Manchester, Connecticut

Manchester is a town in Hartford County, Connecticut, United States. As of the 2010 census, the town had a total population of 58,241.[3] The urban center of the town is the Manchester census-designated place, with a population of 30,577 at the 2010 census.[4] The town is named after Manchester, in England.[5]

Manchester, Connecticut
Silk City
"City of Village Charm"
Coordinates: 41°46′31″N 72°31′27″W
Country United States
U.S. state Connecticut
Metropolitan areaHartford
  General ManagerScott Shanley
  Board of DirectorsJay Moran (D),
Sarah Jones (D),
Deputy Mayor; Yolanda Castillo (D),
Peter Conyers (R);
Ellen Dougan (R);
Brian Marois (R);
Steve Gates (D);
Tim Bergin (D);
Pamela Floyd-Cranford (D);
Dennis Schain(D)
  Total27.7 sq mi (71.7 km2)
  Land27.3 sq mi (70.6 km2)
  Water0.4 sq mi (1.1 km2)
272 ft ((at Town Hall)
82.9 m)
  Density2,133/sq mi (825/km2)
Time zoneUTC−5 (EST)
  Summer (DST)UTC−4 (EDT)
ZIP codes
06040–06042, 06045
Area code(s)860
FIPS code09-44700
GNIS feature ID208693[2]


Manchester was settled by colonists around 1672 as a farming community, although at the time it was known just as Orford Parish (the name that can be found on the memorial to the Revolutionary soldiers from the town). 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 Hartford, and West Hartford. In 1783, East Hartford became a separate town, which included Manchester in its city limits until 1823.[6]

The Pitkin Glassworks operated from 1783-1830 as the first successful glassworks in Connecticut. [7] The Pitkin Glassworks Ruin have been preserved by a historical society.

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 District, 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 27.4 square miles (71.0 km2) is land and 0.27 square miles (0.7 km2), or 1.00%, is water.[8] The Manchester census-designated place consists of the urban center of the town and has a total area of 6.5 square miles (16.8 km2), or about 23% of the town's total area. 6.4 square miles (16.7 km2) of the CDP is land, and 0.039 square miles (0.1 km2), or 0.56%, is water.[4]


Historical population
Est. 201458,106[9]−0.2%
U.S. Decennial Census[10]

As of the census of 2000,[3] 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 per square mile (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. Of all households, 31.1% 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.


Manchester is home to The Shoppes at Buckland Hills, The Plaza at Buckland Hills, and the nearby strip mall, Buckland Plaza.

Manchester is home to Shady Glen, a restaurant recognized by the James Beard Foundation in 2012 as an American classic.[11]

Manchester Memorial Hospital is located in the city.

As home to the Cheney family silk mills, Manchester was a center of the American silk industry from the late 19th century to the mid-20th century. Today, the Cheney Brothers Historic District[12] showcases mills refurbished as apartments and includes nearby museums.

Arts and culture

Stemming from a heritage of Scottish culture, Manchester is home to the second-oldest continuously operating pipe band in the United States, the Manchester Pipe Band, a grade 2 pipe band, which was founded in 1914.[13] The city is also home to a nonprofit orchestra, the Manchester Symphony Orchestra and Chorale, which has been performing and educating youths in music in the community since 1960.[14]

Manchester hosts four 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 (32 m) 1911 water tower.[15] The Lutz Children's Museum has participatory exhibits covering art, history, science, nature and ethnology. The museum's permanent collection includes small live animals.[16] The Old Manchester Museum, focusing on local history, is operated by the Manchester Historical Society. Permanent exhibits include examples of Cheney silk, Pitkin glass, and Spencer Repeating Rifles; the museum also houses the Manchester Sports Hall of Fame.[17] The Cheney Homestead Museum is an eighteenth-century house of the founders of the Cheney Brothers Silk Company. On exhibit are examples of period furniture and artwork.[18] Also on site is the one-room Keeney Schoolhouse dating from 1751.[19]

Wickham Park, a non-profit private foundation, is located on Manchester and East Hartford property. The 53-acre (210,000 m2) Oak Grove Nature Center has wildlife habitats.[16] Case Mountain Recreational Area, located in the less populated southeast corner of Manchester, is popular for hiking, mountain biking, and has a great view of the Hartford skyline to the west.

Manchester is famous for its popular Manchester Road Race which is held every Thanksgiving Day. The race has over 10,000 participants yearly, including runners from around the world, as well as thousands of spectators. For New Englanders, it is second in popularity only to the Boston Marathon. The annual auto show is also gaining more popularity every year.[20]

Manchester has more than 1,000 acres (4.0 km2) of park land, a range of housing styles and prices in attractive neighborhoods, performing arts organizations, a busy public library, and friendly, community-spirited residents.


