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Chester Foundry named Business of the Month

  • From left, chamber directors Linda Sympson, Tom Welge and Bob Welker; Gordon Atchison, general manager; David Randall and Ron Woodworth, chamber directors.

    From left, chamber directors Linda Sympson, Tom Welge and Bob Welker; Gordon Atchison, general manager; David Randall and Ron Woodworth, chamber directors.
    Gwendy Garner photo

 
By Gwendy Garner
Contributing writer
updated: 2/7/2022 11:42 AM

The Chester Chamber of Commerce has named the Chester Foundry as the February 2022 Business of the Month.

The Chester Foundry is at 600 Barron St. in Chester, adjacent to Chester's street department and city garage.

It was founded in 1955 by local businessman Orville Cook. At its inception and for many years, the foundry cast brass and bronze bushings for the barge industry. Eventually, the business got into more normal commercial casting work, according to current General Manager Gordon Atchison.

In 1987 Cook sold the Chester Foundry to Wayne Thomas, who owned and operated the business until 1991. That year the business was purchased by Jeff Lutz who also owns Century Brass of Swansea and Kettler Castings of Belleville. Lutz still owns the Chester Foundry.

"During his ownership, Lutz has done some modernization and increased the customer base," said Gordon Atchison. Current customers of the foundry include companies from the electrical and plumbing industries.

In 2021 the Chester Foundry celebrated its 30th anniversary under the ownership of Jeff Lutz. They have a total of 11 employees.

Following the announcement of the Business of the Month award, Atchison conducted a tour of the facility for several chamber members.

"It was a very interesting tour," said Chamber President Bob Welker. "The chamber is excited to recognize this longtime Chester business."