CHESTER, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- The original east-west road through Massachusetts was U.S. Route 20, built in 1926.

That road happens to also cut right thru Chester.

One man is trying to promote tourism along Route 20 and he found a home right in town.

Chester has its roots in transportation. From some of the earliest steam engines stopping in town to Route 20 opening up travel to the west, Chester is truly a gateway to the Berkshires.

"Our organization is trying to drop people back into town, sort of like saying this is a newer Route 66," said Brian Farr.

Farr is the founder of the Historic Route 20 Association. Over last seven years, he has traveled over 200,000 miles across the us along Route 20.

"I've learned that I have too many favorite places. That's the interesting thing about this whole experience. What drives me is helping other communities. We offer people tools to come back into towns, whether it's going to see the world's largest popcorn ball or just some really unique diner or mural," Farr added.

Stretching over 3,300 miles, Route 20 is the longest highway in the United States. From Boston to Newport, OR, the national home base could've been anywhere, but Farr chose to set a visitors center in Chester.

"This is a very iconic town and sort of what you'd see across the country with small towns, small businesses, that small diner or restaurant you want to go to...you experience that across the country. This will be our national home base. People can come get information on what to see, what to do here, or if they want to go across the country. It'll be a rustic, industrial visitors center," Farr explained.

The visitors center, along with Carm's Restaurant next door, is set to open in the spring of 2019.

"We have some work to do," Farr noted.

We wanted to help, so on behalf of Western Mass News and Diamond RV, Jacob presented the Route 20 visitors center with a check for $500 to spread the word.

For more information on the Historic Route 20 Association in Chester or how you can help out, CLICK HERE.

Copyright 2018 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation).  All rights reserved.

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