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Town of Manchester
—  Town  —

Nickname(s): Silk City
Motto: City of Village Charm
Location in Hartford County, Connecticut
Coordinates: 41°46′31″N 72°31′27″W / 41.77528°N 72.52417°W / 41.77528; -72.52417Coordinates: 41°46′31″N 72°31′27″W / 41.77528°N 72.52417°W / 41.77528; -72.52417
Country United States
State Connecticut
NECTA Hartford–West Hartford–East Hartford
Region Capitol Region
Founded 1672
Incorporated 1823
 - Type Council-manager
 - General Manager Scott Shanley
 - Board of directors Louis A. Spadaccini (R), Mayor
Mark Tweedie (R)
Jeff Beckman (R)
Lisa Paggioli O'Neill (D)
Matt Peak (R)
Cheri Ann Pelletier (R)
Rudy C. Kissmann (D)
Michael G. Farina (D)
Kevin L. Zingler (D)
 - Total 27.7 sq mi (71.7 km2)
 - Land 27.3 sq mi (70.6 km2)
 - Water 0.4 sq mi (1.1 km2)
Elevation 272 ft ((at Town Hall)
82.9 m)
Population (2005)[1]
 - Total 55,572
 Density 2,036/sq mi (786/km2)
Time zone EST (UTC-5)
 - Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP code 06040 06041 06042 06043 06045
Area code(s) 860
FIPS code 09-44700
GNIS feature ID 0213455

Manchester is a town in Hartford County, Connecticut, United States. As of the 2000 census, the town had a total population of 54,740.[2]



Manchester was settled by colonists around 1672 as a farming community. The many rivers and brooks provided power for paper, lumber and textile industries, and the town quickly evolved into an industrial center. The town of Hartford once included the land now occupied by the towns of Manchester, East Hartford, and West Hartford. In 1783, East Hartford became a separate town, which included Manchester in its city limits until 1823.[3]

In 1838, the Cheney family started what became the world's largest silk mill. Eventually, Manchester became an ideal industrial community. The mills, houses of the owners, and homes of the workers are now part of the Cheney Brothers Historic District, a National Historic Landmark.

Also of note are the E.E. Hilliard Company Woolen Mills. Founded ca. 1780 by Aaron Buckland and later sold to the Hilliard family. The Hilliard Mills are the oldest woolen mill site in the country.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 27.7 square miles (71.7 km²), of which, 27.3 square miles (70.6 km²) of it is land and 0.4 square miles (1.1 km²) of it (1.52%) is water.


As of the census[2] of 2000, there were 54,740 people, 23,197 households, and 14,010 families residing in the town. The population density was 2,008.2 people per square mile (775.4/km²). There were 24,256 housing units at an average density of 889.9/sq mi (343.6/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 82.77% White, 8.42% African American, 0.20% Native American, 3.15% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 3.12% from other races, and 2.31% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 6.54% of the population.

There were 23,197 households out of which 28.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 43.8% were married couples living together, 13.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 39.6% were non-families. 31.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.32 and the average family size was 2.93.

In the town the population was spread out with 22.8% under the age of 18, 8.0% from 18 to 24, 33.0% from 25 to 44, 22.1% from 45 to 64, and 14.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 91.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.7 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $49,426, and the median income for a family was $58,769. Males had a median income of $41,893 versus $32,562 for females. The per capita income for the town was $25,989. About 6.0% of families and 8.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 11.1% of those under age 18 and 7.7% of those age 65 or over.

Voter Registration and Party Enrollment as of October 25, 2005[4]
Party Active voters Inactive voters Total voters Percentage
  Democratic 10,612 584 11,196 33.86%
  Republican 6,249 374 6,623 20.03%
  Unaffiliated 14,150 1,069 15,219 46.03%
  Minor Parties 25 2 27 0.08%
Total 31,036 2,029 33,065 100%




Manchester receives local stations out of Hartford, Connecticut, with the exception of ABC.

  • WTNH, Local ABC Affiliate
  • WFSB, Local CBS Affiliate
  • WVIT, Local NBC Affiliate
  • WEDH, Connecticut Public Television


Manchester is home to the local newspaper, the Journal Inquirer, which serves all of Manchester and the surrounding areas. The Hartford Courant also has a facility in Manchester, and can be delivered anywhere in town.


Hartford's Radio Disney station, WDZK.

Places and events of interest

Main Street (looking South from Center Street)

Manchester is known for The Shoppes at Buckland Hills, an enclosed shopping mall, The Plaza at Buckland Hills and the nearby strip mall, Buckland Plaza. In the last decade, the area surrounding the mall, which extends into the town of South Windsor, has been blanketed with numerous big box shopping outlets and plazas and quickly transformed into a shopping hub for the state's residents.

Bissell Street (looking East of Main Street)

As a center of the silk industry in America from the late 19th through the mid-20th Century, the "Cheney Family" historic district [1] showcases mills refurbished as apartments and includes nearby museums.

The city has three museums. The Fire Museum is housed in a restored 1901 firehouse building. The museum's firefighting equipment and memorabilia include leather fire buckets used in Colonial times, a display showing the evolution of sprinkler systems, a horse-drawn hose wagon, a 1921 Ahrens-Fox fire pumper, and a 105-foot 1911 water tower. The Lutz Children's Museum has participatory exhibits covering art, history, science, nature and ethnology. The museum's permanent collection includes small live animals.[5] The Old Manchester Museum, focusing on local history, is operated by the Manchester Historical Society.[6]

Wickham Park, a non-profit private foundation is located on Manchester and East Hartford property. The 53-acre Oak Grove Nature Center has wildlife habitats.[5] Case Mountain Recreational Area, located in the less populated southeast corner of Manchester, is popular for hiking, mountain biking, and has a great view of the Hartford skyline to the west.

