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Seniors Choose Chester For Historic Visit


Senior travelers will find that Chester, a city in Delaware County, Pennsylvania, with a population of around 34,000, is located on the Delaware River, between the cities of Philadelphia and Wilmington, Delaware.

Being on the eastern seaboard, Chester is loaded with history. Originally settled in 1644 by the Swedish as “Upland”, the name was changed to Chester in 1682. Chester is the oldest City in Pennsylvania.

In 1681, William Penn acquired the colonial settlement as a safe haven for Quakers. One year later he landed on the ship Welcome and renamed the settlement Chester, after the city in England.

Seniors Find Historically Prosperous City


For the first two hundred years of its history, Chester was prosperous and wealthy manufacturing community with industries concentrating on machinery, metal manufacturing, locomotive, shipbuilding, and textiles. These strong industries, paired with the city’s proximity to the Delaware River and major railways generated jobs and fueled a steady population growth.

John Bullock, Ye Olde (and very humble) Webmaster, has a great page that describes Old Chester in detail.  He notes that during much of its early history, Chester was a sleepy little village along the banks of the Delaware River.

This changed dramatically with the arrival of the Industrial Revolution during the 1850′s.  During those years industry boomed as did the population in order to feed the manpower needs of the new industries.


In 1850 Chester’s population numbered 1,667 but by 1860 it nearly tripled to 4,631.  Much of the city’s housing as well as other structures still standing was built during this period of explosive growth and through the early years of the 20th century.

 Seniors Enjoy Historic Places

Of particular interest to this senior, is the fact that since 1996, Chester has received 1.36 billion dollars in public and private investment. That’s a good chunk of change and with these funds, the city has restored its park system, improved and expanded housing, brought in new businesses and has generated many new job opportunities.

Chester has five nationally registered historic places that senior visitors find interesting. Chester County counts 113 historic places and senior visitors enjoy just traveling from one township to another taking in the old buildings and sites.


If you ask Chester residents what they envision for a proposed Arts and Culture District in their downtown, they’ll be the first to tell you that it’s got to be “Chester Made, through and through.”  Watch the video on this page and learn about the Chester Made initiative.

As you are driving across Pennsylvania, plan to stop by Chester.   -jeb

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