Chester is the birthplace of Philadelphia-style cream cheese.
The town was first settled by Europeans in the 1700s, made up of ethnic Dutch and English colonists.
The economy of the early town was based on dairy products, particularly milk. This industry flourished because completion of the Erie Railroad in 1841, which ran through Chester, enabled local farmers to ship their prices to New York City, where demand was high. For instance, local farmer Phil Gregory would ship 240 quarts (230 l) of milk by train to New York City. The railroad earned $1.20 ($29 in modern dollars) in freight charges; Gregory’s business eventually grew to 300,000 quarts (280,000 l) of milk per day, which in turn gave the railroad over $1,000 ($24,000 in modern dollars) in profit.