#ThrowBackThurday – November 30th, 2017

Downtown Manchester Christmas Parade

This Saturday, UNH Manchester presents the 2017 Manchester Christmas Parade, a fantastic parade with local groups joining together to spread the holiday cheer! Intown Manchester organizes this parade, and for the past several years thousands of people have lined Elm Street to watch the parade with friends and family as a  holiday tradition! Lets take a look back at the Manchester Christmas Parades throughout the years in this week’s #ThrowBackThursday!

The Manchester Fire Department
Palace Float
Christmas Float
Rudolph Float
Rudolf in the Parade
Santa Waving
Vintage Fire Engine with Santa
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Miss Auburn
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Christmas Equestrian
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Vintage fire engine with wreath

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Gingerbread House Float
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Happy Parade Participants!

You will not want to miss out on a parade full of lights, fun and cheer this Saturday, December 2nd at 4pm on Elm Street!

Parade Square Ad 2017


#ThrowBackThursday November 16th, 2017

Snowy Days in Manchester

As the first snowfall of the season happened earlier this week, it’s time to start gearing up for for the festivities of winter! Manchester has seen snowfall year after year but it certainly has not stopped this city from making the best of it! Here are some images provided by the Manchester Historic Association capturing the snowy days of Manchester, NH!


1924 – Ten very brave members of the Brownies Swim Group get ready to bobsled in the snow dressed in their swimsuits! Brr!

snow shoesnow shoe carnival 2

1927 – The Snowshoe Carnival was a great celebration of the snow, which included a snowshoe race through the textile fields as spectators lined the track to cheer on the snow showers!

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1923– These two sisters make the best of the snowfall, by creating an igloo and a polar bear out of the snow! Posing proudly with their creations, they had turned the snow into works of art!

huting camphunting

c. 1900 – What better way to spend the winter than in a log cabin? These images show hunting cabins with men chopping wood and hiking through the woods in the bitter cold days of the winter!


1940 – Perhaps not the most fun part of the snow is the removal. This image shows city workers clearing away snow in front of City Hall, and loading it into the back of this truck!

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1924 – Right in what we know now as the Veterans Memorial Park, this snowman was coined the “World’s Largest Snowman”, which was set up for the four day Winter Carnival! Even though he is not made out of snow, he represents the spirit of winter!

 Just in time for the holidays and the kick-off to the winter season, come downtown for a fantastic Christmas Parade you can’t miss, and an incredible Holiday Market with over 50 craftsmen! Click here for more information about these great events!

Holiday Market Square Ad 2017Parade Square Ad 2017


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#ThrowBackThursday November 9th, 2017

Presidents Visiting Downtown Manchester

Throughout time, downtown Manchester has been a hot spot for presidents to come visit the people and parade down Elm Street! Included in this post are images from Presidents T. Roosevelt, Taft, and Ford’s respected visits. While there are no images of President Abraham Lincoln’s visit to Manchester in 1860, I did find a sobering one of the Smyth Block (image below), owned by Governor Frederick Smyth then Republican City Chairman and an avid supporter of President Lincoln, dressed in black for Lincoln’ assassination just five years after his visit.



President Theodore Roosevelt visits Manchester, lifting his hat to the people along the side of the road – 1908


President Taft’s visit to Manchester, where he is seen being helped out of the motor car (top), and leaving Manchester (bottom) – 1912


President Ford’s visit to downtown Manchester – 1975

There is no doubt why our presidents in the past had taken time to visit Manchester, due to the large amount of support and crowds that were there to great them! Manchester’s rich history provides a lot of meaning to the great downtown that we have! Tune in next week for another #ThrowBackThursday!


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#ThrowbackThursday – November 2nd, 2017

Pups Through Time: Man’s Best Friend in Manch


manss bff

Throughout time people have used dogs as not only for work but as our best friends! Dogs have been used in Manchester for many years, working with the police and fire departments as well as on farms and even in battle! Despite their great work ethic and strength, dogs have proven to be one of man’s best companions. Above shows a portrait of a boy and his dog in the early 1900’s in Manchester, New Hampshire!


This image is of the New Hampshire State Militia dating back to the late 1800’s. Notice the three dogs sitting in front of these soldiers who happened to be dressed up as cowboys and Native Americans for this photo.Not only where these pups good for battle, they also were good as every day companions.

jungle gym 1911

Even on the playgrounds of the Amoskeag Manufacturing Company, children pose on the jungle gym with their black and white spotted pup back in 1911!


Dogs have even participated in events in Manchester, this event being the Victory parade in 1918. These women and young ladies had dressed up to march in the parade, and so did their dog, who posed for this picture along side these ladies of Manchester!

national gaurd

In 1895, New Hampshire’s first National Guard group poses with their dog in front! Since then the National Guard has grown, and dogs have still remained our best buds!


