Aerial view of fall colors in Chester, Vermont

Chester, Vermont

Chester is a big town situated in the southern portion of Windsor County in the US State of Vermont. The Williams River flows through the town and serves as a retreat for fishermen, kids, and everyone else, aiming for a cool-off during hot summer days. The town is situated on the hills of the Green Mountains that offer fun summer and winter activities. Amazingly picturesque, Chester is popular with tourists, especially in the summer, with its Stone Village Historic District and Chester Village Historic District.

Geography And Climate Of Chester

Aerial view of fall colors in Chester, Vermont
Aerial view of fall colors in Chester, Vermont. 

Chester covers a total area of 144.9 sq. km, of which only 0.7 sq. km is covered by water, and 144.2 sq. km is covered by land. The town is surrounded by Baltimore from the north, Springfield from the east, Grafton from the south, and Weston from the west, with just minutes away from Okemo Mountain and Mount Snow and just 45 minutes away from Manchester.

The climate in Chester is humid continental, with warm wet summers, and freezing snowy winters, with cloudy skies around the year. The temperature usually varies between -12 °C and 26 °C and is hardly below -21 °C or above 30 °C. For tourists, the best time to visit Chester for warm-weather recreation is between June and September.

Brief History Of Chester

The train station depot in Chester Depot, Chester, Vermont
The train station depot in Chester Depot, Chester, Vermont. Editorial credit: Bob LoCicero /

In 1754, the town was initially incorporated as Flamstead by New Hampshire Governor Benning Wentworth. The standards of the charter were not achieved, and the town was re-chartered as New Flamstead in 1761. Later on, in 1766, a license was issued by New York renaming the town Chester after George Augustus Frederick- the Earl of Chester and the oldest son of King George III. Subsequently, the governing authority of Chester returned to the 1761 charter by an act of the Vermont legislature, despite keeping the name "Chester" in place.

The Population And Economy Of Chester 

Christmas decorations adorn an inn in Chester, Vermont
Christmas decorations adorn an inn in Chester, Vermont. Editorial credit: James Kirkikis /

As per the latest US Census, Chester has a population of 3,005 residents.  90.32% of these residents were born in the United States, with 51.22% having been born in Vermont. The town doesn't have any immigrants, and all of the residents are US citizens. Chester's economy relies on manufacturing and retail trade as a solid sector in its structure, followed by construction and healthcare services. From a different second perspective, the annual average income of a Chester resident is $33,293, undergoing a 6.0% sales tax and a 6.8% income tax.

Top Attractions In Chester

Stone Village Historic District

The Stone House bed and breakfast in the Stone Village in North Chester, Vermont
The Stone House bed and breakfast in the Stone Village in North Chester, Vermont. Editorial credit: Bob LoCicero /

The Stone Village Historic District hosts a special collection of stone buildings dating back to the 19th century. The district is studded with a remarkable collection of buildings built in a distinctive snecked ashlar technique carried to the area by Scottish masons. The district was ranked on the National Register of Historic Places in 1974. Due to the infrequency of this style of construction in the United States, the district crowds many visitors who are keen to explore the buildings, including houses, a school, a church, and some commercial constructions.

Okemo State Forest

Okemo State Forest stretches over 7,466 acres in Andover, Mount Holly and Weston, and Vermont in Windsor and Rutland Counties. Okemo Mountain Resort is situated in the forest that is operated by the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks, and Recreation. The forest hosts activities that include hiking, biking, skiing, and hunting. Parts of the forest allow primitive camping. Moreover, Okemo State Forest hosts the 798-acre Terrible Mountain Natural Area.

Located close to the Green Mountains, Chester served as the main hub of trade activity in Southern Vermont in the 19th century. Fortunately, many of the historical constructions, including the Yosemite Firehouse and the Chester Depot train station, survive. Charming Victorian homes, decorated with domes and iconic stone homes, are well-preserved with care and are all around the town’s streets. While many things have developed in the town, other spines of local culture stay, like maple sugaring season, which remarks the welcome of spring in a tasty way.

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