Telegraph Poll: On Yosemite Fire House’s future

The Chester Telegraph decided to conduct this poll after receiving a press release from the Chester Historic Preservation Committee*, which is an informal group of Chester residents that addresses the value, condition and possible uses of Chester’s historic buildings.

Now that the historic Yosemite Fire House is officially owned by the Town of Chester, the committee is currently seeking input concerning the Yosemite Fire House, as well as the Jeffrey Barn, located north of Chester Depot on Route 103.

Committee members want to follow up on all appropriate community leads and suggestions to ascertain what is both practical and their best use for Chester and its history.

Anyone with suggestions on uses for the Jeffrey Barn and for Yosemite is encouraged to contact Lillian Willis, committee chair, at or at 875-1340.

*Chester Telegraph editor and publisher Cynthia Prairie is a member of this committee.

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  1. irene bassock says:

    I agree with Melody. Raise private funds. Move it and take a pass on the historical protections/funds. Draw in the millions of dollars that are flying through Chester to Okemo by marketing the fire house as a family attraction.

    Give tours of the fire house and sell cool T-shirts, bumper stickers, etc., in a gift store.

    Set up a sandwich/coffee stand so that families can stretch their legs, eat outside, grab a bite or drink before continuing on their VT adventure. Make sure that there are animals for kids to pet and photograph.

    Families would love a reason to stop in Chester and the fire house is an easy draw. But, in its current location, these opportunities are unavailable.

  2. John Holme says:

    Any of the proposed uses would require additional parking. There is some vacant land right up the street.

  3. Melody Reed says:

    Fundraise to purchase the property across the street and move the firehouse there. Turn the entire property into a museum and visitors center. With a couple big banners draped across the firehouse where it is now (facing north bound and southbound traffic) with GoFundMe site name so that all the people driving Route 103 can donate (via their cell phones). The fire house is a very special building (my son-in-law was so excited to see it when he first visited Chester – surprised me). I bet the money could be fairly easily raised. It’s a very cool building. I’d like to see it moved because everytime there’s a flood I worry that’s going to get washed down the river.

  4. Lew Watters says:

    Coordinate the exhibits in town: Historical Society; Hearse House and Yosemite so that there is little if
    any duplication. Network the exhibits so that visitors can walk one to the other getting a different focus
    and history at each.

  5. Margaret M Straub says:

    A firefighter’s museum but not for only Chester. Perhaps the start of a Vermont volunteer firefighter’s museum.

  6. Marilyn Mahusky says:

    I like Susan Mood’s idea.

  7. Michaeline Fall Curtis says:

    Visitor center with historical and artistic displays

  8. Larry Semones says:

    I agree with Susan Moody. A visitor center with emphasis on history of Chester fire department.

  9. Cynthia Prairie says:

    Several people have mentioned moving the building. But the fact is that if the building is moved, it immediately takes it out of its historical context and therefore disqualifies it for historic preservation grants. This issue has been looked into. The Pleasant Street site on the other hand is not even big enough for the planned public safety building without lots of backfill and shoring up.

  10. Ken says:

    pie-in-the-sky I know but the Yosemite building would look great right next to the brand new Fire and Police building we have been waiting decades to build on Pleasant St!

  11. Susan Moody says:

    Visitor Center with Firefighting museum display.