The Old Manchester Museum at 126 Cedar Street, is usually open the first Saturday of the month, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. May through December except holidays; closed January through April.

It is also open by appointment; the research facility is available all year round by appointment — phone 860-647-9983.

The Manchester Historical Society’s Old Manchester Museum is located at 126 Cedar Street, near Washington School. From 1859-1914, the building rested on a hill west of Pine Street and north of “School Street” (now called Cooper Hill Street). The building was known as Cheney School, built by the Cheney family, internationally famous for its silk. The school had two rooms on either side of a central hall with the boys’ entrance on the right and the girls’ entrance on the left.

In 1914, the entire building was lifted up and moved onto new foundations on Cedar Street to make room for Cheney Brothers’ new dye house. The building has been used at various times for a day care center, storage building, paint shop, library, emergency three-level school with a kitchen/cafeteria in the basement, and a children’s museum. In 1985, after hundreds of hours of volunteer labor, it became our Museum of Local History.

Inside the museum, visitors learn about Manchester’s historically diverse community with widespread commerce and industry. Our exhibits include maps with Native American trails; photographs of Manchester’s schools; Pitkin glass; Cheney silk; an old post office; mid-1800s dresses and furniture; “School House” corner; the Manchester Sports Hall of Fame; Spencer and Springfield Rifle exhibits; and changing exhibits.

The Museum also houses a research facility with over 75 separate collections and master files where researchers can view historic paperwork on particular subjects; war records from the Revolutionary, Civil, and Spanish wars, WWI and WWII, and Vietnam war; books by Manchester authors, as well as many genealogy records.