Archives: This week in Chester History
We are living through an unprecedented moment in our lifetime. Documenting the impact of this crisis on regular people, as it unfolds, is an important responsibility. This unique time is worth preserving to help us be better prepared for future emergencies and to help future generations understand what it is like for us being quarantined in 2020.
The Chester Library is collecting the thoughts,
In 1961, the Chester Lancers (a relatively new club in town, at that time) displayed their first 4-H window in the Chester Post Office. “Riding Can Be an Art” featured horse bits and art works created by members of the horse club. Source: Observer-Tribune
In 1960, the Board of Education cut $33,224 from its budget, as directed by the Borough and Township Councils, after the budget was defeated twice at the polls. Larger cuts came in the form of heating units for classrooms, transportation, teacher salaries, and field trip funds. Source: Observer-Tribune
The Chester Civil Defense met in 1961. The Observer-Tribune noted that the CD viewed the film “Emergency Hospital Disaster Plan.” John Morgan, the municipal director stressed planning for all types of emergencies.
In 1960, the Observer-Tribune announced that the worst snow storm had hit the area in years, dropping 22 inches of snow. Adding insult to injury, the temperatures dropped into the 10 degrees zone. Schools and businesses closed, and some area students were stuck at Morristown High School for seven hours, awaiting a bus. There were several car accidents,
1961 was a banner year for car wrecks in Chester. A 12-car pile up occurred at the top of Lu Shann Hill on Route 206. A snowstorm was blamed for the initial head on collision. Other cars slammed into the first two, and in an effort to avoid the growing wreck, one driver hit a guard rail. First Aid Squad member Stephen Estason of Main Street was hit on the side of his car on the way to answer the call to duty.
In 1961, Chester Township released a proposed Master Plan which was mailed to every resident. The 30-page plan mentioned the possibility of merging the Borough and Township, and limiting commercial zoning to the Borough. The combined population at that time was 2,862, and was predicted to rise to 5320 by 1975. Source: Observer-Tribune
George Smith shot at his friend Roland Thompson with a .35 caliber rifle, in 1961. According to the Observer-Tribune, Smith and Thompson were driving on Fox Chase Road when the car became stuck in a snowbank near Old Chester Road. Smith threatened to kill Thompson if he failed to extricate the vehicle. Thompson knocked the weapon down as two shots “exploded from the weapon,”
In 1960, according to the Observer-Tribune, Vincent DeLucas, of the Windy Acres Trailer Park collapsed while voting in the school election. The First Aid Squad administered oxygen, but DeLucas did not survive his heart attack. Despite being incomplete (he had selected the candidates, but had not yet weighed in on the budget), his ballot was counted with all the others.
In 1960, Chester Township Council formed a Board of Health. There would be five appointments, who would elect their own president. Among other Council meeting items, Mayor William Conover presented the Chester Library budget. The librarian’s salary was $900. Source: Observer-Tribune