Manchester Historical Society
Manchester quiz. Can you answer these questions?

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Our free open houses:
Saturday, October 2. Old Manchester Museum -- open the first Saturday of the month, 10:00 to 2:00, hosted by Bob Kanehl and Art Pongratz, who can help you with some research, using our collection of town directories. Located at 126 Cedar Street, the former schoolhouse's exhibits include copies of old maps, examples of Cheney silk, Pitkin glass, Spencer rifles, Case water-bottling works items. Museum open May to December. There is a small museum store with local history items: books, maps, Pitkin jewelry items, etc.

Sunday, October 10, from noon to 2:00 p.m. at Woodbridge Farmstead -- Pumpkin Fest program Come for a half hour or several hours! Take a stroll through our 18th century barn. There will be pumpkin decorating, a hidden pumpkin hunt, a guess-the-weight-of-a-giant-pumpkin contest, and a duck race at the brook. Pumpkin treats will be available! The work of reconstructing another old barn on the property is in progress. Come and check on the progress of the work on our new welcome center and museum display area. We are located at 495 East Middle Turnpike. Park on the street or at the nearby Senior Center. Two 2021 open houses left: October 10 Pumpkin Fest, and October 24 Town Historian and Town Troubadour will present a history program.

Sunday, October 10, from 1:00 to 4:00 at the Cheney Homestead -- “Homestead Harvest” wherein you can help us gather our harvest from the kitchen garden and cut and string vegetables for drying. Also, learn about early American crafts and skills such as wool spinning, weaving, and apple cider making. A school lesson will be taught in the 1751 Keeney Schoolhouse. Tour the 1785 Cheney Homestead to discover “art, ingenuity & early American life.” Cheney Homestead Arts will host an open studio at the corner of Pine and Forest streets. Learn about fall children’s art classes and opportunities for adults. The 1785 Homestead and Keeney Schoolhouse are located at 106 Hartford Road.

The History Center is under construction, but the museum store and offices are open Tuesday through Friday 10:00 to 2:00. The center is located in the former Cheney machine shop, 175 Pine Street.
Sports Hall of Fame awards dinner postponed
Our friends on the Board of the Manchester Sports Hall of Fame have postponed the annual award dinners to April 2022 due to concerns about COVID. We work with the Sports Hall to list the inductees -- view here, where you can sort by inductee, date of award, and category of sport.
85 years ago in the Manchester Saturday Herald
County fair at the Second Congregational Church, North Main Street. From the October 1, 1936 Herald. See the whole edition. Browse all The Heralds here.
Events of interest, sponsored by other organizations
46th annual walking tour of the Cheney Brothers National Historic Landmark District, sponsored by MCC and the town's district commission. Saturday, October 9, 1:00 p.m., 146 Hartford Road. About 2 hours, covering a mile or so. Rain or shine. Find out more about the former silk mills and the people who worked there. Many of the mills are now apartments. Free.
"Rotary in Motion" biking and walking, Saturday, October 2, register before 10:00 a.m. at Charter Oak Park, with a history tour of the park and a 3-1/2 mile walk along the East Coast Greenway to the historic Highland Park section of town. Sponsored by the Manchester Rotary Club. Long and short bike rides will follow the routes of historic railroads and new greenways. Free.
Art classes
New for kids during October: “Art of North America” Click the image on the right for more info. Ongoing and new offerings. Info: art classes at the History Center. Questions may be directed to Trudy Mitchell. ONGOING: Classical Drawing -- "Learn the art and science of accurate drawing based on traditional 19th-century methods." Six-week sessions on Saturdays from 9:30-12:30.
The art studio is located in the lower level of History Center, a 42,000-square-foot building that used to be the Cheney Machine Shop, and is now on the National Register of Historic Places. The Center was built beginning in 1895.
Find us on Facebook!
For frequent photos and tidbits, check out our Facebook page.
Wanted for research purposes
Requesting information about the whereabouts of:
  • Any tall case clocks made by Benjamin Cheney (1725-1815) or Timothy Cheney (1731-1795)
  • Timothy Cheney’s account book – last known to be in the possession of Frank Cheney, Jr. (1860-1957) during the early twentieth century.
  • Letters, diaries, bills of sale, daybooks, customer account entries, or account books of Benjamin or Timothy Cheney.
Please contact: Kevin Ferrigno. All responses will remain confidential. Note: the image above left is of the dial on a tall case clock made by Timothy Cheney, c. 1770-1783, in the collection of the Manchester Historical Society.
Counting down to Manchester's 200th anniversary year, which begins January 1, 2023: 457 days.
The Manchester Historical Society is planning exciting activities for the Town's year-long bicentennial celebration. Check out the activities of the 1923 celebration, documented in this booklet on our website.

Click the image on the left to try the puzzle.

Cover of an illustrated book about the Manchester Road Race, our iconic Thanksgiving Day event.
Answers to questions above
A walking tour gets started at the Fuss & O'Neill office at 146 Hartford Road. The tour, now in its 46th year, visits the Cheney Brothers National Historic Landmark District. Information about this year's tour is above. All welcome. Free.
The building was constructed in 1910 as the Cheney office building. See more of the properties that are part of the Landmark District: Map with properties.
High school yearbooks
Enjoy the large collection of Somanhis (South Manchester High School) yearbooks on our website. In addition to photos of the graduating seniors, these books have ads for local businesses, photos of school activities, and sometimes poetry and prose by the students. Thanking our volunteers, especially Bob Gauthier, Noreen Cullen, Jim Hall, Joshua Pruden, Dick Jenkins, Susan Barlow.
October TV show airs at noon and 8:00 p.m. Saturdays throughout this month --"Joe McCluskey Statue Dedication," a 52-minute television show recorded on November 10, 2019, at the unveiling of the sculpture of Joe McCluskey, Manchester runner and Olympic steeplechase champion, with speeches by the sculptor, Joe's family, Mayor Moran, and members of the Road Race committee. Town Troubadour Bill Ludwig and friends sang an original song about Joe. The show airs at 12:00 noon and 8:00 p.m. on Cox cable channel 15 on Saturdays, and runs on all the Saturdays of the month. The show changes each month. This Channel 15 broadcasts in Manchester, Glastonbury, South Windsor, Wethersfield, Rocky Hill, and Newington. Some previous local-history shows can be borrowed at Mary Cheney Library, or purchased at the Historical Society Museum Store. The television show is produced volunteers of the Manchester Historical Society. You can watch some of our previous television shows online at the Town website Historical shows on demand.  You can watch this month's show on the Public Access website "Statue Dedication" TV Show on Public Access TV.You can watch some of our previous shows by selecting "Manchester Program Schedule" (the second tab) on the local Public Access website and on the next screen, type Historical into the search box.
Unfortunately, during the pandemic, the cable TV studio and equipment are unavailable, so we will not be able to make new TV shows for a while.
Membership for yourself or --
Consider a gift membership for a friend or loved one. Why join a local historical society, even if you don't live in that town? Some reasons: • support education about the history of the town • support preservation of artifacts and vintage photos • join in advocating for preservation of historic buildings and parks that make Manchester charming.
Print this online donation form and mail to 175 Pine Street. Or drop by the History Center, Tuesdays through Fridays from 10:00 to 2:00. Direct questions to 860-647-9983.
Additional ways to donate: Employer matching gifts! Direct United Way donations to the Society. Sign in to Amazon via Amazon Smile and have a percentage of your purchases go to the Society. .