This is my 50th post for Manchester! The Queen Anne house at 134 Oakland Street in Manchester was built c. 1890 by Frank Hall on land he had acquired in 1887. The house is currently owned by artist Hans Weiss who has his studio next door.
The John Wesley Pentecostal Church was founded in Manchester in 1897. In the fall of 1907 (“Holiness Meeting in Manchester; In Pentecostal Church of the Nazarene,” Hartford Courant, April 10, 1908) the church became part of the Church of the Nazarene, a national evangelical denomination that formed in 1907-1908 through a series of mergers between various holiness churches and denominations, with the western-based Church of the Nazarene merging with the eastern-based Association of Pentecostal Churches of America. In 1958, the Manchester Church of the Nazarene moved from their original 1898 church at 466 Main Street to a new church at 236 Main Street. It was the culmination of a five-year building plan that included construction of a youth center (1954) and a parsonage (1957). The church’s pastor, Clarence E. Winslow, designed the buildings and prepared landscaping plans, personally clearing the land with the help of volunteers. Groundbreaking for the church occurred in the summer of 1957 and the following April (“Steeplejack Chore Planned by Pastor,” Hartford Courant, April 21, 1958) Rev. Winslow was lifted 90 feet by a giant crane to place a cross on the newly raised steeple. Rev. Winslow later moved to Florida where, in the 1970s, he led supporters of Creationism against the teaching of Evolution in Florida schools.
The Church of the Nazarene opened the Cornerstone Christian School in 1981. A new church building was erected at 218 Main Street in 1989, with Rev. Phillip Chatto this time attaching the cross at the top of the steeple (“Crowning touch installed at Manchester church,” by Randy Burgess, Hartford Courant, March 29, 1989). The previous church, now called the McLain Building, became part of the Cornerstone Christian School, housing the junior and senior high schools, and the former sanctuary was converted into a fellowship hall and gymnasium.
The American-Latvian Evangelical Lutheran Church in Manchester was organized in 1952. Nine years later, in 1961, the congregation purchased a church at the corner of Garden and Winter Streets from Concordia Evangelical Lutheran Church, a German Lutheran congregation, which had just relocated to a new building on Pitkin Street. The first German Lutheran church in Manchester was Zion Church, organized in 1890. In 1893, just months before the dedication of their new church on Cooper Street, the congregation split over the issue of church members also being members of secret fraternal organizations. Those who objected to denying church membership to members of these organizations formed the new Concordia Church. In 1896 the Concordia congregation built the church at 21 Garden Street that is now home to the American-Latvian Evangelical Lutheran Church.
The former Machine Shop of the Cheney Brothers silk mill in South Manchester was constructed in several phases beginning in 1895. Extending from Elm Street to Pine Street, the 40,000 square-foot Machine Shop was built to repair German-made velvet looms. In later years, after the silk mill closed, David Rines operated a one-man machine shop on the lower level (Forest Street side) of the building from 1975 to 1995. Located at 175 Pine Street, the building was purchased by the Manchester Historical Society in 1999 and rehabilitated to become the Manchester History Center.
The commercial building at 969-985 Main Street in Manchester, called the Cheney Block, was built in 1899. It was the successor to the old Cheney Brothers general store which was located on the southeast corner of South Main and Charter Oak Streets and burned in 1898. The new building’s location, between Maple and Oak Streets, contributed to the shift of the town’s commercial district northwards to a former residential area. Many businesses, as well as the South Manchester Post Office, have occupied the Cheney Block over the years. The building has lost its original roof-top balustrade.
Emanuel Lutheran Church was founded in the 1870s by Swedish immigrants who were settling in Manchester to work at the Cheney silk mills. The first church building of the Swedish Evangelical Lutheran Emanuel Church was completed by the Christmas of 1886. When the need for a larger church arose, Dr. P.J. Cornell, Pastor of the church, drew up the plans and ground was broken on May 10, 1914. After two years the basement was completed and was used for services until the upper structure was ready. The completed church was dedicated on March 18, 1923.