Skahdi Gavppaseeapmi

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Skahdi Gavppaseeapmi


Early history

The Indian tribe that owned the land where Chester now stands were the Okehockings, removed by order of William Penn in 1702 to other lands in Chester County.Template:Sfn The original Indian name of Chester was Mecoponaca.<ref>Template:Cite book</ref>

The first European settlers in the area were members of the New Sweden colony. The settlement that became Chester was first called "Finlandia" (the Latin name for Finland) and then "Upland" after the Swedish province of Uppland. The New Sweden settlers built Fort Mecoponacka in 1641 to defend the settlement.<ref>Narratives of Early Pennsylvania, West New Jersey and Delaware 1630–1707, ed. Albert Cook Myers. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons (1912)</ref>

In 1644, the present site of Chester was a tobacco plantation operated by the New Sweden colonists.Template:Sfn

By 1682, Upland was the most populous town of the new Province of Pennsylvania. On October 27, the ship Welcome arrived bearing William Penn on his first visit to the province. Penn renamed the settlement for the English city of Chester.Template:Sfn

First half of the 20th century

World War I brought Chester its first massive growth. People migrated to Chester for jobs, 63% of which were in manufacturing.<ref name=Swarthmore>Template:Cite web</ref> Between 1910 and 1920, Chester's population increased from 38,000 to 58,000 due to the influx of southern and eastern Europeans and southern U.S. blacks.Template:Sfn The Sun Shipbuilding & Drydock Co. was opened in 1917 to build ships for the United States until its closure in 1990. The idled Roach shipyard was purchased in 1917 by W. Averell Harriman to build merchant ships during World War I, and renamed the Merchant Shipbuilding Corporation. The shipyard closed permanently in 1923.

Like many boomtowns, Chester was unprepared for the social changes that came along with rapid growth. As southern blacks migrated to Pennsylvania as part of the Great Migration, racial violence broke out, racially segregated neighborhoods expanded and economic discrimination emerged.<ref>Template:Cite book</ref> A four-day race riot that resulted in 7 deaths broke out in the city in July 1917 and the separation of blacks and whites in Chester's neighborhoods and workplaces became more defined.Template:Sfn

Chester was known as a freewheeling destination for vices such as drugs, alcohol, numbers rackets, gambling and prostitution. Chester was widely known as Greater Philadelphia's "Saloon Town".Template:Sfn By 1914, Chester had more saloons than police officers; approximately 1 saloon per every 987 residents.Template:Sfn

In 1927, the Ford Motor Company opened the Chester Assembly factory on the site of the previous Roach and Merchant shipyard and built cars there until its closure in 1961.<ref>Template:Cite web</ref>

Chester experienced its second growth period during World War II. Manufacturing increased exponentially including companies such as Wetherill Steel and Boilermakers, Congoleum-Nairn, Aberfoyles Textiles, Scott Paper Company, Belmont Iron Works, American Steel Foundries, Crew Levick Oil, Crown Smelting, Fields Brick Company, Hetzel and Ford Motor Company.<ref name=Swarthmore/> During World War II, the Sun shipyard became the largest single shipyard in the world.Template:Sfn Template:External media The increased labor needs brought a flood of new workers to the city. The wartime labor force for industries along the waterfront soared to 100,000.Template:Sfn

Second half of the 20th century

Chester began losing its mainstay shipyard and automobile manufacturing jobs as early as the 1960s, causing the population to be halved from over 66,000 in 1950 to under 34,000 in 2010.

In the early 1960s, racial unrest and civil rights protests led by George Raymond of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored Persons (NAACP) and Stanley Branche of the Committee for Freedom Now (CFFN) made Chester one of the key battlegrounds of the civil rights movement. James Farmer, the national director of the Congress of Racial Equality called Chester "the Birmingham of the North".Template:Sfn

In 1962, Branche and the CFFN focused on improving conditions at the predominantly black Franklin Elementary school in Chester. Although the school was built to house 500 students, it had become overcrowded with 1,200 students. The school's average class-size was 39, twice the number of nearby all-white schools. The school was built in 1910 and had never been updated. Only two bathrooms were available for the entire school.<ref name=Phoenix>Template:Cite web</ref>

In November 1963, CFFN protesters blocked the entrance to Franklin Elementary school and the Chester Municipal Building resulting in the arrest of 240 protesters. Following public attention to the protests stoked by media coverage of the mass arrests, the mayor and school board negotiated with the CFFN and NAACP.<ref name=Mele>Template:Cite book</ref> The Chester Board of Education agreed to reduce class sizes at Franklin school, remove unsanitary toilet facilities, relocate classes held in the boiler room and coal bin and repair school grounds.<ref name=nvdbase>Template:Cite web</ref>

