Memories of Chester, West Main Street and Morris Chamberlain

West Main Street and Morris Chamberlain

West Main Street


In the video above, Herman Rademacher talks about West Main Street and Morris Chamberlain. He explains that the predominant building in the foreground served as the Masonic Lodge, and William Savage’s barber and candy shop. A small section of Skellenger’s store can be seen to the left of the building. Further down Main Street was Morris Chamberlain’s garage and gas station. A gasoline pump where the automobile is parked required hand pumping to bring the gas up from the underground tank.

Herman tells us that Morris was a machinist and an early car dealer for Ford Motors. Ford used to send the dealers the Model Ts in a box (for about $600). Morris and Henry Ford had an argument, and Morris stopped selling the cars. When Morris died in 1952, two Model T Ford cars, still in their boxes, were found in the garage.

Herman also mentions how he and his father would ask Morris the machinist for specially sized pipes for plumbing, and he would know exactly where to find it in his shop.

The postcard, copyrighted in 1915 by local printer George E. Conover, shows leafy trees lining the right side of the dirt road. On the left side of the image are businesses, a gas station, and a garage.  There is an early Model T parked in front of the striped gas pump tower.  A man stands in the doorway of the second building on the right (the Masonic Lodge). The Lodge is a two-and-a-half story building with a painted shield hung between two windows on the second floor. The garage is a single-story building with a flat facade.

Video transcription available here: West Main Street and Morris Chamberlain Video Transcript.


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