Memories of Chester, Chester House Fire

Chester House Fire

Chester Road Hotel (front)


In the video above, Herman Rademacher tells the story of a fire he helped fight at the Chester House located at the corner of North Road and Main Street (previously the Immediate Care Center, now an office building). The Chester House was not just a tavern, but also an inn. Herman tells us that in the 1960s, there was a fire at the Chester House. As a firefighter, he responded to the call for help and mistakenly identified a child-sized doll as a living child. The tavern was destroyed by the fire and eventually torn down before being rebuilt.

The postcard shown below the video dates from 1908, which is prior to the construction of an addition of a bar in front of the building. Herman notes that the town changed the road to accommodate the addition. The photograph is taken from Main Street, behind the flag pole known as the Liberty Pole. Behind the pole is the Chester House, somewhat obscured by leafy trees. It is a three-story building with a front porch, multiple chimneys, and many windows. The siding of the house is painted in a light color, however the image is black and white, so the exact color cannot be known from the postcard. There is a wide dirt road approaching the Chester house and heading past it to the right of the image.

Video transcription available here: Chester House Fire Video Transcription.


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Exhibit Publication Date: Published in 2015. ©Copyright Chester Public Library