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MAHS Blacksmith Shop Concert Series 2017-18 sticky icon

The Riverfolk Cultural Art Strings group has organized a series of concerts to be held at the MAHS Blacksmith Shop at 324 E. Main in Manchester on fourth Saturdays, beginning at 7:30 PM. Upcoming concerts are listed below. Tickets can be purchased online at eventbrite: search Blacksmith, or at the door. 

Here is the schedule and it is also attached below:

November 25 - Creole du Nord
January 27 - Royal Garden Trio
February 24 - Gabriel Bolkosky
March 24 - Dave Sharp’s World Quartet
April 28 - CAS Faculty and Teen Talent
May 26 - Dodworth Duo

Further information is available from
Aileen Rohwer, Director, Cultural Art Strings
Riverfolk Music and Arts Organization
Manchester, MI 

Kingsley-Jenter House Community Place – Fundraising Campaign Begins!

On May 9, the Manchester Area Historical Society launched its new fundraising campaign for the Kingsley-Jenter House, its headquarters at 302 E. Main Street. This fundraising is specifically focused on creating a repurposed and upgraded community meeting place, which can accommodate many needs in our community for small groups and events in a setting of Manchester area artifacts and displays.

The Society has received approval from the State of Michigan for a “Public Spaces Community Places” grant, wherein the State’s Michigan Economic Development Corporation and Michigan State Housing Development Authority will match funds we raise locally towards improving this public space.

We have set a $40,000 fundraising goal. If we meet the $40,000 goal by July 7, 2016, the State will MATCH our raised funds dollar-for-dollar, giving us an $80,000 budget! If we don’t reach our goal, the state gives us $0!

We need your help! We want to be sure and hit this goal by July 7. The State has set up the project through a crowd-funding approach, which allows credit card donations on-line, as well as check or cash donations made directly to the Historical Society to be credited to the campaign. Full details on the project and a project video are available at:

Be sure to watch the video which explains the project! Check in from time-to-time and watch our progress towards the goal.

Download our campaign flyer for more details!

What the money will do:

• Reroof the building
• Repair gutters, downspouts, fascia boards and soffits
• Repair plaster and repaint the main assembly room
• Purchase furnishings and fixtures for main assembly hall (chairs, tables, cabinets, lighting, projection equipment)
• Establish a galley/catering room for food service at meetings
• Create a public gallery and exhibit area
• Improve ADA accessibility
• Install new heating and cooling system for the gallery

Please contact Ray Berg at or cell 248-765-9324 with any questions. Thank you!
Facebook: Manchester Area Historical Society

MAHS Launches "Preserve the Corner" Campaign

Borek-Jennings Funeral HomeMAHS has succeeded in our purchase of the former Borek-Jennings Funeral Home at the corner of Ann Arbor and Main Streets in downtown Manchester! We have worked for the past 10 months to reach agreement on a sale price and terms, and we are partnering with Ann Arbor State Bank on financing of the purchase. Closing on this purchase is set for December 2015.

This purchase will give us a highly-visible and central location for our headquarters, and improved and proper facilities for display and public access to our archives and artifacts. It will also be a good year-round meeting space for our members and community outreach activities. This project also supports our goal of drawing new generations of Manchester area residents into understanding, preserving and passing on our heritage.

Our promotion and fundraising efforts are entitled “Preserve the Corner.” We seek to preserve the legacy of John Hampden Kingsley, the Manchester entrepreneur and civic leader who built the home in 1904. We also honor the Jenter family, who aided our community’s families in their time of great need for many decades in this home. We believe that our Society’s mission and activities are a perfect way to repurpose this home for the community’s benefit.

The Preserve the Corner campaign includes a long-term plan for financing the rehabilitation/repurposing costs, operating and maintenance expenses, and pay down of the mortgage. Download the campaign flyer. We ask for your help through an immediate cash donation, or through a written pledge to be fulfilled over a given time. Our bank financing requires us to achieve a minimum level of $50,000 in cash donations, pledges and grant commitments by year-end. We are also currently applying for several grants. Please consider making an immediate donation, or a pledge, before the end of this year, by completing and submitting the contribution form.

We also ask for your help through contribution of your time and talents, as we move forward on furnishing, rehabbing and establishing regular operating hours of our new home. Your feedback about this project is both wanted and needed. Please contact the society through any of the means provided on the attachments, and help us achieve our goals of both preserving the home on this corner, and building upon Manchester’s heritage for future generations. Please share this fundraising information with others who may be interested in this project.

The Board of Directors
Manchester Area Historical Society

Help make our 28th calendar a memorable one

For the last 27 years, the Manchester Area Historical Society has produced an annual historical calendar featuring scenes, events and people from Manchester and its four surrounding townships. The calendar is produced locally, is sold by area merchants, and the proceeds help the Society in its mission to complete the local historical record. As we begin production on our 28th calendar, we once again call for your help. Yes, it's time to rummage through those old trunks and dust off those old photo albums again!

The theme for the 2011 MAHS Historical Calendar is "footprints on the sands of time," and we will feature people, families, businesses, groups and professions that have made a positive difference in the lives of Manchester area residents 50 years ago and beyond. If you have historical photos, artifacts or information relating to this theme, please contact Reno Feldkamp, (734) 428-8571, Doug Howell at (734) 428-9040, or contact us right here. Help us make this calendar a memorable one.

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.

Manchester and.....Lexington?

Manchester area residents have learned some surprising things about their beloved area recently, thanks to Ray Berg. Berg has been doing research and has printed several articles in M, Manchester's Magazine over the last months. Now you can read them online, right here! The first article, "Manchester and....Lexington?" has already been posted in our History section, and others will be posted soon. Thanks, Ray, for sharing your love of Manchester area history with all of us!

2009 Historical Calendar Needs You

Help us make the 2009 historical calendar a success! The theme will focus on how we used to live (50 years or more ago). We're especially interested in stories and photos of area residents taking part in church, school or community events, recreational activities, work or business activities, farming and more. How about spending some time over the holidays looking through some of those old photo albums or diaries and see what your grandparents and their grandparents used to do? Then share what you find with your community and help build our local historical record!

Help Us Build the New MAHS Site

The MAHS site is up and running and you can help us build it! You are welcome to browse all the content here (including photo galleries) anonymously, but if you'd like to participate by submitting stories or photos, please contact us!

We're looking forward to hearing from you. (Please see the History page for our editorial policy.)