A group of New England settlers in 1761 are credited with the founding of the village of Chester, a beautiful coastal community overlooking two picturesque natural harbours. Even by 18th century standards Chester was not considered distant from Halifax and it thrived as a supplier of lumber and farm products to the metro area. By the middle of the 19th century tourism also became a cornerstone of the Chester economy.
As the only road connection between Halifax and the Annapolis Valley, Chester literally stood at the crossroads. Travelers arrived by train and by boat and could stay to enjoy Chester or continue on to the Valley by stagecoach. During this time and into the 20th century many Americans also built summer and second homes and greatly enhanced the economic base. Even today Chester is considered one of the wealthiest communities in the province (per capita) and although the grand old hotels are gone Chester is still a very popular vacation destination, swelling the base population of approximately 1500.
In January of 2008 the Municipality of the District of Chester began work to develop an Integrated Community Sustainability Plan to act as the basis and guide for the area’s sustained growth and development based upon environmental, social, cultural and economic criteria. Along with neighbouring Bridgewater and Lunenburg it is among the first provincial municipalities to institute such a plan.
(Photos courtesy of Heather Holm, Nova Scotia Photo Album)