Even in the coldest of winters dogs have been close to their humans to provide not only companionship, but protection and safety as well. This dog posses with a man and women being pulled by horse through the frigid winter day. Even back in February of 1882, dogs have proven to be a part of the everyday life of the residence of Manchester.


At the end of the day dogs have not only been man’s best friend, but a companion for everyone! This little girl, Elizabeth Cheney, poses with her beloved family dog back in the early 1900’s. From the battle ground to the home, dogs have played a versatile role in our communities serving as our protectors and our friends.

A big thank you to the Manchester Historic Association for these fantastic images and information!

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#ThrowBackThursday – October 26th, 2017

History of Halloween…

1958-trick-or-treaters-at-naums-fruit-storeHalloween is full of ghosts and ghouls, vampires and witches and everything in between! Looking back at this shot above from the 1950’s these traditions surely have not changed as kids trick-or-treated  in Manchester, collecting candy on October 31st each year. But why do we dress up as spooky characters and go from house to house loading up on candy? Keep reading to find out how these spooky traditions came about!


Origin of Halloween

With the influx of immigrants in the late 19th century, Halloween became even more of a prominent event as the Irish settle in America. The Irish were the first to celebrate on October 31st dating  over 2,000 years ago,  with their ancient Celtic festival of Samhain. This festival marks the beginning of winter which for many, at the time, meant death. They believed that on this day the ghosts of the dead would emerge. Large fires would be lit and the Irish would dress in costume to sacrifice animals to rid any bad spirits, which is where scary costumes made their first debut!

The Irish would cut out designs in potatoes, gourds and even beets, placing a candle inside to ward off evil spirits such as Stingy Jack who was known for playing games with the devil. When this tradition came to America, pumpkins began being used as they are native to this country! This is why the Jack-o-lanterns have been a large part of Halloween, warding off Stingy Jack and his evil spirits from the home!


Halloween in America

As colonists began to settle in the New England areas, October 31st was considered a day to celebrate the end of the harvesting season with friends, families and neighbors by dancing, singing, telling ghost stories and even stories of the dead. These sort of gatherings were called “play parties” as people often would dress in costume. The photo above is of a Halloween party in Manchester, dating back to the 1920’s!

Taking the tradition from the Irish and English, American children began to dress up in costumes and go door-to-door asking for food or money in the 19th century. This tradition eventually lead to what we know now as trick-or-treating! As the time went on leaders in America started to encourage parents to get rid of the ghosts and witchcraft aspect of Halloween and make it into a community based holiday. With this, Halloween had transformed completely in America into a holiday focused on children, games and dress-up and less of the rising of the dead, haunted ghost stories and the end of the harvest season.

In the 1920’s and 1930’s Halloween parties were very popular with food, games and costumes of course! This tradition carried into the 1950’s and even now! America as a whole loves Halloween, making it the second largest commercial holiday, after Christmas, spending an average of $6 billion annually! Impressive!


From all of us at Intown Manchester, we wish you a safe and fun Halloween! We appreciate the great photos from the Manchester Historic Society, and the information from History.com

Looking for Halloween events in the downtown? Check out the ‘Around Downtown’ section of our blog for a list of spooky Halloween events coming up! 

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#ThrowBackThursday October 19th, 2017


We decided to kick-off our Halloween Throwback Thursday with a look at the Valley Cemetery. We’ll dive into the history of the cemetery and all of it’s hauntings! The ‘Friends of Valley Cemetery‘ have a wonderful website dedicated to restoring the cemetery to its former glory. A huge thank you to them for all of this great information below.



I’m not sure why I was so surprised to learn that the Valley Cemetery was once a property of the Amoskeag Manufacturing Company. Back in 1840, Amoskeag donated 20 acres of land to the city, which was made into a cemetery. What’s most interesting about the use of this land is that the cemetery wasn’t necessarily built to be just a cemetery–it was built with the intention of being a public park. “The walkways, carriage paths, and bridges invited residents to stroll the grounds. Picnics under the trees were popular as were horse-drawn carriage rides.”  The post card above illustrates the beauty of the cemetery long ago.

Gale TombA decade later, the city underwent a cholera epidemic in which the Valley Cemetery proved to be, sadly, useful. Given the gravity of the epidemic, “trustees found it necessary to designate the northeast corner of the cemetery for the victims of disease. Burials were performed at night in a mass grave.

