante of Chester and Mary Gleason of Bernardston.

Here’s a little challenge…

BB Team

This photo belongs to Carol (Wilander) Chaney… she believes it was taken by her father, Ed Wilander, but there is no information on it suggesting a date or who the players are… she posted it on her Facebook page and has received several suggestions ranging from Tino Cardarelli to Archie (Wesley) Farnham (second from right, standing). Does anyone have any guesses? (The guy in the bowler looks a little scary!)

You can leave your thoughts as a comment or send an email…

Batter up!

Class of ’65 Starts Organizing…

December 2, 2014 Leave a comment

Well, maybe “reorganizing” would be more accurate! We first got together for our twenty-fifth, thanks in a large measure to the detective work of Annette. In a “pre-Internet” world she managed to track down nearly every member of our class–and then some!

We’ve done a pretty good job of keeping in touch over the years… but it’s time to reorganize in anticipation of our fiftieth anniversary reunion on June 27, 2015. As a first step, postcards are being mailed to all blue devils of record to make sure we have current contact information for all associated with our class. (We have a few “honorary” members as well.)

Look for occasional progress reports here… including on the Class of 65 Page. We’ll also challenge the twenty-five class (graduated 1990) to get organized as well… and we’d love to see some of the folks we were in school with… let’s make it a 60’s reunion! Where are the classes from 1961 through 1969?

Chester Calendar… a year full of memories

This year's calendar is dedicated to Dominic Piergiovanni, a "Gem of our Valley."

This year’s calendar is dedicated to Dominic Piergiovanni, a “Gem of our Valley.”

How would you like to be reminded of your Chester days at least once a month for a year! The cover photo offers a view of the Chester Granite and Polishing Works which once entirely covered what is now the ball lot. Sprinkled throughout the calendar are photos of both familiar and unfamiliar (because they have changed so much) places around Chester, anniversary classes of Chester High (1945, 1965 and 1990) and a number of photos of Veterans and community pillars. There are also news clippings reproduced that will amuse and amaze.

History and trivia buffs will perhaps especially enjoy the calendar itself because it includes a number important dates things happened in Chester. I’d been wondering exactly when the “new” Fire Station was built and my calendar informs me it was 1956.

One of the news clips posted for December includes some information about the Chester Bowling Alleys. “…bowling cost 55 cents a string, pinsetters were paid 18 cents a string. Rachel Meyer remembers going out on dates to the bowling alley…” Well, I remember setting pins for the women’s league! No, we did not receive hazardous duty pay but we did frequently have to jump out of the pit!

The calendar can be purchased for $12 at the Chester Village Market and Chester Electric Light Office or by contacting a Historical Society Member if you’re in the area.  Those wishing to purchase by mail, please add $2 for postage and send a check for $14 to the Chester Historical Society, 15 Middlefield Road, Chester, MA 01011.