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Manchester in Bennington County, Vermont — The American Northeast (New England)
 

The Manchester Depot

 
 
The Manchester Depot Marker image. Click for full size.
By Steve Stoessel, July 4, 2021
1. The Manchester Depot Marker
Inscription.  
Manchester has three commercial hubs: the Village, the Center, and the Depot, which owes its name and development to the arrival of the Western Vermont Railroad in 1852. Just south of Route 11/30 (originally called the Flat Road and later Depot Street), the railroad depot brought expanded commercial opportunities for local businesses and stimulated the growth of the nearby neighborhood. In 1866, W.H. Fullerton moved his marble business to a new location along the tracks, where he shipped more than 70,000 marble tombstones for Civil War soldiers. When John C. Blackmer returned from the war, he opened a dry goods store in the small brick building to your right and later a high-end emporium, the New York Store, in the two-story brick structure on the corner of Elm and Centre streets. He built his home in-between and predicted that a village would grow up around him. The New York Store became the Colonial Theater in 1919.

Growth continued when John Davis established a large hardware and tin business where you stand in 1882. This building also became a popular movie theater in 1935. In the structure behind you, E. N. Abramson opened
The Manchester Depot Marker image. Click for full size.
By Steve Stoessel, July 4, 2021
2. The Manchester Depot Marker
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his Arrowhead Store where he sold groceries, fruits, and vegetables.

The gabled building across Elm Street to the left opened as Pettibone's Drugstore in the early 1880s and has been home to a series of small businesses ever since. J. H. Couture had the gabled building on the right built for his cash-only dry goods business in 1906. In the 1940s through the 1960s, the building was home to the very popular Reed's Soda Fountain.

The many private homes that sprang up in the late 1800s established the Depot's characteristic mix of small commercial and comfortable residential buildings.

(Photo A Caption:) John C. Blackmer, postmaster in the Depot from 1874-1907, opened his New York Store where he sold a wide variety of dry goods and household articles including china made in Germany. As the Colonial Theater in 1919, it showed the latest films from Vitagraph Studios. This road was renamed Highland Avenue.

(Photo B Caption:) Regular train service between New York City and Manchester after the Civil War brought increased activity to the area of Manchester that would become known as the Depot.

(Photo C Caption:) In 1866, W. H. Fullerton opencd his mill next to the railroad tracks to take advantage of faster transportation for his marble and granite statues, headstones, and monuments.

(Photo D Caption:) In 1873, John C. Blackmer
Former New York Store image. Click for full size.
By Steve Stoessel, July 4, 2021
3. Former New York Store
cut the road to create Centre Street and later built the two brick buildings, both serving as dry goods businesses.

(Photo E Caption:) A. H. Pettibone's Drugs and Groceries, which opened in the early 1880s, later became Healy's Market and has been the site of several small businesses since then.

(Maps at Bottom Caption:) The 1869 Beers map (left) depicts the area that would become the Depot just north of the railroad station, which was built in the 1850s. Note the building labeled the Bradley Store. You can find it today at the comer of Highland and Depot streets. The 1909 Sanborn insurance map (right) shows how quickly the Depot area grew in just 40 years.
 
Erected by Champlain Valley National Heritage Partnership.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Settlements & Settlers. A significant historical year for this entry is 1852.
 
Location. 43° 10.422′ N, 73° 2.811′ W. Marker is in Manchester, Vermont, in Bennington County. Marker is on Highland Avenue near Elm Street, on the left when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Manchester VT 05254, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 6 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Ye Olde Tavern (approx. 0.4 miles away); The Southern Vermont Arts Center (approx. 1.4 miles away); The Revolutionary War (approx. 1˝ miles away); The Soldiers' Monument
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(approx. 1˝ miles away); Lincoln’s "Hildene" (approx. 2.7 miles away); First Marble Quarry (approx. 4.7 miles away); Birthplace of William Griffith Wilson (approx. 4.9 miles away); Cephas Kent’s Dwelling (approx. 5.1 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Manchester.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on July 7, 2021. It was originally submitted on July 4, 2021, by Steve Stoessel of Niskayuna, New York. This page has been viewed 47 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on July 4, 2021, by Steve Stoessel of Niskayuna, New York. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.

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Nov. 28, 2021