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Local History - Introduction

Some Time ago, I was telling a neighbor about the fact that a certain part of Chichester had once been known as "Church Hollow". He said, "Who cares what they used to call it, we're here now, and we can call it what we want." While there might have been truth to what he said, I couldn't help but to be dismayed. I just don't think its a good idea to forget our history, particularly that of the ground beneath our feet! Folks around here used to have a name for just about every turn in the valley, as they were, perhaps, just a bit more involved with the place.

Chichester is a beautiful place, but judging by the old photographs, it used to be even more so. The dirt road was replaced by asphalt, so the cars speed through quite a bit more noisely and quickly than the horse carriages. Electricity, telephone, and cable service came rather late, but when they did, they went from using a couple of wires to a whole lacework of them, insuring the loss of the tree lined streets. Bluestone sidewalks have long ago disappeared, and any eveness of hedges between neighbors seems to have been an insult to each home's autonomy. Vinyl and aluminum siding have robbed many homes of their more ornate woodwork, which had been so common in this village of woodworkers.

Another thing to remember about our hamlet, is that prior to about 50 years ago, it wasn't so easy to get around. Zipping down to Olive to have the dog groomed, or driving out to Sam's Club for groceries just wasn't possible. Neighbors had to get along! Chichester was quite isolated. And despite its beauty, making a living was pretty tough. So, perhaps without romantizing the past, perhaps we can recall some of its virtues, and hope that bit by bit, our village can reclaim some of its former splendor.



The building pictured was originally the Fire House.... read more