The Second Congregational Church of Manchester was formed and its first house of worship was built in the northern section of town in 1851. A new church was built on the same site, 385 North Main Street, in 1889. It is a Shingle style edifice on a high rusticated brownstone foundation. Read the rest of this entry »
The building that was once the Manchester Green Elementary School is located at 549 Middle Turnpike East in Manchester. It was built in 1921-1923. Earlier school buildings had served the village of Manchester Green going back to 1751. Ending its role as an elementary school in 1978, the building was then converted to become the Manchester Senior Center.
Located at 146 Hartford Road in Manchester is a former office building of the Cheney Brothers silk mills. The office was built in 1910, replacing an earlier office. After the Cheney Brothers mills closed, the building was owned at different times by the electric company and Manchester Community College. Currently it serves as the offices of Fuss & O’Neill, an engineering firm.
Born in Westfield, Massachusetts in 1780, by age twenty-one John Mather was a merchant running a store in Hartford. In 1806 he started a glass works in Manchester (then still a part of East Hartford). It was soon destroyed in a fire, but the following year Mather was back in business, producing a variety of glass bottles. A hurricane in 1821 destroyed his glass factory and there is no evidence it was ever rebuilt. The location of the glass works was behind the current brick homes in the area of 109-119 Mather Street in Manchester. Mather’s home in Manchester, where he lived from 1827 to 1844, is located at 97 Mather Street, at the corner of Eastfield Street. Mather was a Mason and the local Lodge met in his house from 1829 to 1844. A painting of the house by Manchester artist Russell Cheney (1881-1945) is in the Masonic Temple on East Center Street in Manchester. A hearth with original paneling, taken from the Mather House, is also now located in the Masonic Temple with an inscription recognizing Mather’s contributions to Masonry.
The Woodbridge Tavern, where George Washington was entertained on November 9, 1789, once stood at the west end of the triangular green located at the intersections of East Center Street, Middle Turnpike East, and Woodbridge Street in Manchester. At the time, this was the village of Manchester Green. The Tavern was owned by Deodat Woodbridge (1757-1836), who owned many acres of land in Manchester Green. By his will of 1820 he divided his property among his sons with the youngest, Deodatus Woodbridge (1800-1857), inheriting his father’s residence and 130 acres to the north, across the street from the tavern. The Woodbridge Farmstead then passed through generations of Deodatus’ direct descendants. Around 1830 to 1835, Deodatus built the surviving family house, which has an address of 495 Middle Turnpike East. For almost two centuries, the Woodbridge Farmstead was part of the Meadow Brook dairy farm, run by the Woodbridge family. Most of the farm acreage was sold off in 1951 for residential development, but the house and remaining property were left to the Manchester Historical Society by Thelma Carr Woodbridge (1911-2009), wife of Raymond Brewster Woodbridge (1912-1997), subject to her lifetime use. Two historic barns also survive on the property.