Hearse House Museum
A small seasonal attraction – located on Chester’s Main Street, next to the granite Public Tomb and the Brookside Cemetery, and opposite the Chester Village Green – the Hearse House Museum opened to the public on October 28, 2017. The museum reveals – with text, photographs, and material artifacts – a four-part story of Chester’s handsome horse-drawn hearse, the renovation of the storage building and its transformation into a mini-museum, and the history of both the immediate area and funeral customs of the times. On display within the museum are historic photographs of Main Street and the horse-drawn hearse in funerals; the original signatures of the Selectmen who signed the concrete foundation sill when changes were made to the building in 1907; items pertaining to the hearse and funerals, such as a casket carrier; sled runners to help the hearse transport coffins over wintry ice and snow; two arched doors likely from the original entrance facing Main Street; and a bronze plaque from the local funeral home that utilized the adjacent Public Tomb to store the deceased until a spring thaw made burial possible. The museum is generally open in the good-weather months from Memorial Day through Columbus Day; but information featured inside the building is accessible all year long both below on this website page and from the museum via QR codes that link to the Town of Chester’s website under the Hearse House Museum entry, listed under the History category on the top bar of the Town’s website.
Please click the links below to learn more: