Bethel Church: 175 Years Young

Date & Time: 
14 May 2015 7:00pm

The May meeting of the Manchester Area Historical Society is being held at Bethel United Church of Christ located at 10425 Bethel Church Road in Freedom Township on May 14, 2015 at 7:00 P.M.. Bethel UCC is celebrating the 175th anniversary of its founding this year.

We will be welcomed by Rev. David Bucholtz. We will tour Bethel's cemetery, sanctuary and church hall. There will be special presentations on Bethel's pipe organ and stained glass windows as well as a couple of 175 second sound bytes on Bethel's past. Following the tours and presentations, refreshments will be served!

Growing Up in the Fountain-Bessac House

Date & Time: 
9 Apr 2015 7:30pm

Ann Walton will present a program entitled, "Growing Up in the Fountain-Bessac House," on March 9, 2015, at the Sharon United Methodist Fellowship Hall, NW corner of Pleasant Lake Road and M-52.

Old Barns & Country Skills - Annual Carol Sing

Date & Time: 
11 Dec 2014 7:30pm

We'll begin with an abbreviated business meeting. Then Derek Brereton of Adrian, MI, will give a presentation entitled, "Old Barns & Country Skills of Southeastern Michigan," followed by our annual Christmas carol sing. We may not be professional, but we have a lot of fun. Come, lend your voice and enthusiasm!

Oh, yes, and it's our annual cookie exchange, too. So if you have a special recipe from family or friends, bring bring a plate of cookies along. Punch and coffee will be provided, as well as plates and bags to gather the cookies you want to take home. All donations will be given to Manchester Family Services.

Annual Meeting & Election of Officers

Date & Time: 
11 Sep 2014 7:30pm - 8:30pm

September 11, 2014 is the Annual Meeting and election of officers. The meeting will be at 7:30 PM at the Blacksmith Shop. Instead of a program for the September 11 meeting, there will be an open discussion of the need for more space to maintain the MAHS as a viable organization and how to obtain the space.

Complete Parr Farm Stories Now Available

Howard Parr's Farm Stories from Manchester, Michigan is now available in its entirety right here on the MAHS site. Thank you, Howard, for this wonderful glimpse into Manchester life in days gone by.

Stay tuned for installments of Howard's second local history book, My Army Years 1942–1952!

Blacksmith Shop Jazz To Benefit Manchester Youth

Date & Time: 
4 Jan 2013 8:00pm - 9:00pm

Cultural Art Strings invites you to an evening of jazz with Chelsea Center for the Arts jazz faculty. $15 donation at door. For reserved seats, call (734) 223-6876. Proceeds benefit Manchester Cultural Art Strings Youth Scholarship Fund.

Farm Stories from Manchester published here in installments

Thanks to our longtime friend and MAHS board member, Howard Parr, we will publish his two recent local history books, Farm Stories from Manchester, Michigan, and My Army Years 1942–1952 in installments.

As Howard puts it in his forward, his writing process was much like the process his Grandma Mattern used to make her patchwork quilts: "A block at a time was sewn together out of whatever pieces of cloth were available. When enough had been made, which might take years, the blocks were sewn into a quilt top. So this 'farm quilt top' finally has been completed, and represents far more than the first blocks about my memories of growing up on our farm."

The Farm Stories book's forward, acknowledgements and first chapter have been published today. We plan to publish a chapter a month, so keep coming back for more local history.

Thank you, Howard, for introducing us all to your own very personal view of our beloved Manchester area!

More Early Manchester articles posted

Sit down by the fire with your laptop and get ready to read some interesting tales of Early Manchester! Parts 2 and 3 of "Shopping in Downtown Manchester Circa 1835," "The Bank of Manchester," "Manchester's Old Burying Ground," and "The Kief Family in Manchester (Part 1)" have all been posted. Just visit Early Manchester and start reading. Many thanks to Ray Berg and Alan Dyer for making this important original research available to all of us!

Shopping in Downtown Manchester Circa 1835

In previous articles, Ray Berg looked at the life and accomplishments of Major John Gilbert, the founder of Manchester, and how he platted the original village and built the first water-powered mills. He now picks up the story with the three Fargo brothers: Stephen, James Harvey, and Alonzo, and studies the development of the Fargo & Fargo General Store, the first mercantile operation in Manchester. The article is in three parts, the first part posted today.

John Gilbert Articles Posted

Ray Berg's articles on John Gilbert, "founder of Manchester," have been posted here (and are searchable)! Just see "Books" on the right side of this page (or the History page) and click on "Early Manchester" to display a table of contents listing all of Ray's articles. Check back often because we reprint the articles not long after they appear in M.