Walking Tours, Lectures, Fundraisers, and Other Activities
Lectures take place at the Manchester History Center at 175 Pine Street. Parking is available along Pleasant
Street and along Forest Street next to the building; parking for people with disabilities is available in the small lot next to (north of) the History Center. The building is
accessible. The costs for lectures and walking tours varies; some events are free; many of our walks are free for children under 16 accompanied by parents or other adults. Donations are always welcome.
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Open Wednesday through Friday 10:00 to 2:00 and Saturdays from 12:00 noon to 4:00 p.m., "Then and Now" at the History Center, 175 Pine Street. The Manchester Historical Society received a $4999 grant from Connecticut Humanities to create the exhibit, which showcases the history of Manchester from pre-Colonial times to the present, and illustrates Manchester’s contributions to the arts and industry. The exhibit tells the story of how people from around the globe and from diverse backgrounds came to call Manchester home. The goal of this exhibit is to illustrate how Manchester’s past relates to the present day. Visitors will be invited to consider how today's choices can shape the future. The Society is grateful to the Connecticut Humanities and our private donors for supporting this professionally designed and installed exhibit. Free. NOTE: Holiday closing -- The History Center will be closed on Saturday, December 23, reopening on Wednesday, January 3.
Saturdays during December, "Factory Chat,” a 55-minute television show recorded in September 2015, at the History Center. In this chat, we asked for participants to tell us about their experiences working in factories. 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. The television show is produced by Susan Barlow, directed by Kathryn Wilson, researched by Jill Gelinas, all volunteers of the Manchester Historical Society. You can watch some of our previous television shows online at the the Cox Cable website. You can watch this month's show at any time RIGHT HERE on the Public Access website Factory Chat show on Public Access TV. Also the very special LIVING HISTORY PROJECT 34-minute video by Zack Carroll, with commentary from Manchester residents about the Town's past, present, and future. Watch this bicentennial special by clicking here at any time.
Sunday, December 10, from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m., Open House at the Cheney Homestead, 106 Hartford Road, decorated for the holidays by the Manchester Garden Club. The afternoon includes tours of the historic 1785 property, including new and old exhibits and an art gallery where you will be inspired by Manchester's rich history in art. The Homestead was donated to the Manchester
Historical Society by the Cheney family in 1968 for use as a house museum. As with many New England homesteads, the house is built into a hill, with doors opening out to the yard on both the upper and lower levels. For old photos and history of the Homestead on this website, visit Cheney Homestead history. We plan Open Houses generally on the second Sunday of the month. Donations always welcomed for the upkeep of the Homestead.
Wednesday, December 13 at 10:00 a.m., the Historical Society's Genealogy Group -- a meeting for both amateur and more experienced genealogists, as we explore topics in genealogy, helping each other with research and in overcoming roadblocks. Meet at the Manchester History Center, 175 Pine Street. Genealogist Noreeen Palladino Cullen will present tips on finding information eludes reearchers. The Genealogy Group consists of Historical Society members, but non-members are also welcome ($3.00 fee for non-members). The group usually meets on the second Wednesday of the month. Visit Reprints webpage for resources such as Town directories, high school yearbooks, Almshouse records, Beekeepers Register, etc.
Monday, January 1, 2024 at 1:00 p.m. History Walk featuring the "Great Lawn"
starting at Fuss & O'Neill, 146 Hartford Road, Manchester. This one-and-a-quarter-hour walk will proceed along streets and lawn to view historic mansions and the nine acres purchased by the Town in 2005 for open space and historic preservation. Cheney district commission members Tom Ferguson and Susan Barlow will comment on the historic landscape and buildings. There is some steep and uneven ground, so participants should wear sturdy shoes or boots. Extreme weather cancels, but the walk will be held in light rain or snow flurries, so please bring an umbrella. Free. Photo on left is a postcard of Hartford Road before 1910 -- that's the old Cheney office building (the "new" one, location of Fuss & O'Neill, was built in 1910). For a map and vintage photos of the District on our website, visit Cheney map. The Cheney silk mills were Manchester's largest employer in the early part of the 20th century.
The Old Manchester Museum at 126 Cedar Street, is usually open the first Saturday of the month, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. May through December except holidays; closed January through April. It is also open by appointment; the research facility is available all year round by appointment -- phone 860-647-9742.
The History Center and museum store. Our offices are open Wednesday through Friday 10:00 to 2:00; located in the former Cheney Machine Shop, 175 Pine Street at the corner of Forest Street -- our museum store sells local-history items such as books on local history, copies of vintage maps, Kage company plastic decorations, Manchester Herald cookbooks, t-shirts with historic scenes of Manchester, copies of high school yearbooks, vintage business directories, mugs, notecards, and limited-edition ceramic tree ornaments with images of Cheney Homestead and other landmarks. Questions: 860-647-9983.
Board meetings of the Historical Society are held at 4:00 p.m. on the third Wednesday of the month at the History Center, 175 Pine Street. Members are welcome to attend and may speak or ask questions at the beginning of the meeting. Questions may be directed to 860-647-9983.