Hiking group buys granite finishing works to be preserved in historic Chester Factory Village
The Chester Hudson and Granite Works property, near the old Chester Railway Station, was purchased on Sept. 25, 2023, by the Western Mass Hilltown Hikers, a 501c(3) organization dedicated to promoting and preserving the history and natural beauty of the Hilltowns for all to enjoy.
The Granite Works were started in the early 1800’s to cut and finish the granite that was quarried just up the road at the Beckett Quarry, a property that is now owned by the Trustees of Reservations. It features a huge granite saw, originally operated by steam power, with some remarkable mechanisms designed to handle the massive blocks of quarried stone. The property has been in private hands up to last week and might have become lost to history without some very special efforts to save it.
“Our goal is to completely preserve this unique, magnificent and historic piece of land and its original equipment,” announced Liz Massa, co-founder and president of the Hilltown Hikers. “We plan to apply for National Historic Landmark status so all can enjoy it and learn the impressive history of an early industry in Chester, Massachusetts.”
Western Mass Hilltown Hikers was founded by a small group of friends who loved the Hilltowns of Western Mass. The more they hiked, the more rich history of the area they found. They eventually began to offer guided tours and hikes each month. They also built a huge website filled with thousands of hiking ideas, blogs, maps and photos. And they have developed a very large following.
You can learn more about this organization and how to help support their efforts by going to www.hilltownhikers.com. Please help us in making this happen for all. Our Go Fund Me campaign link is https://www.gofundme.com/dd6p8-conserve-the-hudson-and-chester-granite-works A non-profit 501C(3) organization incorporated in the State of Massachusetts. Tax ID #86-2532249