Team Sport League Championships Venue
Manchester Cricket Club[21] Cricket BAAC Cricket Tournament Champions – 2009, 2010 and 2011; runners up – 2008 Manchester Cricket Club Ground, Martin School
Manchester Running Company[22] Running USATF-CT 2015 Women’s Mile, 10k, 20k USATF-CT Team Champions, 2015 USATF-CT Men’s Trail Champions, 2015 Co-ed XC Champions, 2014 USATF-CT Grand Prix Open Men’s Champions, 2013, 2014 Men’s CT Cup Champions

Manchester Country Club, located at 192 South Main Street, opened in 1917 and was originally designed by Tom Bendelow and Deveroux Emmet. In 1935, it was redesigned in 1935 by A.W. Tillinghast.

Government and politics

Voter Registration and Party Enrollment as of October 27, 2015[23]
Party Active voters Inactive voters Total voters Percentage
Democratic 10,064 1,537 11,601 39.30%
Republican 4,594 529 5,123 17.36%
Unaffiliated 10,375 1,888 12,263 41.54%
Minor parties 439 92 531 1.80%
Total 25,472 4,046 29,518 100%
Manchester town vote
by party in presidential elections[24]
Year Democratic Republican Third Parties
2016 60.83% 15,109 33.65% 8,358 5.52% 1,371
2012 65.21% 15,565 33.35% 7,961 1.44% 343
2008 66.85% 17,782 31.79% 8,457 1.36% 363
2004 59.58% 15,269 38.82% 9,949 1.59% 408
2000 58.70% 14,184 35.34% 8,541 5.96% 1,440
1996 54.39% 13,003 31.33% 7,490 14.28% 3,415
1992 43.39% 12,266 32.30% 9,132 24.31% 6,873
1988 51.33% 12,891 47.82% 12,009 0.85% 214
1984 40.07% 10,023 59.48% 14,878 0.46% 114
1980 38.39% 9,459 43.99% 10,839 17.63% 4,344
1976 47.56% 11,690 51.79% 12,728 0.65% 159
1972 42.23% 10,413 56.96% 14,044 0.81% 200
1968 50.74% 11,052 44.65% 9,725 4.61% 1,004
1964 68.79% 14,548 31.21% 6,601 0.00% 0
1960 48.99% 10,454 51.01% 10,885 0.00% 0
1956 35.95% 7,251 64.05% 12,921 0.00% 0


Public schools

Traditional district schools

  • Manchester High School (grades 9–12)
  • Manchester Regional Academy (grades 9–12)
  • Howell Cheney Technical High School (state technical school [grades 9–12])
  • Bentley Alternative Education School (grades 9–12)
  • Arthur H. Illing Middle School (grades 7–8)
  • Manchester Middle Academy (grades 5-8)
  • Elisabeth M. Bennet Academy (grades 5-6)
  • William E. Buckley Elementary School (grades K-4)
  • Bowers Elementary School (grades K-4)
  • Highland Park Elementary School (grades K-4)
  • Keeney Street Elementary School (grades K-4)
  • Martin Elementary School (grades K-4)
  • Verplanck Elementary School (grades K-4)
  • Waddell Elementary School (grades K-4)
  • Washington Elementary School (grades K-4)
  • Manchester Preschool Center (Pre-K)

Magnet schools

  • Magnet schools located in the greater Hartford area are administered by the Regional School Choice Office, and the Capitol Region Education Council.
  • Great Path Academy (grades 9–12)
  • Discovery Academy (grades Pre K-5)

Private schools

  • Pierre B Arthur School (grades Pre K-8)
  • Saint Bridget School (grades Pre K-8)
  • Saint James School (grades Pre K-8)
  • East Catholic High School (grades 9–12)
  • The Cornerstone Christian School (grades Pre K-12)
  • Asamoah Society School (grades Pre K-12)

Post-secondary education



Manchester is home to a 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.

Emergency services

Ambulance service

Ambulance Service of Manchester (ASM) is a private, for profit company that operates out of a station on New State Road in Manchester, and provides basic life support-level transport service. ASM also provides intercept and transport paramedic service to a number of towns in Hartford, Tolland, and Windham counties. ASM will provide advanced life support when fire department paramedics are unavailable.[25]

Fire departments

Manchester Fire-Rescue-EMS

The Town of Manchester Fire-Rescue-EMS[26] Department was organized in 1897 after a fire destroyed the Weldon business block. It is a full-time career department that operates out of 5 fire stations. The department staffs four engine companies, one truck company, and a shift commander vehicle with a minimum of 17 on duty personnel (5 Lieutenants, 11 Firefighters, and 1 Battalion Chief). All five companies provide a range of services including fire suppression, fire prevention, rescue, hazardous material response, and Advanced Life Support (paramedic level) medical care.[27]

Manchester Fire Department-Eighth Utilities District

The Manchester Fire Department-Eighth Utilities District[28] is a combination paid and volunteer fire department, established in 1888 as a separate fire department within the northwest corner of the town. It is not affiliated with the town and is governed by the board of directors of the Eighth Utilities District, which is a separate taxation district. Four firefighters are on duty Monday-Friday daytime, and one Firefighter is on duty on Saturday and Sunday, from 6am to 6pm. During the week, the career firefighters staff headquarters with 2 and Station 3 with 2. Volunteers provide coverage during the remaining times and whenever available. The department provides fire suppression, fire prevention, rescue, hazardous material response, and Basic Life Support (EMT level) medical care.

