The area known as Manchester began its recorded history as the camping grounds of a small band of peaceful Indians – the Podunk tribe. English settlement began about 1673, some 40 years after Thomas Hooker led a group of Puritans from Massachusetts Bay Colony to found Hartford. This area was part of Hartford and was called “Five Mile Tract.” Later the area came to be called Orford Parish, and was part of East Hartford, which had separated from Hartford in 1783.
The Cheney Brothers founded in South Manchester in 1838, gradually became world famous for premium quality silk thread and fabrics – as well as for the invention of innovative silk processing techniques. While an employee of Cheney Brothers, young Christopher Spencer (inventor of the Spencer repeating rifle) won early fame as a mechanical genius by inventing a silk spooling machine. Cheney Brothers were renowned as well for their generosity and public spiritedness – building over the course of 50 years a “model community” of workers’ housing, schools, Cheney Hall, a public library, the Hall of Records, public utilities, and land for churches and parks
Manchester today is a perfect blend of small town feel with big city convenience.
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