Chester

Discover Chester, Nova Scotia: A Blend of History and Culture

Chester, a charming village nestled on the Chester Peninsula, Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia, Canada, is a destination that offers a rich blend of history, culture, and recreational activities.

The Historical Journey of Chester, Nova Scotia

The history of Chester, Nova Scotia, dates back to the early 1600s when the French first settled in Acadia. However, it was not until the 1700s that the British expanded into the area, leading to the establishment of small Acadian settlements on the South Shore.

In 1761, New England Planters, led by founders Timothy Houghton and Rev. John Seccombe, were granted lands in the Chester area, then known as Shoreham. The area was a hotbed of activity during the American Revolution, with Nova Scotia regularly invaded by American Revolutionary forces and privateers, including the infamous 1782 Raid on Chester.

Chester, Nova Scotia, thrived as an important site for coastal commerce during the 1800s, with key economic activities including lumbering, shipbuilding, shipping, and fishing. The village also played a significant role during the War of 1812 when the American privateer Young Teazer was trapped off the shores of Chester.

In 1922, a statue was erected in memory of 54 soldiers from the area who were killed in World War I, cast by Scottish sculptor J. Massey Rhind. The Women's Institute of Nova Scotia established the Zoé Vallé Memorial Library after the war. In 2002, a proposal to incorporate Chester as a town was defeated following a plebiscite in February 2003.

The Cultural Landscape of Chester, Nova Scotia

Chester, Nova Scotia, is a hub of cultural activities. The Chester Playhouse, a charitable organization for the promotion of performing arts, is a key cultural landmark. The building, originally a cinema built in 1939, was converted in 1963 and purchased by Christopher Ondaatje in 1987, who donated it to the Theatre Council.

The Chester and Area Family Resource Centre provides support to new parents. Chester has also served as a filming site for the TV series Haven and parts of The Curse of Oak Island.

The Chester Brass Band, founded in 1873 and incorporated in 1906, is a British-style brass ensemble based in Chester, Nova Scotia. The band, a non-profit volunteer organization, has performed around Nova Scotia and across the world.

Attractions and Recreational Activities in Chester, Nova Scotia

Chester, Nova Scotia, offers a plethora of attractions and recreational activities. The village is surrounded by a number of public boat launch sites around Mahone Bay, making it a perfect spot for kayaking and sailing. The Chester Yacht Club hosts Chester Race Week, a popular event where keelboats from all over the eastern coast of North America compete during the second week of August.

For walkers and cyclists, the Chester Connector, a municipal-operated section of the previous rail line, offers a scenic route. The last weekend of July is marked by the annual Chester Garden Show, the House and Garden Tour, and harbour tours.

The Chester Municipal Heritage Society operates the Lordly House Museum and children's playground. They host an annual Antique Auction in early July, and an Annual House and Boat Tour after Race week, a Christmas Craft Fair, and an Oak Island Display and Visitors Information office at the Train Station circa 1905.

Chester Golf Club on the eastern side of the front harbour offers 18 holes and stunning views of the harbour. "The Park" The Church Memorial Park is home to the Chester Tennis Club, Eleanor Pew Memorial Rink, and Chester Curling Club, home club of curler Mary Fay, the 2015 Canada Games Silver Medal winner.

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