The Borough is situated on land that was obtained by John Nickey in 1740, an heir of William Penn. In 1814, William Reeser purchased the land noting its proximity to the Susquehanna River and markets in the South. Resser divided the land into 100 lots and sold them off on a lottery system for $100 per lot, naming the town Liverpool after a community in England . The roads through town served as an access to Harrisburg from York and surrounding areas. Even Marquis de Lafayette traveled here to visit a friend.
Then on June 28, 1863, General Early of the Confederate Army sent Colonel French with a detachment of the 17th Virginia Calvary north from York to burn bridges. The troops stopped at Liverpool and Mt. Wolf 's general stores to purchase shoes, paying with Confederate money. According to reports, it did cause some excitement.
The first church in the town was Union Church having been built in 1822 on the site at Union Cemetery where the veteran's memorial is now standing. Two other churches were built, one on High Street and the other on Cooper Street whose congregations later joined together to form St. Paul United Methodist Church on Board Road. The only existing original Church in the Borough is Christ Lutheran Church on S. Main Street which was constructed in 1857.
The town fathers became aware that their community's name was the same as another in Pennsylvania and decided to rename Liverpool to Manchester Borough, incorporating the town on August 26, 1869. The first general election was held on October 12th , 1869, at which time a Council of five and the Chief Burgess, Jacob Mohr, were elected.
Much was accomplished in the ensuing years to provide for services, schools, fire protection (Union Fire Company), utilities and ordinances for the betterment of the community. In 1902, York Haven Street Railway Company ran a trolley through Manchester Borough. A focal point was the Cold Springs Park , the current location of Cold Springs Apartments. The Park was a place for relaxation which attracted people from York who rode the trolley to the “country” to enjoy picnicking, baseball, and entertainment provided at the park pavilion. Those were the “good old days”!
It is fun to reminisce. Talk to your older residents of the Borough. They have a lot of information to share, and enjoy doing so. The sense of connection with one's heritage can provide a stable association for young people growing up in an ever changing society. A small town in the 21st Century is still a community of friendships, neighborhood schools, recreation, shops, and events such as: parades, Memorial Day recognition, an ice cream social, Christmas caroling, a ball game, and fund raisers for the volunteer fire company, all of which contribute to special times and memories for neighbors and families and the community-at-large.
(Historical information may be obtained from reading Manchester Then and Now , written by Mary Ellen Snell, Copyright 1989, Library of Congress Number TX (364-941)
Manchester Borough is a small town with a similar streetscape as we would have seen over 150 years ago, with two exceptions, development and traffic! Times have changed! Although, it is beneficial to recall, with respect, the heritage and dedication of people who founded the town and the generations that devoted themselves to improving their community.