A look back at our history shows known settlers in the region as early as 1795. Native Americans were here far earlier than that, accessing fresh drinkable water from a spring that still exists today. Tradition holds that the early settlement was known as Hoardstown, but a name change in 1825 established it as Manchester (named after Manchester, England). The settlement grew to become a stopping off point for travelers heading westward from early St. Louis and remains a busy crossroads with a rich and fascinating history. Manchester is considered the oldest community on Manchester Road. Our old, historic cemeteries tell a story of struggle, perseverance and success.
In recent years, Manchester has embraced several new initiatives that recognize our need to value and to help others.
Lessening the Distance is a key phrase that came out of a recent, facilitated book study based on the Peter Block book, “Community, the Structure of Belonging”. The book, while written twelve years ago, reminds us that to build community we need to know our neighbors; recognize them, hear them and value our differences. As mayor, I sometimes ask the question, “Does Manchester feel like home to you?” That’s an important question to ask. Its answer (yes or no) identifies the strength and health of our community. Our plan is for key concepts from this book to be deeply rooted in all of City leadership decisions.
ManchesterCares is the branded name of Manchester’s ongoing citywide initiative to provide help, support, volunteers, and care to those in need throughout the region. This defining compass for our City includes hosting food, personal need items and back-to-school drives that support our local partners (Circle of Concern, Parkway Food Pantry and local schools). In addition to personal needs, we recognize the importance of donating blood. Blood is the gift of life. As a City, we will host 12 blood drives this year! A City team is working now to form a 501c3 non-profit (ManchesterCares) that will allow for funding to be available for some of Manchester’s in-need residents.