Chester’s hearse moves to new, old home


Chester’s public works crew moves the town’s late Victorian hearse to the Brookside Cemetery. Photos by Shawn Cunningham

By Shawn Cunningham
© 2016 Telegraph Publishing LLC

Promptly at 7 this morning, a Chester Public Works crew removed the town’s late-Victorian hearse from the small building at the Adams Funeral  Home, where it has been stored and on display for many years.

They then carefully pushed it down Depot Street to Main, then west to the Brookside Cemetery and its new home.

Well, actually, its old home.

Chester Public Works crew moves the hearse past the Henry Building.

Chester Public Works crew moves the hearse past the Henry Building.

Just over two years ago, the Chester Beautification Committee (now known as Chester Townscape) proposed to restore the town’s  Hearse House and to place the old hearse in it with an interpretive component. The small building however, which was leaning back toward the graveyard, needed to be repaired.

In addition to raising private funds for the project, the committee secured a $5,000 grant from Chester’s Trustees of Public Funds. Plans for the restoration were made during 2015 and this summer the work of righting and repairing the building was completed.


Inside the Hearse House, with dollies under the back wheels, the town hearse slides into position

This morning, Wednesday, Sept. 21, the question on everyone’s mind was whether the hearse would fit. In the past, the building had doors facing Main Street, but at some point these were removed and replaced with doors that face east. The hearse barely fits as it is, and it was going to be tight turning it once inside the building.

But after the crew backed the vehicle into the building and put dollies under the rear wheels, it was just a matter of minutes before it was in the position in which it will be exhibited.


The hearse crew from left: Graham Kennedy, Chester Townscape members Lillian Willis and Suzy Forlie, Bruce Douglas, Keith Hill, Greg Gomo, Scott Saunders and Pat Jewell.

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  1. Lew Watters says:

    Thank you everyone for all your hard earned work.

  2. william griggs says:

    I for one, am glad to see not only someone taking interest in preserving some Chester relics but actually doing it. Though I don`t live there anymore, it`ll always be home and am proud to say it. It`s my understanding that there are some who want Chester`s historical stuff tucked away in storage far from it`s borders, and I feel that`s a huge mistake. I`m glad there are some who take pride in its history as well as its future. GREAT JOB!