Manchester Historical Society
Manchester quiz. Can you answer these questions?
What kind of a farm is this? Approximately what year was the picture taken?
Hint: The Hacketts owned it.
Scroll down for answers.
Our free open houses:
Saturday, November 6. 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, November 14, from 1:00 to 4:00 at the Cheney Homestead -- Special program "Timothy Cheney and the Mystery(craft) of Early Clock-making." See examples of brass and wooden gear clocks and the Cheneys' significant role in this important American craft. You will learn about how the clocks were made, the lives of master and apprentice clock-makers, and our current efforts to create a permanent clock workshop exhibit at the Cheney Homestead. Our open house includes a school lesson in the 1751 Keeney Schoolhouse, and tours of the 1785 Homestead, art gallery, and gardens. The Homestead and Keeney Schoolhouse are located at 106 Hartford Road. Peter Millett and committee welcome you! Come for a few minutes or for several hours. Donations welcome.

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.
Season finale at Woodbridge farmstead.
Thanks to all who came out for our October 24 open house! Town Troubadour, Bill Ludwig, presented a program of vintage music, and Town Historian, Susan Barlow, spoke about the history of Manchester Green. Our twice-a-month open houses will start again in the spring. Thanks, Mark Abraitis, for these photos. Above, that's the newly reassembled shed that will become our Woodbridge visitor center. It will have a restroom. The Farmstead is located at 495 Middle Turnpike East. Saluting the Woodbridge Committee for organizing the open houses.
Peggy Newton, Woodbridge Committee Chairperson, and Susan Barlow, Town Historian, greet visitors to the antique shed.
Historical Society member George Beauregard drove his 1963 Thunderbird to the Farmstead, bringing the Town Historian.
130 years ago in the Manchester Saturday Herald
The Herald was only 10 years old in 1891, and was still a weekly, published on Saturdays. Here are some tidbits from mid-October, 1891. The whole edition is available here: Herald 10/10/1891 edition. Clockwise from below left: • Apel's Opera House was in the North End -- the building is still there, near the railroad tracks and Woodbridge Street • Hillstown is in the southwest area of town near the edge of the towns of Manchester, Glastonbury, and East Hartford. • Woodland Park race track was located off the northern end of Woodland Street -- on the way to Hilliardville.
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.
Find us on Facebook!
For frequent photos and tidbits, check out our Facebook page.

Click the image on the left to try the puzzle.

Front page of the October 1931 Cheney employee newsletter, noting, among other items, reductions in wages due to the Depression. Read the whole edition here.

See our entire online collection of these newsletters here.
Counting down to Manchester's 200th anniversary year, which begins January 1, 2023: 429 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.
Answers to questions above
It was tobacco that was grown on the Hackett farm grew. This photo and an article are in the 1914 Homeland Day special edition of The Manchester Herald. Those are tobacco sheds in the rear of the photo. Read more about Manchester's tobacco business here.
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 to the public, 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. .