Walking Tours, Lectures, Fundraisers, and Other Activities

Lectures usually 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 the History Center. The building is accessible. Light refreshments are often served.

The costs for lectures and walking tours varies; some events are free, such as our Veteran program; many of our walks are free for children under 16 accompanied by parents or other adults. Donations are always welcome.

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  • The Old Manchester Museum at 126 Cedar Street, open by appointment -- phone 860-647-9983. The research facility is available all year round -- to make an appointment, please phone 860-647-9742.

  • The History Center and museum store are generally open weekdays from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. , 175 Pine Street at the corner of Forest Street -- where you can purchase 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. There is also a study area where visitors can conduct research by browsing through old Manchester directories, surveys, high school yearbooks, and booklets. There's an exhibit of the Russell barber shop, with barber pole, and vintage barbering tools and furniture, as well as a standing exhibit about Cheney silks. Please check to make sure the building is open before coming! 860-647-9983.

  • "The Mystique of Silk” exhibit at the History Center, open during regular hours, weekdays from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., but please phone 860-647-9983 to double-check if open. This exhibit was created by the Cheney Cemetery Association's President, Carol Cheney, great-granddaughter of Knight Dexter Cheney, President of Cheneys from 1894 to 1907. Carol describes the exhibit as commemorating "the 100th anniversary of the Cheney Cemetery Association in 2016, and the enduring Cheney Family legacy of innovation and good will. The family expresses deep gratitude to the generations of Cheney Brothers employees whose dedicated service helped build the Town of Manchester." "Design, advertising, and sales of Cheney silks were handled at the company’s New York offices. Much can be learned about the Cheney Brothers brand from their advertisements in high-end magazines of the day. These ads emphasized life style and corporate image over product details." The framed ads in the exhibit are from Carol Cheney's collection. These stunning advertisements for Cheney silks were displayed at MCC On Main during June 2016. Additional information about the exhibit, written by Carol Cheney, describes "the aura of elegance and luxury" that these Cheney advertisements emphasized.

  • Sunday, October 22 from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., Open House at the Woodbridge barn and grounds, 495 East Middle Turnpike. Free. Visit the restored eighteenth-century barn and the grounds of the Society's Woodbridge property on the second and fourth Sundays of the month: Also, November 12; also, Saturday, December 2 as part of the holiday open house. The Farmstead is located at Manchester Green, near the intersection of East Middle Turnpike with Woodbridge Street. The barn, located behind (north of) the house, was restored with funds from the Connecticut State Historic Preservation Office, the SBM Charitable Foundation, Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation, and individual donors. Visitors can park at the municipal lot behind the Senior Center, or along the street between the Senior Center and the farmstead itself. From the street, walk to the backyard using the grass driveway between the house and Woodbridge Pizza. The Woodbridge farmstead is on the National Register of Historic Places. The Historical Society is in the process of developing displays of farm tools and equipment. The farm was donated to the Manchester Historical Society by Ray and Thelma Woodbridge in 1998. For a poster with old and new photos, click Woodbridge barn open house.

  • Saturdays during October, "Manchester Road Race, Looking Back” a 59-minute television show on topics in the history of the Manchester Road Race. The program was filmed in November 2009 at the Manchester History Center. Susan Barlow presented a slide show about Joe McCluskey and his running career. Most of the pictures are copied from originals lent by the McCluskey family. Mike Nimirowski talked about the revival of the Road Race in 1945, after its hiatus in World War II. Phil Susag described the work of time-keepers and talked about the changes in the road-race route as the race got bigger and bigger. Mike Saimond, who has run the race for decades, recounts stories of his first races and his motivation for running every year. The TV show is produced by Historical Society volunteers. The show airs at 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 by Susan Barlow and directed by Kathryn Wilson, with post-production work and research by Jill Gelinas, all volunteers of the Manchester Historical Society. If you are having trouble viewing the Public Access channels, please phone Cox cable -- you may need a converter box. You can watch some of our previous television shows online at the Town web site Historical shows on demand. More information about Joe McCluskey on our website.

  • Sunday, November 12 from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., Open House at the Woodbridge barn and grounds, 495 East Middle Turnpike. Free. Visit the restored eighteenth-century barn and the grounds of the Society's Woodbridge property on the second and fourth Sundays of the month: Also, Saturday, December 2 as part of the holiday open house. The Farmstead is located at Manchester Green, near the intersection of East Middle Turnpike with Woodbridge Street. The barn, located behind (north of) the house, was restored with funds from the Connecticut State Historic Preservation Office, the SBM Charitable Foundation, Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation, and individual donors. Visitors can park at the municipal lot behind the Senior Center, or along the street between the Senior Center and the farmstead itself. From the street, walk to the backyard using the grass driveway between the house and Woodbridge Pizza. The Woodbridge farmstead is on the National Register of Historic Places. The Historical Society is in the process of developing displays of farm tools and equipment. The farm was donated to the Manchester Historical Society by Ray and Thelma Woodbridge in 1998. For a poster with old and new photos, click Woodbridge barn open house.

  • Tuesday, November 14 at 10:00 a.m., the Historical Society's Genealogy Group -- a meeting for both amateur and more experienced genealogists. Meet at the Manchester History Center, 175 Pine Street. 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 Tuesday of the month, except December. Visit Genealogy Page to find out more about the group, contact the coordinators, or read information about previous meetings and presentations.

  • Friday, December 1, Holiday Gala at the Adams Mill Restaurant, 165 Adams St, Manchester, starting at 5:30 p.m. $50.00 per person. Live auction, teacup auction, and dance music. More information and an invitation soon. Save the date!

  • Saturday, December 2 from 11:00 to 3:00 p.m., Open House: throughout the historic district -- all are invited to visit the Cheney Homestead at 106 Hartford Road -- decorated for the holidays by the Manchester Garden Club -- the Manchester History Center at 175 Pine Street, the Old Manchester Museum at 126 Cedar Street, and the historic barn at the Woodbridge property, 495 Middle Turnpike East. The museum stores at the History Center and Old Manchester Museum will be open, with books on local history, copies of vintage maps, t-shirts with historic scenes of Manchester, mugs, notecards, and limited-edition ceramic tree ornaments with our historic properties. The open houses are free -- donations accepted. Take a self-guided walking tour between the South Manchester properties using the Historic District map on our website.

  • Sunday, December 10 from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m., Open House at the Cheney Homestead, 106 Hartford Road. Special program to be announced. View the 1785 house, and hear commentary about the residence, which was donated to the Manchester Historical Society by the Cheney family in 1968 for use as a house museum. Guided tours include history of the building and its contents, and of the family who lived there. 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 level. The Keeney Schoolhouse is on the grounds of the Homestead, and is open when the weather is warm enough. For old photos and history of the Homestead on this web site, visit Cheney Homestead history. We plan Open Houses on the second Sunday of the month. Donations accepted for the upkeep of the Homestead.


    The Old Manchester Museum's research facility at 126 Cedar Street is open year 'round. Please phone the curator at 860-647-9742 to make an appointment to conduct research.