Manchester (town), Vermont
Manchester has become a tourist destination, especially for those from New York and Connecticut, offering visitors factory outlet stores of national chain retailers such as Brooks Brothers and Ralph Lauren, as well as many locally owned businesses, including the Northshire Bookstore, one of America's leading independent bookstores.
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (May 2010)|
The town was one of several chartered in 1761 by Benning Wentworth, colonial governor of New Hampshire. It was his custom to name new towns after prominent English aristocrats of the day, hoping they might adopt a patronly interest in their namesakes. Wentworth named Manchester for Robert Montagu, 3rd Duke of Manchester. First settled in 1764, the town was laid out in 1784. The land was better suited for grazing than tillage, so by 1839 about 6000 sheep roamed the pasturage and hillsides.
Other industries came to include iron mines, marble quarries and mills, and lumber companies. The arrival of the railroad from industrialized centers like New York City brought tourists, drawn by Manchester's historic architecture and beautiful setting among mountains. Following the Civil War, the town developed into an affluent resort area, which it remains today.
Orvis is a family-owned retail and mail-order business specializing in high-end fly fishing, hunting and sporting goods. Founded in Manchester, Vermont in 1856 by Charles F. Orvis to sell fishing tackle, it is the oldest mail-order retailer in the United States.
A little known fact is that Jake Burton Carpenter, founder of Burton Snowboards, perfected snowboard design in his garage in Manchester. The company operated out of Manchester until 1992 when it relocated to Burlington, Vermont.
The Town has three distinct State-recognized historic districts—the Depot district located on Highland Avenue and Elm Street, Bonnet Street, just north of Main Street and Main Street itself.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 42.3 square miles (109.5 km2), of which 42.2 square miles (109.4 km2) is land and 0.1 square mile (0.1 km2) (0.12%) is water. Manchester is drained by the Batten Kill, Lye Brook, Munson Brook, Bromley Brook, and Bourn Brook. The town lies between the Green Mountains to the east and the Taconic Range to the west. Equinox Mountain, the highest summit in the Taconics, has an elevation of 3,850 feet (1,175 m).
As of the census of 2000, there were 4,180 people, 1,819 households, and 1,156 families residing in the town. The population density was 99.0 people per square mile (38.2/km2). There were 2,456 housing units at an average density of 58.2 per square mile (22.5/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 97.87% White, 0.38% Black or African American, 0.17% Native American, 0.31% Asian, 0.43% from other races, and 0.84% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.75% of the population.
There were 1,819 households out of which 28.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.5% were married couples who were living together, 9.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 36.4% were non-families. 30.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.26 and the average family size was 2.81.
In the town the population was spread out with 23.1% under the age of 18, 4.0% from 18 to 24, 25.0% from 25 to 44, 28.8% from 45 to 64, and 19.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 44 years. For every 100 females there were 87.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 84.3 males.
The median income for a household in the town was $47,196, and the median income for a family was $59,191. Males had a median income of $36,453 versus $26,017 for females. The per capita income for the town was $30,499. About 2.2% of families and 4.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 1.9% of those under age 18 and 6.5% of those age 65 or over.
 Notable people
- Elfriede Abbe, sculptor
- Charles Augustus Aiken, clergyman; president of Union College; professor at Princeton University
- Joseph Sweetman Ames, physicist; president of Johns Hopkins University
- Edmund Bennett, judge and educator
- Myra Bradwell, first American woman to become an attorney
- James M. Clarke, US congressman
- Sarah Norcliffe Cleghorn, poetess, feminist, and suffragist
- Jeremiah French, soldier, judge and political figure in Upper Canada
- Jonathan Goldsmith, actor ("The Most Interesting Man in the World" from Dos Equis advertising)
- John Irving, novelist and "Academy Award-winning" screenwriter
- Robert Todd Lincoln, first son of Abraham Lincoln
- Ahiman Louis Miner, US congressman
- Benjamin S. Roberts, Civil War general
- The Samples, alternative rock band
- Clara Sipprell, photographer
- Richard Skinner, jurist and US congressman
- Treat Williams, movie and television actor
 See also
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Manchester, Vermont|
- Title 24, Part I, Chapter 1, §3, Vermont Statutes. Accessed 2007-11-01.
- "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- "Elfriede Abbe". Printmaking. Frog Hollow. Retrieved 13 Jun 2011.
- Town of Manchester, Vermont
- Mark Skinner Library
- Manchester Historical Society & Museum
- Manchester and the Mountains Vermont Regional Chamber of Commerce
- History of Manchester, Vermont (1839)