In 1964, a series of almost nightly protests brought chaos to Chester as protestors argued that the Chester School Board had de facto segregation of schools. The mayor of Chester, James Gorbey, issued "The Police Position to Preserve the Public Peace", a ten-point statement promising an immediate return to law and order. The city deputized firemen and trash collectors to help handle demonstrators.Template:Sfn The State of Pennsylvania deployed 50 state troopers to assist the 77-member Chester police force.<ref name=nvdbase>Template:Cite web</ref> The demonstrations were marked by violence and charges of police brutality.<ref>Template:Cite web</ref> Over six hundred people were arrested over a two-month period of civil rights rallies, marches, pickets, boycotts and sit-ins.Template:Sfn National civil rights leaders such as Gloria Richardson, Malcolm X and Dick Gregory came to Chester in support of the demonstrations.<ref>Template:Cite web</ref> Pennsylvania Governor William Scranton became involved in the negotiations and convinced Branche to obey a court-ordered moratorium on demonstrations.<ref>Template:Cite journal</ref>

In 1978, an intense fire broke out at Wade Dump, a rubber recycling facility and illegal industrial chemical dumping site. The burning chemicals caused multi-colored smoke and noxious fumes which injured 43 firemen and caused long-term health problems for the first responders to the fire.<ref>Template:Cite web</ref> In 1981, the location was declared a Superfund cleanup site and remediation occurred throughout the 1980s. In 1989, the site was deemed safe and removed from the Superfund national priorities list. In 2004 the site was converted to a parking lot for the nearby Barry Bridge Park.<ref name=EPA>Template:Cite web</ref>

By the 1980s, Chester was a city bereft of industry. Many bottom-rung projects were initiated in Chester, including a trash incinerator, a sewage treatment plant and a prison.<ref name=Blumgart>Template:Cite web</ref> Chester residents and politicians began pushing back against the placement of projects that increased concerns about pollution, noise and trucks such as a contaminated soil remediation facility, the Westinghouse trash incinerator, the DELCORA sewage waste treatment center and the Abbonizio recycling center.<ref>Template:Cite web</ref>

In 1995, the state designated Chester as a financially distressed municipality.<ref name="George Sheridan">Template:Cite web</ref>

21st century

Recent programs to foster investment into Chester include the Pennsylvania Keystone Opportunity Zone (KOZ) program, which incentivizes companies with state and local tax breaks to invest in KOZ-designated areas. The Wharf at Rivertown, a $60 million renovation of the Chester Waterside Station of the Philadelphia Electric Company, originally built in 1918, was renovated and provides recreational and office space for businesses.<ref>Template:Cite news</ref>

Harrah's Casino and Racetrack began harness racing in September 2006, and opened its racino in January 2007. Talen Energy Stadium, home of the Major Soccer League Philadelphia Union franchise, opened in 2010.<ref name=Blumgart/>

Two ships of the United States Navy have been named USS Chester in honor of the city.

The following are listed on the National Register of Historic Places: Delaware County National Bank, 1724 Chester Courthouse, Chester Waterside Station of the Philadelphia Electric Company, Old Main and Chemistry Building, William Penn Landing Site, and the former Second Street Bridge.<ref name="nris">Template:NRISref</ref>


The city has no founding documents or charter. It is run in whatever way the current residents decide it should be run. Currently, that means a mayor is appointed by the city’s most influential people. That appointment lasts until the mayor dies, resigns, or the city leaders decide it is time for him to go. Once appointed, the mayor is charge with upholding all of the city’s ordinances and filling all of the civil positions, such as sheriff.

The laws of the city are kept in the shrine of Gruweas, whose cleric is the keeper of the laws. Changing the laws requires a meeting of all clerics who have a shrine or temple in the city, and a majority of them must approve any change. The laws only pertain to the activities of the residents and visitors of or to Skahdi. They do not dictate how the mayor is selected or what he can or cannot do as mayor.

Political corruption

Chester has been negatively impacted for decades by corrupt politicians and organized crime.<ref>Template:Cite book</ref> Chester's Republican Party political machine was one of the nation's oldest and most corrupt.<ref name=McLarnon/> John J. McClure took over from his father, William McClure, in 1907<ref name=McLarnon>Template:Cite book</ref> and was the political boss for the machine until his death in 1965. In 1933, McClure was found guilty in federal court and sentenced to 18 months in prison for vice and rum-running<ref>Template:Cite web</ref> but his conviction was overturned on appeal.<ref name=Gazette>Template:Cite web</ref>

In 1941, McClure was indicted for conspiracy to gain a $250,000 profit from the sale of the Chester Water Works to a private buyer. McClure and four Chester City Council members were acquitted but ordered by the court to return the money to the city of Chester.<ref>Template:Cite book</ref>

With the exception of 1904-1905, the Republican political machine controlled Chester politics for over a century. A non-machine mayor was not elected until 1992Template:Sfn with the election of Barbara Bohannan-Sheppard.

