Manchester lies near the center of Kennebec County,
the west side of the Kennebec River, and separated from it by the town
of Farmingdale, the city of Hallowell and the western section of the
city of Augusta. It is 12 miles long and averages less than 3 miles
wide. Sidney and Belgrade bound it on the north, Redfield and Win-
throp on the west. It is almost wholly separated from the latter by
Cobbosse Contee Great Pond, noted for its white perch and black
The early history of this town will be found combined with that of
the towns from which it was formed. These are Augusta, Hallowell,
Winthrop and Readfield. The settlement commenced about 1774.
Nathaniel Floyd appears to have been the first settler in the southern
part, and Thomas Allen in the northern part, in the same year. This
Allen lot remains in the family to the present day, being owned by a
grandson of the pioneer, William H. Allen, president of Girard Col-
lege. Captain John Evans, Francis Fuller and Reuben Brainard took
up lots in 1776; Samuel Cummings, in 1778, and several other persons
soon after. The incorporation of Manchester as an independent town
occurred in 1850 under the name of Kennebec. A strip from the
north-east side was annexed to Augusta in 1856. The name was
changed to the one it now bears in 1854.
The surface of the town is moderately uneven. The principal rock is
granite, of which a fine quarry is worked in the eastern part of the
town. The soil is various, being sandy, gravelly and clayey in differ-
ent sections. Birch, beech, maple, spruce and hemlock are the pre-
The principal employment of the inhabitants is agriculture, which
is carried on more scientifically and successfully than in most towns.
Probably the finest orchards in the State are found here.
The Methodists, Baptists and Friends have each a church here.
Manchester has seven public schoolhouses, valued at $3,500. The
valuation of estates in 1870 was $320,219. In 1880 it was $291,200.
The rate of taxation in the latter year was about 16 mils on the dol-
lar. The population in 1870 was 732, which, by the census of 1880,
has decreased to 623.