Manchester is perhaps most famous for its popular Manchester Road Race which is held every Thanksgiving Day. The race has over 10,000 participants yearly, as well as thousands of spectators. For New Englanders, it is second in popularity only to the Boston Marathon. The annual auto show is also gaining more popularity every year.[7]

Manchester Memorial Hospital is located in the city.

Manchester is also home to Manchester Community College, a two-year community college, and several high schools: Manchester High School, Howell Cheney Technical High School, and East Catholic High School.

Manchester has more than 1,000 acres of park land, a range of housing styles and prices in attractive neighborhoods, Manchester Memorial Hospital, Manchester Community College, an award-winning school system, performing arts organizations, libraries and friendly, community-spirited residents.




Manchester has parts of three interstate highways located within its borders.[8]

All three interstates share a complicated interchange near the town's border with East Hartford.

U.S. highways

The U.S. Highways US 6.svg Route 6 & US 44.svg Route 44 together constitute Manchester's principal East/West arterial.[8]

Route 44 enters town from the West at the border with East Hartford on West Middle Turnpike. Less than a mile from the town line, Route 44 is joined by Route 6 which enters Manchester concurrently with I-84. Routes 6 & 44 run concurrently through town along West Middle Turnpike, Center St., East Center St., East Middle Turnpike, and New Bolton Rd. The Routes exit town to the East at the Bolton town line.

Connecticut state highways

There are two signed Connecticut state highways that go through Manchester.[8]

  • Connecticut Highway 30.svg Connecticut Route 30 is an East/West arterial in the Northern section of town. Route 30 enters town from South Windsor as Deming St. Then as Tolland Turnpike, it junctions with and runs concurrently with Route 83 to the Vernon town line.
  • Connecticut Highway 83.svg Connecticut Route 83 is Manchester's principal North/South arterial. Starting as South Main St. at the Southern border with Glastonbury, Route 83 becomes Main St. through the center of town, then turns East for 350 yards as North Main St., turns North again as Oakland St., then finally combines with Route 30 at Tolland Turnpike and exits town at the Vernon line.

Public transportation

Manchester is served by the Hartford division of Connecticut Transit. The B, YM, and Z routes connect Manchester directly to the city of Hartford.[9]


No passenger service currently exists in town. Freight service from Hartford is provided by Connecticut Southern Railroad.[10]



Manchester has several on and off-road bicycle routes. The two most popular routes are the Charter Oak Greenway and the Hop River State Park Trail. Portions of each of those routes have been designated as parts of the East Coast Greenway.[11]


Team Sport League Championships Venue
Manchester Warriors Cricket Club Cricket Silk City Striders Manchester Warriors Cricket Ground, Martin School

Notable people, past and present

See also

Cheney Brothers Mills, South Manchester, about 1920


  1. ^ U.S. Census Bureau Population Estimates
  2. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  3. ^ Goodwin, Joseph Olcott (1879). East Hartford: Its History and Traditions. Hartford, Connecticut: Case, Lockwood, and Brainard Co. 
  4. ^ "Registration and Party Enrollment Statistics as of October 25, 2005" (PDF). Connecticut Secretary of State. Retrieved 2006-10-02. 
  5. ^ a b Connecticut, Massachusetts & Rhode Island Tourbook 2007 Edition. (2007) pp 58-59. AAA Publishing, Heathrow, Florida
  6. ^ Old Manchester Museum website, retrieved November 9, 2008
  7. ^ King, Peter; One Fine Day- Aggravating/Enjoyable Travel Note of the Week; Monday Morning Quarterback December 2, 2002; Sports Illustrated Online; retrieved December 29, 2006
  8. ^ a b c Google Map of Manchester
  9. ^ Connecticut Transit Hartford Routes & Schedules; Updated November 20, 2006
  10. ^ Connecticut Southern Railroad Railmap;
  11. ^ Connecticut Department of Transportation Index to Trails in Connecticut by Town

External links

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

MANCHESTER, a township of Hartford county, Connecticut, U.S.A., about 9 m. E. of Hartford. Pop.(1890), 8222; (1900), 10,601, of whom 3771 were foreign-born; (1910 census) 13,641. Manchester is served by the New York, New Haven & Hartford railway and by electric line connecting with Hartford, Rockville and Stafford Springs. The township covers an area of about 28 sq. m., and includes the villages of Manchester, South Manchester, Buckland, Manchester Green and Highland Park. The Hockanum River provides a good water power, and Manchester has various manufactures. At South Manchester, an attractive industrial village, a silk mill was built in 1838; the silk mills of one firm (Cheney Brothers) here cover about 12 acres; the company has done much for its employees, whose homes are almost all detached cottages in attractive grounds. Manchester was originally a part of the township of Hartford, and later a part of the township of East Hartford. The first settlement within its present limits was made about 1672; the land was bought from the Indians in 1676; and the township was separated from East Hartford and incorporated in 1823.

See also Meakin's Model Factories and Villages (1905).

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