Ray Berg

Sesquicentennial updates part 3

Decrease Font Size Increase Font Size Text Size Print This Page

Adding to our first two articles in prior weeks on the upcoming Sesquicentennial celebration, we offer the following additional information:

1. Historic Baseball Game, Saturday, August 5

On Saturday, August 5, at 3pm at Kirk Park, our very own Manchester Handlers take on the Chelsea Monitors in the first championship game of our regional 19th-century baseball league. Manchester has formed a team of players who are undergoing training in the no-glove, gentlemanly sport of 19th century “base ball”, complete with authentic uniforms and period equipment. Captain Joe Christensen has assembled a fine group and looks to place Manchester in the champion’s seat!

The Handlers are named after the Manchester Handle Company, which operated a wooden products factory in Manchester in the 1910s and 1920s on Clinton Road and Territorial Road, across from Kirk Park, and produced among other products baseball bats for the American League.

Our team is practicing for this event, and will hold a local scrimmage game on Friday, July 7, 6:30pm at Carr Park. Local volunteers and interested persons are invited to come down, and try their hand(s) at playing historic baseball. Contact Joe Christensen at jvchristensen@gmail.com to sign up.

And mark your calendars for that August 5, 3pm game at Kirk Park. Refreshments will be served by Manchester Area Youth Sports, and appropriate commentary on Manchester in 1867 will also be provided. We look to see you there!

Figure 1 – The Chelsea Monitors – The Team to Beat August 5

2. Opening and Closing Historical Presentations

The Sesquicentennial Celebration will feature two presentations by the Manchester Area Historical Society on early Manchester history, both held at the MAHS Kingsley-Jenter House, 302 E. Main.

  • Wednesday, August 2, 6:30pm – “1867 – What Was Going On Then in Manchester?”

This presentation will inform attendees on the major local issues in Manchester in 1867, the “Movers and Doers”, what was happening here in town, who were the merchants, where were the churches and places of activity, etc. Manchester prospered greatly from the Civil War, and 1867 was a boom time in our small town. Our downtown as it exists today began to take shape.

  • Monday, August 7, 6:30pm – “1833 – How and Why Manchester Got Started”

This presentation will reveal exactly how our village got started, how we came to be at this spot on the globe, why we are named Manchester, and the politics/economics of the time which influenced our early growth. Much new research in recent years has provided new facts on the true history of our founding.

Figure 2 – What is This Man Thinking Standing on the Bridge Circa 1868?

3. Facial Hair Competition

What used to be called a “beard contest” for adult males is now the “Facial Hair Competition” for all genders and ages. Come on down to the Main Street area between the Village Tap and Over the Edge Sports Bar, on Saturday, August 5, between noon and 9pm for a series of events involving serious (and not-so-serious) competition among men, women and kids in a variety of facial hair categories.

The Manchester Ladies Society is the sponsor and organizer, with information posted regularly on the Manchester Sesquicentennial Festival Facebook page and the Manchester Ladies Society Facebook page. Kids can stop by throughout the day to make a beard out of provided supplies and enter the kids’ beard contest for free. Registration for men’s facial hair and women’s crafted beard categories begins at noon, with judging beginning at 4pm. There will be a $5 entry fee. Judges include Lyman Robertson Jr. of regional beard fame, as well as our local residents Web Seegert (a 1967 Centennial beard contestant) and Ladies Society representative Laurie Brewis. Stephen Eldorado “El Chapo” will be our Master of Ceremonies. 

We’re expecting significant participation by out-of-town beard owners, and there are several local residents participating in the “150 day contest”, where you go from clean shaven to the best you can do in the 150 days leading up to the contest. So come down and enjoy the fun!

Figure 3 – C. DeVolson Wood, 1870 Surveyor and Enumerator of Downtown Manchester – Nice Beard!

4. Tractor Show and Manchester Fire Department Open House

During the Sesquicentennial parade on Friday night, August 4, with a 6:30pm start, several tractors of various ages and types will participate in the parade from the Ackerson Building to the Emanuel UCC parking lot down Main Street. Also in the parade will be Manchester’s antique fire trucks. After the parade is over, these tractors and fire engines will move to the Manchester Fire Department Open House on Macomb Street beginning at 7:30pm.

On Saturday, August 5, from 10am to 4pm, view the full tractor show display along Washington Street, north and south of Main Street. This will occur simultaneously with the Manchester Men’s Club Classic Car Show which will be situated along Main Street, running west from Clinton Street. A wide variety of tractors will be displayed, along with their owners providing information on what different duties they can perform.

Figure 4 – A Real Antique Tractor

Watch next week’s Manchester Mirror for more information on Sesquicentennial events……

You must be logged in to post a comment Login