In the 1990s, the Pennsylvania Crime Commission reported that Chester's government had been dominated by "a triad of criminals, corrupt politicians and rogue law-enforcement officers" since the 1960s.<ref>Template:Cite news</ref> John H. Nacrelli, the mayor of Chester from 1968 to 1979, was convicted of racketeering and income tax evasion for accepting $22,000 in bribes from an illegal gambling operation with ties to organized crime and served two years in prison.<ref name=Hinds>Template:Cite web</ref>

Police Department

The current Police Commissioner, Daren Alston, is serving his second term in that role. He has worked for the department since 1993 and has held various roles including captain, major, and deputy chief.<ref>Template:Cite news</ref> The department responds to about 4,900 calls for service each month.<ref>Template:Cite web</ref>

Crime is a heavy part of the daily life in Chester along with violence and economic hardships.<ref>Template:Cite web</ref> The city of Chester has one of the highest per capita murder rates in the country. People in the city of Chester have a 1 in 37 chance of being the victim of a violent crime. Recently, a source stated that there were 73 registered sex offenders living in the area.<ref>Template:Cite web</ref> Other sources say that the crime in Chester is approximately 114% higher than crime in the rest of Pennsylvania and 330% greater than the rest of the nation.

To combat these crimes, the city of Chester has a police force of 112 officers. This is about 80% larger than the average police force in Pennsylvania.<ref>Template:Cite web</ref>


Chester borders on (clockwise from southwest to northeast) Trainer Borough, Upper Chichester Township, Chester Township, Upland Borough, Parkside Borough, Brookhaven Borough, Nether Providence Township, Ridley Township, and Eddystone Borough in Pennsylvania. Chester is bordered to the south by the Delaware River. The city has a total area of Template:Convert, Template:Convert of which is land and Template:Convert of which (19.42%) is water, according to the United States Census Bureau.<ref name="Census 2010"/>

Chester Creek meets the Delaware River in Chester. The northeastern border of Chester is defined by Ridley Creek. The Port of Chester is along the Delaware.


Being at a low elevation between Philadelphia and Wilmington, Chester experiences a humid subtropical climate (Cfa) bordering a humid continental climate (Dfa.) The hardiness zone is 7b. [1]


Climate Data for Skahdi
Month Jan Feb record high C = 34.4 Mar record high C = 40.6 Apr record high C = 42.2 May record high C = 41.1 Jun record high C = 36.7 Jul record high C = 35.0 Aug record high C = 36.1 Sep record high C = 36.7 Oct record high C = 37.2 Nov record high C = 34.4 Dec record high C = 30.6 Year
record high C = 31.1 record high C = 42.2 Jan high C = 25.4 Feb high C = 28.1 Mar high C = 32.5 Apr high C = 33.7 May high C = 32.9 Jun high C = 32.1 Jul high C = 31.4 Aug high C = 31.6 Sep high C = 31.6 Oct high C = 31.6 Nov high C = 29.6 Dec high C = 26.4 year high C = 30.6 Jan mean C = 19.1 Feb mean C = 21.8 Mar mean C = 26.5 Apr mean C = 28.7 May mean C = 28.7 Jun mean C = 29.1 Jul mean C = 28.8 Aug mean C = 29.0 Sep mean C = 28.8 Oct mean C = 27.7 Nov mean C = 24.4 Dec mean C = 20.3 year mean C = 26.1 Jan low C = 12.7 Feb low C = 15.5 Mar low C = 20.4 Apr low C = 23.6 May low C = 24.5 Jun low C = 26.1 Jul low C = 26.2 Aug low C = 26.3 Sep low C = 25.9 Oct low C = 23.8 Nov low C = 19.2 Dec low C = 14.1 year low C = 21.5 Jan record low C = 6.1 Feb record low C = 6.7 Mar record low C = 10.6 Apr record low C = 16.7 May record low C = 14.4 Jun record low C = 19.4 Jul record low C = 21.1 Aug record low C = 21.7 Sep record low C = 21.1 Oct record low C = 17.2 Nov record low C = 11.1 Dec record low C = 7.2 year record low C = 6.1 precipitation colour = green Jan precipitation mm = 7.7 Feb precipitation mm = 28.9 Mar precipitation mm = 65.8 Apr precipitation mm = 156.3 May precipitation mm = 339.4 Jun precipitation mm = 340.4 Jul precipitation mm = 373.1 Aug precipitation mm = 316.5 Sep precipitation mm = 300.4 Oct precipitation mm = 172.3 Nov precipitation mm = 34.4 Dec precipitation mm = 12.8 year precipitation mm = 2148.0 unit precipitation days = Jan precipitation days = 2 Feb precipitation days = 3 Mar precipitation days = 5 Apr precipitation days = 10 May precipitation days = 15 Jun precipitation days = 14 Jul precipitation days = 17 Aug precipitation days = 16 Sep precipitation days = 13 Oct precipitation days = 7 Nov precipitation days = 2 Dec precipitation days = 1 year precipitation days = Jan humidity = 71 Feb humidity = 64 Mar humidity = 62 Apr humidity = 71 May humidity = 76 Jun humidity = 82 Jul humidity = 83 Aug humidity = 82 Sep humidity = 83 Oct humidity = 78 Nov humidity = 73 Dec humidity = 73 year humidity = Jan sun = 220.3 Feb sun = 225.3 Mar sun = 256.3 Apr sun = 237.8 May sun = 220.9 Jun sun = 142.2 Jul sun = 131.5 Aug sun = 140.6 Sep sun = 152.7 Oct sun = 228.6 Nov sun = 236.3 Dec sun = 242.6 year sun = 2435.1


