James M. Clark built the house at 26 Liberty Street in Chester within a few years of acquiring the land from Richard Ely in 1851. In the late 1850s, Clark ran a nearby cork screw and gimlet factory. In 1882 he left the house to the Congregational Society of Chester, whose trustees sold it in 1894.
The house at 30 Liberty Street in Chester was erected soon after Rev. William Case acquired the property in 1826. Rev. Case both lived in and ran a private school in the house. As described in Amos Sheffield Chesebrough and Alexander Hall’s Historical Sketch of the Congregational Church of Chester, Conn. (1892):
The seventh settled pastor was Rev. William Case. He was the son of William R. and Huldah (Loomis) Case, and was born in what was then called the parish of Wintonbury (now the town of Bloomfield), Connecticut, April 25, 1794. He graduated at Yale College in 1821, and after passing through a course of theological study at Andover Seminary, he was settled in the pastorate here by an ordaining council September 1, 1824. He ministered to this people some ten and a half years, or until March 24, 1835, when, at his own request, he received dismission.
Mr. Case was regarded as rather rigid in his theology, but he was earnest and efficient in church work. Two revivals of much power were enjoyed under his labors—one in 1827, and another in 1830 — which brought some sixty members into the Church. The whole number received into fellowship by him was ninety, and the net number of communicants increased from 97 to 127. He taught a select school during a large part of his ministry. After leaving Chester, he preached one year in New Hartford; two and a half years in Middle Haddam (now Cobalt): one year in North Madison; and for shorter periods in other places. He was the editor of The Watchman, a religious weekly in Hartford, for six years, and a teacher in select schools in Higganum and Killingworth. In this latter place he spent eight or nine years, until, on becoming mentally deranged, he was taken to the Retreat for the Insane in Hartford, where he died, April 27, 1858, aged 64 years.
Soon after his settlement in Chester he was married to Chloe Stoughton of Bloomfield, who bore him three daughters and two sons. She died in 1840. His deep grief over her death was supposed to be the incipient cause of that mild form of insanity which afflicted the latter part of his life.
When he left Chester, Rev. Case’s house was acquired by the Congregational Church and was used as its parsonage until 1853. C. J. Bates, who bought the house around 1900, Victorianized it, but it has since been restored to its original style.
In 1837 Richard N. Watrous purchased land in Chester where by 1840 he had built the house that stands at 80 West Main Street. In 1842 the property was acquired by Luther Morse who established a livery business. In 1837 he married Abigail Watrous. The livery was continued into the twentieth century by their son Martin and his daughter Stella Morse Crook.
The Congregational Church in Chester had two meeting two meeting houses (the second of which, built in 1793, became the old Town Hall, now called the Chester Meeting House) before constructing a new church on West Main Street in 1846. The Baptist Church constructed their own church next door in 1870. The two churches merged in 1941 to create the United Church of Chester. The Congregational Church was moved and attached to the rear of the Baptist Church building (29 West Main Street) in 1948-1949 to serve the united congregation.
The Greek Revival house at 43 Liberty Street in Chester was built c. 1820-1830 for Charles Daniels (1799-1838). Ithiel Town has traditionally been attributed as the architect, but this has not been historically verified. It is however architecturally similar to other works by Town. The house was originally erected near Daniels’ gimlet factory, built about 1825 on Deep Hollow Brook. After his death the house passed to his widow (his second wife, Abby L. Gilbert, who died in 1905) and her second husband, Clark N. Smith, who died in 1911. The building was acquired by a neighboring factory, M. S. Brooks & Sons, which eventually started using it as a warehouse. New owners acquired the house in 1977 and in June 1978 it was moved 300 feet to the west, away from the factory. The house was then carefully restored as a residence. Read the rest of this entry »
The Chester Savings Bank was formed in 1871. The bank constructed its building at 6 Main Street in Chester in 1902. It was the only bank in town until the Chester Trust Company was established as a commercial bank in 1914. For many years the two banks shared the same building and the same staff (they eventually merged in 1977). The Savings Bank later moved out and the building has since been used for commercial purposes, most recently as a vegan restaurant that opened in 2012 (and restored a clock to the face of the building) and closed in 2014. Read the rest of this entry »