Our first-floor seasonal exhibit for 2016 was "Celebrating Chester Community Groups." Community groups in Chester have improved the quality of life for individuals in town as they have come together to seek pleasure, learn new skills and identify needs to help others. Many groups developed toward the end of the l9th and early 20th centuries as industrialization increased leisure time, and new groups have continued to form reflecting changes in society. The exhibit recognizes some of Chester’s clubs and organizations that help make the town beautiful, preserve natural spaces, provide scholarships, raise money for worthy causes, educate themselves and others, helping make Chester a great place to live.
The award-winning long-term exhibit, “Streams of Change: Life & Industry along the Pattaconk,” is on the second floor. The exhibit interprets the growth and evolution of Chester and how the town adapted over 300 years. This exhibit won the 2011 ‘Leadership in History Award of Merit for Exhibits’ from the American Association for State & Locals History, and the 2011 ‘Award of Merit for Exhibits’ from the Connecticut League of Historical Organizations
Our first-floor seasonal exhibit for 2015 was “Pastimes in Past Times: Chester at Play,” focusing on early team sports, recreation, and games and toys at home. The exhibit included interactive games for all ages.
In 2013 and 2014, our seasonal exhibits, called “Over the River and Through the Woods,” focused on the origins of the town’s roads and highways; the train, trolley, ferry and steamboat services that once came to town; and early bicycling.
For two years, in conjunction with the country’s 150th anniversary of the beginning of the Civil War, our seasonal exhibits focused on the Civil War. The first year the exhibit was titled “Chester Voices of the Civil War,” telling the story of several Chester men who went off to serve. Their letters from the battlefield to their Chester families back home brought to life the personalities, concerns, patriotism, and emotions of these men who were intimately involved in the most devastating event in American history.
“Beyond the Battlefield” was the second year exhibit and featured a picture of life at the homefront in Chester in 1862 while the Civil War raged in other areas of the country.