Chester Township History

Chester Grandstand

-Thomas Jefferson


Chester Township is part of the "Western Reserve", so named in September, 1786, when Connecticut gave up her Western land holdings but "Reserved" this section. The first settlers came to this area in 1801. The town was early known as Wooster, but in 1816 was changed to Chester by the first settlers, some who came here from Chester, Massachusetts. In 1899 the name was changed to Chesterland for postal reasons.

In February, 1811, David Hudson gave six and one-half acres of land on the northeast corner of SR 306 & 322 to the Township. This is now known as Chester Township Park. The land can never be sold and is to be only used as a Public Square, a public parade ground, and for public buildings. In 1917 the trustees at that time notified a resident that he was not allowed to let cows graze on the public square.

A township is a grassroots form of government and since 1804 the governing board has consisted of three trustees and a Township Fiscal Officer. These positions are all elected for four year terms by registered voters.  The trustees are the legislative authority.

The Board of Trustees appoints a five person Zoning Commission who addresses land use issues. The Board of Trustees also appoints a Board of Zoning Appeals that is a quasi-judicial board who hears requests that are outside of the regulations of the Zoning Resolution. A Zoning Inspector monitors and approves permits for construction, signs, etc. is also appointed by the Board of Trustees.

Services to the community by vote of the property owners are our own Police Department, Road Department and Fire Department.

All of the 16 townships in Geauga County were originally five miles square, and presently Chester Township has the 2nd largest population in Geauga County with approximately 11,000 people and just over 4200 homes. Chester Township by nature of its altitude (500' above Lake Erie) and close proximity to Lake Erie, is in the heart of the snow belt. There are over 80 miles of roadway, and unlike city dwellers, Chester Township receives its drinking water from individual water wells.

Geauga County residents mainly derive their income from agricultural uses. We also have the largest horse population of any County in Ohio.