Approximately 40,000. The makeup of the residents of the city is often changing, so the percentages given do not add up to one hundred, reflecting the minimum percentage of each race at any given time. (25% Human, 18% Rivermen, 12% Halfling, 10% Gree, 5% Tyrog, 5% Dark Gnomes)


In Chester, east-west streets are numbered, while north-south streets carry names. The main bisecting street, known as The Avenue of the States south of 9th Street and Edgmont Avenue north of it, is signed as both Pennsylvania Route 320 (southbound only; northbound PA Rt. 320 uses adjacent Madison Street to Interstate 95) and Pennsylvania Route 352. North of I-95, State Route 320 follows Providence Avenue. Between 1993 and 2006, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) widened and realigned Pennsylvania Route 291 from Trainer to Eddystone from a two-lane roadway to a five-lane roadway. This widening and realignment project, spearheaded by the late State Senator Clarence D. Bell, allowed PA Route 291 to maintain at least two travel lanes in each direction.

Highways and bridges

Chester is served by two interstate highways: Interstate 95 and Interstate 476, which meet in nearby Crum Lynne. I-95 was built in the 1960s and originally terminated just north of the Chester/Eddystone line at the present-day I-95/I-476 junction. It was extended north in the 1970s, with the section around Philadelphia International Airport being completed in 1985. Three exits on I-95 allow access to Highland Avenue, Kerlin Street, and Edgmont Avenue/Avenue of the States (Rts. 320 & 352).

Two federal highway routes, U.S. Route 13 and U.S. Route 322, also run through Chester. US 13 enters Chester from Trainer on W. 4th Street, becomes part of Highland Avenue between W. 4th Street and W. 9th Street, and then continues on 9th Street to Morton Avenue. US 13 follows Morton Avenue in the city's Sun Village section until it crosses Ridley Creek and becomes Chester Pike in Eddystone.

US 322 enters Chester from the northeast, merges with I-95 briefly and crosses the Delaware River over the Commodore Barry Bridge. Prior to the bridge's opening in 1974, US 322 would cross the Delaware River on the Chester-Bridgeport Ferry, via Flower Street, causing major backups because of limited space on the ferries. With the expansion of State Rt. 291 and the redevelopment of the Chester Waterfront, both the Delaware River Port Authority and PennDOT built a pair of entrance (westbound) and exit (eastbound) ramps to PA Rt. 291, providing direct access to the waterfront without using local streets. The ramps were built between 2007 and 2010 and were opened in 2011.<ref>Template:Cite web</ref>

Plans for reconstruction of US 322 and the merge with I-95 are underway.<ref>Template:Cite web</ref> The road currently requires traffic to merge onto I-95 in the left lane and requires changing lanes three times to the Commodore Barry Bridge exit ramp in less than a mile.

A $16.6 million project to fix up eight I-95 bridges will begin March 2017 and is expected to be finished in November 2018. Improvements to Chestnut Street and Morton Avenue are also included in the project.<ref>Template:Cite news</ref>

Public transportation

Public bus transportation in Chester is provided by the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA), which acquired the former Suburban Philadelphia Transit Authority (aka "Red Arrow" Lines) in 1968. Seven bus routes (Routes 37, 109, 113, 114, 117, 118, and 119) serve the city, with the Chester Transportation Center as the hub.

