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.
The factory building at 52 Main Street in Manchester was erected in 1904 by Frank Goetz, owner of a large commercial bakery he had established in the late nineteenth century south of Depot Square. Goetz erected the brick masonry structure to replace an earlier wood frame building that had housed his bakery until it was destroyed by fire in 1902. This earlier building is probably the one mentioned in a notice in the Building New Supplement, Vol. IX, no. 8 (August 25, 1888):
Frank Goetz, proprietor of the Vienna bakery, has broken ground for a commodious building for business purposes on Main street, at the corner of Hilliard street.
The wood structure burned on February 17, 1904, during the most severe snowstorm of the season. Almost as soon as the new building was finished, Goetz sold the property to the Carlyle Johnson Machine Company, manufacturers of friction clutches and marine gears, and moved his bakery to New Haven. Carlyle Johnson later moved to Bolton.
Part of the Cheney Silk Mill village in South Manchester is the former Ribbon Mill at 150 Pine Street. Built in two phases between 1907 and 1909, it housed the first turbine engine in Manchester. Beginning in 1936, Manchester Modes, makers of ladies’ fashions, rented and later purchased the mill. Today the building is Ribbon Mill Apartments. Read the rest of this entry »