In 1937, after a 1935 Chapter 11 reorganization, Cheney Brothers sold off a great deal of property, including utilities, worker houses, and other property. The silk industry had begun declining after the peak year of 1923, and, like many businesses, Cheney Brothers fell on hard times during the 1930s, due in part to the Great Depression, the elimination of protective import tariffs, new fashion trends, and the arrival of synthetics. Textile production from all over New England moved to the southern states and to the Orient, where labor was cheaper.

The auctions of worker houses took place on September 23, 24, and 25, 1937. The auctioneers walked from house to house, followed by a large crowd. The auction itself was preceded by a catalog describing the properties. The auction catalog, reproduced at the bottom of this page, contained photos, maps, and listings of the properties, locations, dimensions of the land, and amenities. (In the property descriptions, by the way, "set tubs" refers to large and deep sinks that were used to wash clothes.)

245 dwellings, plus a store-dwelling and 5 garages, were transferred from Cheney Brothers to private owners during these three days.

To see the details and results of
each day's auction by parcel number,
please click the date and then on
the parcel you're interested in...

September 23 auction

September 24 auction

September 25 auction
To see the properties listed alphabetically
by street and street number, along with
coordinates of the property on its sale map
which you can use to locate it, please click...

All properties by street

Navigation hint: The information is presented in 2 sections, with the map above and the descriptions below. You can resize these by clicking on the bottom border of the map section and dragging it up or down.

Special Feature: Almost as soon as this section was activated on the web site, we received emails from viewers who remember the auctions and who had personal memories about them they wished to share.

• To view these comments, please click: Auction Memories.

• To add your own memories to these, please email them our webmaster by clicking Susan Barlow.
         - or -
   send them by postal mail to...

Webmaster, Manchester Historical Society
175 Pine Street
Manchester, CT 06040
Attn: Auction Memories




Lastly: For more information about the Cheney silk industry, please click The Cheney Silk Mills in the "Reprints" section of this web site.