EIGHTY YEARS AGO
Aug. 2, 1928
MANCHESTER — On Tuesday, H.M. Swift started the construction of a new horse barn at the Manchester Fair Grounds. This building was authorized at a recent meeting of the directors of the Fair Association.
R.F. Miller has come to Manchester and has purchased the barbershop under the Hanley meat market, which has been conducted for the past year or more by Clarence Crosier. Mr. Miller and his brother are running the shop, and state that their aim is to give better service even than has been given.
The commodious addition to the hardware store of the Manchester Plumbing and Hardware Co., in this village has recently been completed and is now in use. The addition doubles the capacity of the store. Such a large stock of goods was carried that it became impossible to properly display and care for them in the old store, so the addition was built.
Richard J. Dooley of this village, an employee of the Vermont Hydro-Electric Corporation, narrowly escaped death Monday when he came in contact with an electric light wire carrying 2300 volts. Mr. Dooley has been doing some work on a pole near the residence of Dr. and Mrs. A. B. Wadsworth in Manchester Village and had started to come down when his left arm came in contact with the live wire, and he fell about 20 feet to the ground. Another employee of the company, a Mr. Reed of Rutland, was with Dooley at the time and his knowledge of the prone method of resuscitation probably saved the injured man's life.
SIXTY YEARS AGO
July 29, 1948
MANCHESTER — Nathan Milstein, noted New York violinist, and his party, escaped injury and possible death late Friday afternoon when their automobile became stalled on the railroad crossing on Route 11-30, north of the Manchester railroad station. The car was struck by an oncoming train and demolished.
Mr. Milstein, along with his wife and their cook, escaped from the car before the train arrived at the spot, and they were able to get some of their belongings out of the car, before the locomotive caught it and carried it some 300 feet down the track before the train was brought to a stop.
The party was enroute to the Milstein summer cottage in Landgrove.
TWENTY-FIVE YEARS AGO
Aug. 4, 1983
The good news of the federal grant received to help refurbish the tattered Equinox House in Manchester Village is evidence of Manchester growth. And while this will bring more jobs to the area, it also will put additional strain on town services.
Town Manager Harry Henderson in an interview with the Journal Monday said that nearly every town service is feeling the strain of growth. He pointed to the growth of small business in the area, the weather-and-visitor-caused water shortage, and increased traffic in town.
"We've been monitoring the traffic at the junction of Routes 7 and 11/30," he said, "and it's up 16% over last year." He added that such surveys gave a more immediate picture of the town's growth rate than more remote statistics.
Henderson pointed out that the dry weather was not the only cause of the present water-watch in town with the ban on car washing and lawn sprinking. "There have been," he said, "26 new water hookups since January 1981, when the town took over the water system." In addition, he said there had been hookups for condominiums and three major modifications to motel water supply systems. Altogether it came to about 60 additions over a two-year period, an increase of six percent on the system.
The new sewage treatment plant presently is operating at about 75% of its present capacity and when it was built opened with only 50% of its potential being put to use. "At this rate," Henderson said, "we may soon have to expand the plant. To double its capacity would cost the town somewhere between $50,000 and $100,000."
Over the past ten years, Manchester's grand list has increased from $186,000 to $536,000 — a growth of 288%. During this time, the town's populations (based on primary residents) has not grown nearly as much. The population, according to the census bureau, was 2,919 in 1970 and 3,261 in 1980.
Then where is the strain on town services coming from?
According to one town official it comes from the increasing number of second homes, and the tourism that is a major element in Manchester's economy.
Henderson pointed out that the creation or expansion of small businesses in the town totals 24 over the past two years. "Orvis has expanded, too," Henderson said. "And now we have the Vermont Country Store examining Manchester as a base for its mail-order operation." And speaking of the new Grand Union store, Henderson said, "They built a large store; and they wouldn't have done that if their market research had not indicated that it made economic sense."
While the effects of increased demand on water supply or sewage systems can be defined numerically, Henderson said that the strain placed on human services of the town cannot be so easily measured.
He pointed out that the present fire department is entirely a volunteer service, as is the Resque Squad. And the Rescue Squad, he noted, serves a much larger community than Manchester itself.