From the editor: Thank you for an exciting 1st year

One year ago, if you were interested in news about Chester, you might find the occasional story – fire, crime, accident or town government issue – in the Southern Vermont sections of the Rutland Herald or the Eagle Timeslaptop1 72dpi Or chances are, you turned to the blog at But for the past year, The Chester Telegraph has become the go-to source of information for residents, second homeowners and tourists who want news in addition to press releases  and calendar items.

Just last week, in time for our 1st birthday, Burlington’s highly regarded Seven Days news magazine pointed to The Chester Telegraph as “bringing the online news revolution to small-town Vermont.” As we celebrate our First Anniversary, we hope you feel the same way.

You can read that story here.

We’ve been busy – covering the unfolding stories of the Dollar General, Jack’s Diner, Development Review Board appointment errors and school consolidation along with spot news like an apartment fire that displaced a family and the fire that destroyed the historic Brooks-Lackie house. Our sports editor, Greg Hart, has covered local games and profiled interesting area sports figures. We’ve instituted the Chester Police Log, which quickly became one of the most anticipated columns in the paper. (Thanks to Chief Cloud for helping to make this work.) And we even published November’s election night results on election night.

It’s been a lot of work, but the response has been great.

In one year, our free newsletter subscriber list has grown to more than 600, our Facebook fans number more than 700 and every month we get more than 3,600 unique visitors to the site. Since a unique visitor could be one person or a family of four at home or 25 patrons of the Whiting Library, the number of actual readers is certainly greater and obviously more than the population of Chester.

The Chester Telegraph‘s readers live in Chester, but also Springfield, Cavendish, Proctorsville, Ludlow, Saxtons River, Burlington, Rutland, Montpelier and Brattleboro as well as throughout New Hampshire. Others read the Telegraph from Texas, California, New York, Virginia, Connecticut, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Maryland, Maine and Delaware. We are even being read as far away as France, Argentina, Japan and Australia. And when you go away on vacation or travel for work, you can keep up with your hometown news wherever you connect to the Internet.

Thanks to our readers, contributors and advertising supporters

As we enter our second year, we want to thank all of our readers for their loyalty, their feedback, their comments on stories and their encouragement. Rarely a day goes by when someone does not tell us how much they appreciate the Telegraph. We aren’t perfect: We have a tiny staff and operate on a shoestring. But we will continue to do our best to give you the information that you want and need in a timely, convenient and professional package. And please, feel free to email or send us a Facebook message with a suggestion that will help us do better —

We’d also like to thank those who have contributed their artwork to make our articles shine. Lew Watters and Bill Revill are two of those wonderful artists. And we commend the freelancers who have contributed their time  to take on stories for this new entity.

We’d also like to thank our advertisers – the businesses whose support make it possible to maintain the site and pay the freelancers. Thanks to Motel in the Meadow, Lisai’s Chester Market, Gallery 103, Misty Valley Books, Skygate Financial, Chester Florists, Terrigenous Landscape Architecture, Salon 2000, Rotary Club of Chester, Country on the Common, TDBank, Charlie Macko Racing, Bryce Levan Cushing, Deep Meadow Farm, Grafton Nature Museum, GMUHS, Green Mountain Festival Series, Hugging Bear Inn and Shoppe, Kim’s Car Care, Knockout Carpet, Larry Reed CPA, Nancy Phillips Tapestries, NetZero Renewable Resources, Opera Theatre of Weston, Route 103 Auto, Sage Jewelry, the Polish Pottery Shop, CVA Associates-Shaklee, Universalist Unitarian Parish, Inn Victoria and the West River Farmers Market. (If we have forgotten anyone, please forgive me, then drop me a note.)

We look forward to serving you in our 2nd year!

Cynthia Prairie

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Filed Under: CommentaryFeaturedTelegraph Editorial

About the Author: Cynthia Prairie has been a newspaper editor more than 40 years. Cynthia has worked at such publications as the Raleigh Times, the Baltimore News American, the Buffalo Courier Express, the Chicago Sun-Times and the Patuxent Publishing chain of community newspapers in Maryland, and has won numerous state awards for her reporting. As an editor, she has overseen her staffs to win many awards for indepth coverage. She and her family moved to Chester, Vermont in 2004.

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  1. Irene Bassock says:

    As second home-owners, we value your online publication. It brings us closer to the Chester community and allows us to plan to attend events that we would otherwise miss. Cheers to you! Looking forward to your continued growth!

  2. Sharon Baker says:

    Congratulations on a job well done. And just think, you are only at the beginning. Looking forward to watching the Telegraph continue to grow and become the shining example of what happens when you work extremely hard and make your dream a reality. Good going Cynthia!!

  3. Amanda Bourque says:

    Happy first birthday from a reader as far away as MANCHESTER, Vermont! Great job – hope you have the energy to keep it up! Amanda