On April 26, 1894, the Chester Post Office was established at Burwell Johnson’s establishment, which included a saloon plus rooms for travelers. Johnson’s was located at the base known today as Johnson Grade on Highway 36, approximately where the causeway begins. The post office was named after Chester, Vermont, former home of the Jonathan Martin family, Johnson’s neighbors, who were instrumental in the development of Chester.
In the early 1900s, the Great Western Power Company began acquisitions of properties of Big Meadows, which it was their intent to construct a reservoir for hydro power development. This they did, and known today as Lake Almanor. The Martin and Olsen families sold their properties to Great Western Power, retaining everything about 4500 elevation contour. In 1911, Edith Martin hired Everett M. Cameron to survey and subdivide her property and thus, the town of Chester was born.