Chester, Nova Scotia

This article is about the village. For the municipal district, see Chester Municipal District, Nova Scotia.
Chester, Nova Scotia
Motto: A Progressive Community

Location of Chester in Nova Scotia

Coordinates: 44°32′25″N 64°14′23″W / 44.54028°N 64.23972°W / 44.54028; -64.23972Coordinates: 44°32′25″N 64°14′23″W / 44.54028°N 64.23972°W / 44.54028; -64.23972
Country  Canada
Province  Nova Scotia
County Lunenburg County.
Municipality Chester Municipal District
Founded 1759
Incorporated 1963
  Warden Allen Webber
  Chief Administrative Officer Tammy Wilson
Elevation 17 m (56 ft)
Population (2011)[1]
  Urban 2,348
Time zone AST (UTC-4)
  Summer (DST) ADT (UTC-3)
Postal code B0J 1J0
Area code(s) 902
Telephone Exchanges 273 275 277 279 299 980
NTS Map 021A09
Part of a series about Places in Nova Scotia

Chester is a village located in Nova Scotia, Canada. It is part of Nova Scotia's Chester Municipal District in the southeastern part of Lunenburg County.


Chester was officially founded in 1759 during the French and Indian War. It was the Shoreham grant, although French fishermen had already built a few houses on the site. The first permanent European-descended settlers were a group from Massachusetts who came to the area in 1761.

HMS Hogue, which trapped the Young Teazer before the ship exploded

During the American Revolution, the village avoided a raid by American Privateers wherein the townswomen, young and old, garbed in cloaks with their red lining worn outwards (to resemble the uniforms of the British soldiers) marched around the blockhouse (now the Wisteria Cottage House) in the early morning of 30 June 1782 to successfully convince American Privateers lying offshore to find another place to pillage. The following day the privateers successfully executed the Raid on Lunenburg, Nova Scotia (1782).

During the War of 1812, the American Privateer Young Teazer was trapped off the shores of Chester by the HMS Hogue (1811). To avoid capture, a crew member of the Young Teazer destroyed his own ship, killing most of the crew.[2]

After World War I, to honour the 54 soldiers from the area that were killed, the famous New York sculptor J. Massey Rhind was commissioned to make the Nova Scotia Highlander soldier cenotaph.[3] After the war the Women's Institute of Nova Scotia established the Zoé Vallé Memorial Library.

Nova Scotia Highland soldier by famous New York sculptor J. Massey Rhind

Chester is one of the wealthiest communities in the province as a result of being a holiday and resort destination, with many seasonal and year-round estates and mansions. The nearby waters of Mahone Bay and its numerous islands are well known for yachting and have made the Chester Yacht Club into a cruising destination.[4] A Provincial ferry from the village provides a schedule of daily trips to Big Tancook Island and Little Tancook Island.

Chester was the site of a controversial proposal to change status of the village. A committee had been formed in hopes of changing the status of Chester by incorporating as a town, thereby leaving the Chester Municipal District. Many residents of the village under the banner "Citizens for Fairness" successfully fought the motion on the principle that the majority of citizens, by ballot, should decide such a fundamental change. Some also saw the possibility of higher taxes, costs for a town hall, a mayor, and water and sewage services as reasons to not incorporate. They won the right to a plebiscite in the fall of 2002 from the Nova Scotia Legislature. The motion was defeated in a public plebiscite on February 22, 2003.[5]


The village is situated on the Chester Peninsula, which extends into Mahone Bay.

The village has two natural harbours, Front Harbour (including Front Cove) on the east and Back Harbour (including Back Cove or Mill Cove) on the west. The village is also immediately south of Stanford Lake.


Chester has an elementary school, Chester District School (grades Primary–5) and a middle school, Chester Area Middle School or CAMS as it is known (grades 6–8). Forest Heights Community School brings together students from all of the Municipality of the District of Chester and Tancook Islands for grades 9–12.

Festivals and events

Front Harbour, Chester
The passenger ferry MV William G Ernst, departing the dock at Chester bound for Big Tancook Island and Little Tancook Island. The ferry is operated by the provincial Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal.

The village is home to the Chester Playhouse one of the best-known community theaters on Nova Scotia's South Shore. Chester is well known for its annual summer sailing regatta, Chester Race Week, where keelboats from all over the eastern coast of North America compete during the second week of August. In the last weekend of July there is the annual Chester Garden Show and the House and Garden Tour along with harbour tours. Also that weekend is the famous Bonnie Lea Lobster benefit.The Chester Municipal Heritage Society operates the Lordly House Museum and children's playground, they host an annual Antique Auction in early July,and an Annual House and Boat Tour after Race week,a Christmas Craft Fair and at the Train Station circa 1905 is an Oak Island Display and Visitors Information office. Winter is a time for events including "Sing! Choirs" in December and February's "Coldest Day of the Year", the Chester Drama Society fundraiser. There are a number of public boat launch sites around Mahone Bay. The waters are fine for kayaking and sailing. For walkers and cyclists there is also the Chester Connector which is a municipal operated section of the previous rail line and which is shared with motorized recreational vehicles.Chester Golf Club situated along the eastern side of the front harbour boast 18 holes many on the coastal waters where golfers can watch sailing and play golf at the same time! "The Park" The Church Memorial Park is home to the Chester Tennis Club, Eleanor Pew Memorial Rink and Chester Curling Club, home club of curler Mary Fay (2015 Canada Games Silver Medal winner).


Scenes for several films, miniseries, movies of the week, and television shows have been shot in and around Chester:

TV shows

  Curse of Oak Island [TV Series]  Mostly filmed at the Oak Island in Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia. Also features discussions about the treasure at the F'o'c'sle Tavern in Chester, Nova Scotia.

Notable people



  1. "Nova Scotia Community Counts". Province of Nova Scotia. Retrieved 2011-09-02.
  2. Archibald Mechmecan. Sagas of the Sea.
  4. Claudette Gaudet Sapp 'Sailors & rattling teacups : a history of the Chester Yacht Club' Lockeport, Nova Scotia
  5. "Town proposal defeated in Chester". The Chronicle Herald. February 23, 2003. Archived from the original on September 22, 2003. Retrieved 2015-07-29.
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