Learn more about Chester

Chester, Connecticut – A unique gem in the Connecticut River Valley

The town of Chester, Connecticut, has a population of about 4,300 people, most of whom are year-round residents thanks to the community’s location away from the ocean. At the same time, the beaches of the Connecticut Shoreline are just 20 minutes away, and there are multiple local marinas on the Connecticut River.

Those who buy a home in Chester, CT, love its position because it’s minutes from neighboring communities like Deep River, Killingworth, and Haddam, while sitting only half an hour from Hartford, 130 miles from Boston, and 110 miles from New York. Residents can also take the historic Chester-Hadlyme Ferry across the river to reach Lyme and East Haddam in less than five minutes.

Neighborhoods in Chester, CT

While Chester, Connecticut is relatively small, and a large section is unpopulated because it sits in the Cockaponset State Forest, there are a few different neighborhoods in town that are worth considering.

Chester Center is the downtown area, and most of the town’s residents live there. In fact, this neighborhood runs right into Deep River Center, so the two communities are almost indistinguishable from each other. The area where Water Street and Main Street merge has many of Chester’s dining options and shops, and you’ll also find schools, parks, a library, the Terris Theatre, and some art galleries nearby. All of the streets surrounding the commercial center have houses, many of which are historic, making this a highly desirable neighborhood in which to live.

The northeast section of town is called Cherry Hill. This area features a few restaurants and other businesses and is also home to Chester Town Hall, some marinas, and the ferry. The streets here are lined with houses, as well, some of which back onto the Connecticut River.

The Cedar Lake neighborhood surrounds the lake of the same name and also encompasses the Chester Airport. This part of town is mostly residential, although there is a church and some farmland nearby, as well.

The other sections of town are sparsely populated and mostly forestland.

Chester, Connecticut’s history

The first English settlement appeared in present-day Chester in 1692 when Jonah Dibble built a home there. Four years later, Andrew Warner moved to the area, and many more settlers followed him in the years to come. Prior to that time, it was occupied by the Wangunks tribe and called Pattaconk.

Upon European settlement, Chester became part of the Saybrook Colony, which included what is now Deep River, Essex, Old Saybrook, Old Lyme, and Lyme. The town stayed part of the colony until 1836 when it separated to become an independent township.

Although Chester is its own town, it shares amenities, including a school district, with Deep River and Essex, other members of this tri-town district.

Events and sites in Chester, CT

Chester is known for its historic buildings, including three homes – Charles Daniels House, Dr. Ambrose Pratt House, and Jonathan Warner House – that are on the National Register of Historic Places. Old Town Hall dates back to 1793, while Villa Bella Vista is a famous example of Italian architecture in the United States.

For outdoor activities, Cedar Lake is 80 acres in size and features two public beaches, a pavilion, picnic tables, lifeguards, and boat launches. There is also a concession at one of the beaches. Locals frequent the Cockaponset State Forest Pattaconk Recreation Area, which features hiking, in addition to fishing and swimming in the Pattaconk Reservoir, as well.

There are some cultural venues in Chester, too. Residents often head to the Norma Terris Theatre to experience some of the country’s best musicals, while the Chester Meetinghouse has both plays and the Collomore Concert Series.

Annual events in Chester include May Daze Night, the Memorial Day Parade, the Chester Fair, the Chester Rotary Lobster Festival, the Halloween Pumpkin Festival, the Holiday Market, and the Holiday Night Festival, so there’s something in every season.

Buy a home in Chester, Connecticut

Buying a home in Chester, Connecticut, puts you close to the beaches of Coastal Connecticut, without having to live in an area that gets too busy during the summer.

There’s a nice mix in Chester because there are marinas with access to the Connecticut River and, therefore, the ocean, but the town doesn’t have the beachfront communities that lead to congestion.

If you’re looking to purchase real estate in Chester, CT, Page Taft knows this area inside and out and can make recommendations based on where you’re looking to settle.