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Manchester is a town in Hartford Countymarker, Connecticutmarker, United Statesmarker. As of the 2000 census, the town had a total population of 54,740.


Manchester was settled by colonists around 1672 as a farming community. The many rivers and brooks provided power for paper, lumber and textile industries, and the town quickly evolved into an industrial center. The town of Hartford once included the land now occupied by the towns of Manchester, East Hartfordmarker, and West Hartfordmarker. In 1783, East Hartford became a separate town, which included Manchester in its city limits until 1823.

In 1838, the Cheney family started what became the world's largest silk mill. Eventually, Manchester became an ideal industrial community. The mills, houses of the owners, and homes of the workers are now part of the Cheney Brothers Historic Districtmarker, a National Historic Landmark.

Also of note are the E.E. Hilliard Company Woolen Mills. Founded ca. 1780 by Aaron Buckland and later sold to the Hilliard family. The Hilliard Mills are the oldest woolen mill site in the country.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 27.7 square miles (71.7 km²), of which, 27.3 square miles (70.6 km²) of it is land and 0.4 square miles (1.1 km²) of it (1.52%) is water.


As of the census of 2000, there were 54,740 people, 23,197 households, and 14,010 families residing in the town. The population density was 2,008.2 people per square mile (775.4/km²). There were 24,256 housing units at an average density of 889.9/sq mi (343.6/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 82.77% White, 8.42% African American, 0.20% Native American, 3.15% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 3.12% from other races, and 2.31% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 6.54% of the population.

There were 23,197 households out of which 28.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 43.8% were married couples living together, 13.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 39.6% were non-families. 31.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.32 and the average family size was 2.93.

In the town the population was spread out with 22.8% under the age of 18, 8.0% from 18 to 24, 33.0% from 25 to 44, 22.1% from 45 to 64, and 14.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 91.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.7 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $49,426, and the median income for a family was $58,769. Males had a median income of $41,893 versus $32,562 for females. The per capita income for the town was $25,989. About 6.0% of families and 8.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 11.1% of those under age 18 and 7.7% of those age 65 or over.

Voter Registration and Party Enrollment as of October 25, 2005
Party Active voters Inactive voters Total voters Percentage

Democratic 10,612 584 11,196 33.86%

Republican 6,249 374 6,623 20.03%

Unaffiliated 14,150 1,069 15,219 46.03%

Minor Parties 25 2 27 0.08%
Total 31,036 2,029 33,065 100%



Manchester receives local stations out of Hartford, Connecticutmarker, with the exception of ABC.

  • WTNHmarker, Local ABC Affiliate
  • WFSBmarker, Local CBS Affiliate
  • WVITmarker, Local NBC Affiliate
  • WEDH, Connecticut Public Television


Manchester is home to the local newspaper, the Journal Inquirer, which serves all of Manchester and the surrounding areas. The Hartford Courant also has a facility in Manchester, and can be delivered anywhere in town.


Hartford's Radio Disney station, WDZKmarker.

Places and events of interest

Main Street (looking South from Center Street)

Manchester is known for The Shoppes at Buckland Hillsmarker, an enclosed shopping mall, The Plaza at Buckland Hills and the nearby strip mall, Buckland Plaza. In the last decade, the area surrounding the mall, which extends into the town of South Windsormarker, has been blanketed with numerous big box shopping outlets and plazas and quickly transformed into a shopping hub for the state's residents.

Bissell Street (looking East of Main Street)
As a center of the silk industry in America from the late 19th through the mid-20th Century, the "Cheney Family" historic district [16284] showcases mills refurbished as apartments and includes nearby museums.

The city has three museums. The Fire Museum is housed in a restored 1901 firehouse building. The museum's firefighting equipment and memorabilia include leather fire buckets used in Colonial times, a display showing the evolution of sprinkler systems, a horse-drawn hose wagon, a 1921 Ahrens-Fox fire pumper, and a 105-foot 1911 water tower. The Lutz Children's Museum has participatory exhibits covering art, history, science, nature and ethnology. The museum's permanent collection includes small live animals. The Old Manchester Museum, focusing on local history, is operated by the Manchester Historical Society.

Wickham Parkmarker, a non-profit private foundation is located on Manchester and East Hartfordmarker property. The 53-acre Oak Grove Nature Center has wildlife habitats.

Manchester is perhaps most famous for its popular Manchester Road Race which is held every Thanksgiving Day. The race has over 10,000 participants yearly, as well as thousands of spectators. For New Englandersmarker, it is second in popularity only to the Boston Marathon. The annual auto show is also gaining more popularity every year.

Manchester Memorial Hospital is located in the city.

Manchester is also home to Manchester Community Collegemarker, a two-year community college, and several high schools: Manchester High School, Howell Cheney Technical High School, and East Catholic High Schoolmarker.

Manchester has more than 1,000 acres of park land, a range of housing styles and prices in attractive neighborhoods, Manchester Memorial Hospital, Manchester Community College, an award-winning school system, performing arts organizations, libraries and friendly, community-spirited residents.




Manchester has parts of three interstate highways located within its borders.

All three interstates share a complicated interchange near the town's border with East Hartford.

U.S. highways

The U.S. Highways Route 6 & Route 44 together constitute Manchester's principal East/West arterial.

Route 44 enters town from the West at the border with East Hartford on West Middle Turnpike. Less than a mile from the town line, Route 44 is joined by Route 6 which enters Manchester concurrently with I-84. Routes 6 & 44 run concurrently through town along West Middle Turnpike, Center St., East Center St., East Middle Turnpike, and New Bolton Rd. The Routes exit town to the East at the Bolton town line.

Connecticut state highways

There are two signed Connecticut state highways that go through Manchester.

  • Connecticut Route 30marker is an East/West arterial in the Northern section of town. Route 30 enters town from South Windsor as Deming St. Then as Tolland Turnpike, it junctions with and runs concurrently with Route 83 to the Vernon town line.
  • Connecticut Route 83 is Manchester's principal North/South arterial. Starting as South Main St. at the Southern border with Glastonburymarker, Route 83 becomes Main St. through the center of town, then turns East for 350 yards as North Main St., turns North again as Oakland St., then finally combines with Route 30 at Tolland Turnpike and exits town at the Vernon line.

Public transportation

Manchester is served by the Hartford division of Connecticut Transit. The B, YM, and Z routes connect Manchester directly to the city of Hartfordmarker.


No passenger service currently exists in town. Freight service from Hartford is provided by Connecticut Southern Railroad.



Manchester has several on and off-road bicycle routes. The two most popular routes are the Charter Oak Greenway and the Hop River State Park Trail. Portions of each of those routes have been designated as parts of the East Coast Greenway.


Team Sport League Championships Venue
Manchester Warriors Cricket Club Cricket Manchester Warriors Cricket Ground, Martin School

Notable people, past and present

See also

Cheney Brothers Mills, South Manchester, about 1920


  1. Connecticut, Massachusetts & Rhode Island Tourbook 2007 Edition. (2007) pp 58-59. AAA Publishing, Heathrow, Florida
  2. Old Manchester Museum website, retrieved November 9, 2008
  3. King, Peter; One Fine Day- Aggravating/Enjoyable Travel Note of the Week; Monday Morning Quarterback December 2, 2002; Sports Illustrated Online; retrieved December 29, 2006
  4. Google Map of Manchester
  5. Connecticut Transit Hartford Routes & Schedules; Updated November 20, 2006
  6. Connecticut Southern Railroad Railmap;
  7. Connecticut Department of Transportation Index to Trails in Connecticut by Town

External links

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