Chester Chatter: The joys of an old hardware store

By Ruthie Douglas
© 2017-Telegraph Publishing LLC

I came to live in Chester in 1957 and I knew it was where I wanted to live and never move from.

It was the simple things: Stepping into the hardware store. Opening the door, just the smell of the oil on the wide-plank floors, the floor made of oak, the floor creaked as you made your way to the counter. The shelves held little or no packages, but the large wood bins held loose items. If you wanted one screw or nail, you could purchase it or you could buy them by the pound.

Bird seed was weighed out as was grass seed. Over on Main Street off the Village Green was the drugstore. The soda fountain was a perfect place to wait while your order was being filled. But the best of it all was visiting with the shopkeepers and learning what was happening around town.

Stopping by the Post Office was a treat, news was exchanged and laughter shared. Every knew everyone and jokes were abundant.

The trains traveled through the Depot with whistles tooting, and a whistle on top of Town Hall blew at noon. These small town occurrences made you feel a certain comfort.

Friends stopped by the Grist Mill in the Depot to view the art and have a cup of tea with Eve Dawson. At 3 o’clock the local farmers would drop in at the diner for a cup of coffee and a doughnut before starting their afternoon milking. Oh, those long ago days.

Celebrations and passages

The American Legion Sons of the Legion Post 67 held its 14th annual golf tournament at the Bellows Falls Country Club on Saturday, Aug. 12. Eighteen teams of four were entered. Steve Rumrill and his sons were the overall winners. Members of the SAL wish to thank all those who sponsored holes for the event. Proceeds will be used for various SAL projects.

A mama bear and her two cubs were spotted Saturday morning on the Green Mountain Turnpike near Holden Farm.

Suzanne Foster, of the Springfield High School Class of 1959, died after a long illness. Our thoughts are with her husband Delbert Foster, also of the Class of 1959.

Gunnar Spafford and his wife were in town for the celebration of the life of his father Francis Spafford at the American Legion on Friday.

Bud and Marlene Ingalls are back home after a week visit with their daughter Carmen and her family in Ohio.

Darlene Rounds celebrated her birthday with friends at a dinner at D.J.s in Ludlow.

Melvin and Betty Stowell received a surprise visit from their daughter Karen, her husband Kevin and their son Tyler from North Dakota.

Benny and Kim Benson spent two weeks on Lake Echo with family.

A big thank you again to the Chester Ambulance Service and the staff at Springfield Hospital. Both were great to me during a recent illness.

  • This week’s trivia question: Who owned and operated Flamstead Ties?
  • Answer to last week’s trivia question: Flamstead Ties started business on Church Street then moved to Main Street where the Moon Dog now is. The company ties and other clothes are highly collectible by those interested in vintage material.

Street Talk

Do you have a family pet and what is its name?

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Filed Under: Chester ChatterCommunity and Arts Life

About the Author: Ruthie Douglas is originally from Springfield but has called Chester her home for 58 years, and has been writing the Chester Chatter column for 40 of those years. Ruthie is also a longtime volunteer throughout the community.

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