Manchester Historical Society
Manchester quiz. Can you answer these questions?
Where was this picture taken? Approximately what year?
Hint: The little sign to the left of the women says Manchester Lumber & Fuel.
Scroll down for answers.
Our free open houses:
Sunday, October 24, from noon to 2:00 p.m. at Woodbridge Farmstead -- our LAST open house of the season. Come for a half hour or several hours! Take a stroll through our 18th century barn. We are having a special program at 12:30 about “The Green,” an important center in Manchester’s history. Music by Town Troubadour Bill Ludwig. The Town Historian, Susan Barlow, will present information about this area of town, through the decades and centuries. George Washington stopped at the Woodbridge Tavern at the Green in November 1789, and Manchester’s first post office was established here in 1808. If it rains we will have our program inside the barn. The Farmstead is located at 495 Middle Turnpike East. Park on the street or at the nearby Senior Center.

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.
Old Keeney School building.
Thanks, Nancy Wiesner, for this Herald clipping from December 12, 1966, describing the re-use of the old Keeney School for Manchester Community College administration. Nancy attended elementary school in this building.
75 years ago in the Manchester Evening Herald
The Manchester Herald included these three ads; the whole edition is available here: Herald 10/22/1946 edition. Note: the garments in the ad for Manchester Knitting Mills are not cheap; the value of $1 in 1946 is $14 in 2021, so that $4 sweater represents a cost of $56 in 2021.
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 pages of The Highland News and Tonica Springs Record. Read more about "these newspaprers."
For a
Columbus Day 1892
In 1892, Columbus Day was on October 21. Find out more about the origins of this now controversial holiday -- presented by Walt Woodward, State Historian. See the posting here. At the bottom of the narrative is a link to subscribe to this lively and informative email service.
Counting down to Manchester's 200th anniversary year, which begins January 1, 2023: 436 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.
First frost 95 years ago
The 10/22/1926 Herald reported the first heavy frost; "mercury drops to 20."
Answers to questions above
On Center Street near the Cheney railroad overpass, looking east toward the center of Manchester, Joan Fontana, Amelia “Toni” Antonio, Helen Accornero, Dorothy “Alice” Darling. October 26, 1941. This photo was donated by Gail Peck; see the whole collection 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, 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. .