Chester

Chester

Is a city in Delaware County, Pennsylvania, United States, with a population of 36,854 at the 2000 census. Chester is situated on the Delaware River, between the cities of Philadelphia and Wilmington, Delaware.

The city is home to the Philadelphia Union of Major League Soccer and Philadelphia Independence of Women’s Professional Soccer, who both play at PPL Park, a soccer-specific stadium at the southwesterly corner of the Commodore Barry Bridge.

History

The first European settlers in the area were Swedes. They called the settlement that became Chester first Finlandia, then Upland. They built Fort Mecoponacka in 1641 to defend the settlement.

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

Chester served as the county seat for Chester County, which then stretched from the Delaware River to the Susquehanna River. In 1789, the city became the county seat for the newly created Delaware County (whereupon Chester County became landlocked, with West Chester as its county seat), but the county seat was moved to the borough of Media in 1851. The courthouse is near the new City Hall building.

Chester’s naval shipyard supplied the Union during the Civil War, and the United States in subsequent wars until the shipyard at Philadelphia became dominant after World War II. America’s largest postbellum shipyard, John Roach’s Delaware River Iron Ship Building and Engine Works, was also located at Chester. The Sun Shipbuilding & Drydock Co., later Pennsylvania Shipyard & Dry Dock Company, was located in Chester until it closed in 1990. Two ships of the United States Navy have been named USS Chester in honor of the city.

Chester is one of numerous places that claim to be the birthplace of the hoagie sandwich. It is also known as the “Cradle of Rock ‘n Roll” as Bill Haley & His Comets first performed and maintained their headquarters in the Chester area.

Geography

Chester borders on (clockwise from southwest to northeast) Trainer Borough, Upper Chichester Township, Chester Township, Upland Borough, Parkside Borough, Ridley Township, and Eddystone Borough in Pennsylvania. Across the Delaware River, the city faces Gloucester County, New Jersey, and while most of its riverfront neighbors Logan Township, the easternmost portion of the city borders Greenwich Township. The city has a total area of 6.0 square miles (15.6 km²), including 4.8 square miles (12.6 km²) of land and 1.2 square miles (3.0 km²) (19.47%) of water, according to the United States Census Bureau.

Source: Wikipedia

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