Police department

The Manchester Police Department[29] was established in 1896. It is located at 239 East Middle Turnpike and is staffed by approximately 120 officers who serve and protect the community. The present Chief of Police is William Darby.




Manchester has parts of three interstate highways (I-84, I-384, and I-291) and Route 6 and Route 44 together constitute Manchester's principal east/west arterial. Connecticut Route 30 is an east/west arterial in the northern section of town. Connecticut Route 83 is Manchester's principal north/south arterial. Starting as South Main Street at the southern border with Glastonbury, Route 83 becomes Main Street through the center of town.

Public transportation

Manchester is served by the Hartford division of Connecticut Transit. The 80, 82, 83, 84, 85, 88, and 121 routes connect Manchester directly to the city of Hartford.[30]


No passenger service currently exists in town. Freight service from Hartford is provided by Connecticut Southern Railroad.[31]


Hartford-Brainard Airport and Bradley International Airport are both located about a fifteen minutes drive from Manchester.


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.[32]

Notable people

See also


  1. U.S. Census Bureau Population Estimates Archived 2011-06-29 at the Wayback Machine
  2. "GNIS Detail - Manchester".
  3. "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  4. "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (G001): Manchester CDP, Connecticut". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Retrieved November 30, 2012.
  5. The Connecticut Magazine: An Illustrated Monthly. Connecticut Magazine Company. 1903. p. 333.
  6. Goodwin, Joseph Olcott (1879). East Hartford: Its History and Traditions. Hartford, Connecticut: Case, Lockwood, and Brainard Co.
  7. "Pitkin Glass Works". Manchester Historical Society. Retrieved September 7, 2018.
  8. "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (G001): Manchester town, Hartford County, Connecticut". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Retrieved November 30, 2012.
  9. "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". Archived from the original on May 23, 2015. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  10. "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  11. Winners 2012 James Beard Foundation
  12. Archived 2005-03-08 at the Wayback Machine
  13. Jensen, Cindi (May 16, 1996). "Manchester Pipe Band First Stepped Out In The World War I Era". Hartford Courant. Archived from the original on December 3, 2015. The Manchester Pipe Band is the second-oldest pipe band in continuous existence in the United States -- and one of four in Manchester. As the story goes, it began 'with 20 students and a dream in those dark days prior to World War I.' When Pipe Major Alex Scot and the Holyoke Pipe Band paid a visit to Manchester in 1913, their traditional bagpipe music set the imaginations of this area's Celtic population on fire.
  14. About us, Manchester Symphony and Chorale
  15. Fire Museum website, retrieved October 12, 2011
  16. Connecticut, Massachusetts & Rhode Island Tourbook 2007 Edition. (2007) pp 58–59. AAA Publishing, Heathrow, Florida
  17. Old Manchester Museum". Manchester Historical Society. Retrieved September 7, 2018.
  18. Cheney Homestead website, retrieved October 12, 2011
  19. Keeney Schoolhouse website, retrieved October 12, 2011
  20. 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
  21. " Manchester Cricket Club official sports website, Manchester, Connecticut".
  22. "Manchester Running Company". Manchester Running Company.
  23. "Registration and Party Enrollment Statistics as of October 27, 2015" (PDF). Connecticut Secretary of State. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 4, 2016. Retrieved July 30, 2016.
  25. "Ambulance Service of Manchester".
  27. "Professional Firefighters of Manchester, CT".
  28. "Manchester Fire Department".
  29. "Manchester Police Department".
  30. Connecticut Transit Routes & Schedules—Hartford Local; Updated July 15, 2015
  31. Connecticut Southern Railroad Railmap;
  32. Connecticut Department of Transportation Index to Trails in Connecticut by Town
  33. Dunne, Susan (25 September 2019). "Glastonbury poet Ocean Vuong and Manchester philosopher Elizabeth Anderson win 2019 MacArthur 'genius grants'". Hartford Courant. Hartford, Connecticut. Retrieved 25 September 2019.
  34. "".
  35. Buckler, Matt (1 March 2019). "Manchester native exits as HBO CEO". Journal Inquirer. Manchester, Connecticut. Retrieved 14 November 2019.
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