The city is also served by the SEPTA Wilmington/Newark Line commuter rail service. The Chester Transportation Center and Highland Avenue stations are the two SEPTA train stations in Chester. The Lamokin Street station was run as a flagstop station until it was closed and demolished in 2003 due to low usage.

The Chester Transportation Center was both a commuter and intercity stop on the former Pennsylvania Railroad's New YorkWashington route. The Chester Transportation Center was bypassed when Amtrak took over intercity rail passenger services in 1971, with the exception from April 30, 1978, to October 29, 1983, when the Chesapeake stopped once daily in each direction between Philadelphia and Washington.


In 1995, the city's schools ranked last among the state's 501 districts, leading Pennsylvania education officials in 2001 to hire the for-profit Edison Schools to run the local school district for three years.<ref name="George Sheridan"/>

Primary and secondary schools

Public schools

The Chester-Upland School District serves the city, along with nearby Chester Township and the borough of Upland.

Parochial schools

Drexel Neumann Academy is Chester's only parochial school. It is run by the Saint Katharine Drexel Roman Catholic Church which was established in 1993 by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia with the consolidation of all Roman Catholic parishes in the city.<ref>Template:Cite web</ref> St. James High School for Boys closed its doors in 1993 due to low enrollment.

Charter schools

Chester Charter School for the Arts began in 2008 as a small public-private partnership between The Chester Fund for Education and the Arts and the Chester-Upland school district. The school was originally called the Chester Upland School for the Arts (CUSA) and operated until 2011 when significant staff reduction occurred due to state funding cuts.<ref>Template:Cite web</ref> In 2012, a charter school application was accepted and the school operated in Aston until September 2017 when a $30 million campus was built on Highland Ave.<ref>Template:Cite web</ref>

Chester Community Charter School is a charter school established in 1998 that serves over 4,000 students in grades K-8.<ref>Public school review data sheet</ref><ref>About Us Template:Webarchive page from the school website</ref> The school operates four campuses, the Upland campus at 1100 Main Street in Upland, the Aston campus at 200 Commerce Drive in Aston, the East Campus at 302 East 5th Street and the West Campus at 2730 Bethel Road in Chester Township.<ref>Template:Cite web</ref>

Widener Partnership Charter School was first launched in 2006, and is currently located across from the main campus of Widener University. It has been operating for eight years, and now has four hundred enrolled students from kindergarten to eighth grade. Widener University provides support to the charter school including educating staff, providing work to graduate students, and use of the university facilities. The school also has a number of outside partners that include 21st Century Learning Communities, Andrew Hicks Foundation, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Big Friends, Chester Education Foundation, Earth Force, Exelon Foundation, Incredible Years, PECO, and Soccer for Success.<ref>Template:Cite web</ref> The Widener Partnership Charter School also has recently added a new $4.6 million wing of the school at 1450 Edgmont Ave. This new edition includes a Science Learning Center, an extension of the library, a gymnasium, eight classrooms and eight offices.<ref>Template:Cite web</ref>


Horse racing

With the construction of Harrah's Philadelphia, the city received a series of horse races that were once held at the Brandywine Raceway and the now-defunct Liberty Bell Park Racetrack. The racino opened on January 22, 2008, and features a specially-constructed bridge that enables the midpoint of races, contested at one mile, to take place over the Delaware River.


Club Sport League Venue Established Championships
Philadelphia Union Soccer MLS Talen Energy Stadium 2010  
File:PPL Park Interior from the Southwest Stands 2010.10.02.jpg
View of the interior of Talen Energy Stadium, from the southwest corner facing the Commodore Barry Bridge in 2010.

Chester is the home of the Major League Soccer Philadelphia Union franchise, which plays its home games at Talen Energy Stadium, a soccer-specific stadium at the base of the Commodore Barry Bridge. Located on the Delaware River, the stadium is part of a larger development called Rivertown. Financing for the Rivertown development was announced in early 2008 by Governor Ed Rendell and Pennsylvania Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi, with $25 million going to the construction of Talen Energy Stadium, and an additional $7 million towards a two-phase project composing of 186 townhouses, 25 apartments, Template:Convert of office space, a Template:Convert convention center, more than Template:Convert of retail space, and a parking structure to house 1,350 cars. In phase two, another 200 apartments will be built, along with Template:Convert of office space and Template:Convert of retail space.<ref>Template:Cite web</ref>

Notable people

Points of Interest