Virtual Vermont Masthead

Manchester
05254

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Ye Olde Tavern
Photo courtesy Ye Olde Tavern

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About Manchester, Vermont
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Click for Manchester, Vermont Forecast

Bennington County
Chartered: August 11, 1761 (New Hampshire Grant)
Area: 26,930 Acres = 42.08 Square Miles [ Size Rank: 97* ]
Coordinates (Geographic Center): N 43° 10' W 73°04'
Altitude: 700 feet ASL
Population (US Census, 2010): 4,391 [ Population Rank: 35* ]
Population Density (persons per square mile): 104.3 [ Density Rank: 39* ]
Full Census Info: Town
  County  State

*Area, Population and Density rankings refer to Manchester's relative position among Vermont's 255 civic entities (9 cities, 242 towns, 4 gores and grants). Complete rankings are here.

Real savings on all you do!

Various histories say Manchester was named for the Connecticut or New Hampshire town of the same name. So much for research: both of those towns were named after this one.

Even considering Benning Wentworth's propensity for trying to impress the peerage, about the only real remaining possibility is that it is named for Manchester, Massachusetts, which in turn was named for Manchester, England, and Charles Montagu, First Duke of Manchester.

The current main village was the site of the first settlement. Such a short distance up Route 7 that it is difficult to tell where each begins and ends is Manchester Center. Once known as Factory Point (being the location of various mills), the name was officially changed in 1886, though locals are still inclined to refer to it by its former name. Somewhat fitting, as the Center's principal industry now is factory outlet stores. Manchester is one of four municipalities in the state (the others being Burlington, Williston and Stratton) with a local option sales tax of 1%.

Around 1812 a Manchester man, Russell Colvin, disappeared and was presumed dead. Later it was said that Colvin had been murdered by his brothers-in-law, Jesse and Stephen Bourn, who were known to have been in an argument with him just before he disappeared. The brothers were arrested, tried for murder, found guilty and sentenced to be hanged in January of 1820. Just before the sentences were to be carried out, a man who had seen a newspaper account of the trial wrote that Colvin was not dead, and was living in New Jersey. Subsequently Colvin returned to Manchester, bearing mute testimony to the miscarriage of justice that very nearly took place.

Material excerpted or adapted from Esther Munroe Swift's
Vermont Place-Names: Footprints of History
with the author's permission

Activities & Points of Interest
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Goings-on in and near Manchester
Calendar of Events provided by the Vermont Department of Tourism & Marketing.

Manchester Historical Society

Contact Info
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Emergency Services (Statewide): 911
Police (non-emergency): 802-362-2022
Hospital: Southwestern Medical Center (Bennington) 802-442-6361
Town Clerk:  Linda Spence PO Box 830 Manchester Center, VT 05255
 802-362-1313
 M T F 8-5:45, W 8-6

Churches, Ministries, Charitables
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Baptist : First Baptist Church (Manchester Center) 802-362-1555
Episcopal : Zion (Manchester Center) 802-362-1978
Jewish : Congregation Israel 802-632-4578
Roman Catholic : St. Paul
United Church of Christ : United Church of Christ

Schools
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Bennington Rutland Supervisory Union 802-362-2452
Burr & Burton Academy 802-362-1775
Manchester Elementary and Middle School 802-362-1597

Neighboring Towns
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This is a basic geographic reference, intended to show relative location of adjacent towns. Directional accuracy is limited to 16 compass points. There isn't even the slightest suggestion that one can necessarily travel directly from one town to the next (as in "You can't get there from here").

Rupert Dorset
Manchester
Sandgate Winhall
Arlington Sunderland Stratton

Places To Stay
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The Equinox

Places To Shop
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Orvis
Charles Orvis (our founder) developed the ventilated fly reel in Vermont. On that success, he opened our store (still) here in Manchester in 1856.

We know fly fishing.

Utilities
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Notes about utilities:

  • One electric or phone company indicates that company serves the entire town. More than one of either indicates each serves different areas of town.
  • A listed cable company MIGHT mean the entire town is covered, but not necessarily. More than one listed indicates each serves different areas of town.
  • Unless your area is one served by Vermont's only gas utility, your only option is bottled gas (any dealer).
    Cable Comcast 800-266-2278
    Electric Green Mountain Power 888-835-4672
    Telephone Fairpoint 866-984-2001

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    May 25, 2013