While there are “no available lots in the Valley, occasional burials still take place there, the most recent being in 2012,” there are quite a few notables buried there. The Friends of Valley Cemetery write:Blood Family Tomb

“The burial grounds host some of the city’s first politicians, ministers, engineers, musicians, mayors, two New Hampshire governors, approximately sixty Civil War soldiers, a few veterans of the Revolutionary War and at least one soldier from the French and Indian Wars. Members of Manchester’s first families, including Starks, Straws, Blodgets, Beans, Buntons, and Harringtons reside in the Valley Cemetery.”


With all of this history in the cemetery, there is no wonder why there has been several accounts of spirits haunting those who dare to enter. One blogger explored the Valley Cemetery in August of 2009 and had some pretty spooky experiences.They write of a mysterious “metallic clang” from inside the Smyth Mausoleum and a cold, brief gust of wind on a hot August day while climbing the steps of the mausoleum. Pretty spooky stuff. Read more here.valley st

Another group of ghost hunters has visited the spot for a decade and report “repeatable evidence” of vast temperature changes and “intelligent responses” from the spirit. Read more about that here. Other visitors of the cemetery have also claimed to have seen a woman in a bright white light in the middle of the night before she disappeared in a flash. This extraordinary place is full of rich and meaningful history of Manchester, that just may be a little haunted!

If you do wish to visit the Valley Cemetery, please be respectful and visit during the designated hours between Sunrise to Sunset everyday.

Have any suggestions for a topic of the week? E-mail me at: intern@intownmanchester.com to let me know what you think of our #ThrowBackThursday Blog!

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#ThrowbackThursday October 12th, 2017

Manchester Fire and Police Throughout the Years

Ever since Manchester had become its own city in 1751, there has always been a police and fire rescue presence. Over the past few hundreds of years police officers would walk the beat down Elm Street, and firefighters have been on the scenes of Manchester’s most devastating fires. Even in the coldest of winter days, and the hottest days of the summer these men and women have proudly served our city and still continue every day.  Here is a glimpse into the past, of the firefighters and police officers of Manchester, New Hampshire!

Manchester Fire Department: 

block fire

1906: Hanover Street – Firefighters battle a large fire on Odd Fellows Block using a steam engine to put out the fire.

fire chief

1915: Central Fire Station – Fire Chief, Thomas W. Lane Drives Engine #1 with three other firefighters and their dog in the center. Chief Lane served as a Manchester Firefighter for 38 years before retiring in 1917.

fire house

Circa 1905: This is an image of the Central Fire House located on Vine Street before it had burned down in 1971, causing a new fire house to be constructed on Merrimack St.

fire truck

1971: Engine #11 – At the time this was a state of the art fire engine, costing $49,000.00! This engine had the capability to produce up to 1,250 gallons of water per minute, a long ways away from the steam engines used years before!

firefighters 1888

1888: Excelsior Hook and Ladder Company – Twenty-one firefighters pose in front of their horse drawn ladder truck with two horses and their dog. During this time period the city did not staff their own firefighters, so independent insurence companies would hire their own fire fighters, thus calling it the Excelsior Hook and Ladder Company.

Manchester Police Department: 

group protrait of police dept

Circa 1970’s: A group portrait of the Manchester Police Department featuring Police Chief Tom King , Deputy Chief Leo Murphy and Sargent Oscar Provencher in front of a wall of confiscated weapons. Also featured is five officers seated at the table.

paddy wagon

1915: Four Officers pose for an image in front of and on the Police Wagon, with their dog Brindle and horse, Old Jerry. This wagon was used for picking up criminals and as a “holding cell” to create easier and safer transportation.

police 1895

1899: Police Officers pose for a Group Portrait of the Police Force at the Fireman’s Muster Parade in full uniform. During this time the Manchester Police Department had just grown to have a bicycle squad and a K-9 unit as well.

police officer

Circa 1880’s: This is a charcoal painting of a Night Captain wearing his uniform and badge, but not wearing his hat. Police Officers would often carry candlesticks on their hips to use for light when coming upon a person in the night as this was before the helpful invention of the flashlight. This image was produced before the time when police officers were required to shave… obviously!

police station

1890: This is a photograph of the Manchester Police Station located on Manchester and Chestnut Street taken one hundred and twenty-seven years ago. Sine then the Manchester Police Department has moved to other locations in the city.

Over the past two hundred and fifty years the Manchester Police and Fire Departments have been on every crime scene and fire, time and time again, protecting the city of Manchester. We would like to thank them for their services. We would also like to thank the Manchester Historical Association for providing us with these excellent images of our police officers and firefighters.

Tune in for next week’s Throw Back Thursday  to learn more about the history of Manchester, New Hampshire!

Have any suggestions for a topic of the week? E-mail me at: intern@intownmanchester.com to let me know what you think of our #ThrowBackThursday blog!