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Preservation Celebration

July 14th, 2016 | No Comments

In recognition of National Historic Preservation Month, the Manchester Main Street Historic Preservation & Design committee and North Manchester Historic Homes Preservation Group teamed up to present the “Celebrate Preservation” evening on May 17th at the Center for History.

The Second Annual Preservation awards were given to two businesses and a homeowner.  Each year Manchester Main Street honors owners of historic buildings who have made exemplary restoration or preservation efforts that contribute to the beauty of North Manchester.  The awards are intended to celebrate past work and encourage future projects promoting historic preservation.

The 2016 awards were given to Mary Lou Brown, for the preservation of her 1910-era house on North Wayne Street.  Linda and Steven Lambert were honored for the creative restoration of their business, Lambert’s Body Shop on Mill Street.  Karen and Bob Fawcett and Scott Carlin were awarded for restoration of the Main View Inn.

The speaker for the evening was Paul Hayden of Indiana Landmarks.  Hayden recently began working in the Indiana Landmarks’ regional office which re-opened in Wabash.  His presentation was “The History of the American Front Porch” and he covered the evolution and extinction of the front porch design which included a case study on how to restore an historic home that still has a porch.

Welcome to my Garden

America in Bloom and Manchester Main Street would like to thank the many people that came out on Saturday, June 18th, to participate in their biennial garden walk.  We had beautiful weather and a wonderful turnout for gardening enthusiasts.

The success of the events rides mainly on our gracious hosts, the homeowners that welcomed the community to their gardens and shared the creative and imaginative products of their labors.  So we thank: Rick and Deb Bauer, Matt and Diana Nettleton, Gary and Dee Montel, Cam and Debbie Vanyo, Marie Quick, Larry and Mary Ann Swihart and the United Methodist Church.

We would also like to thank these generous sponsors for their support with this year’s event; Batteries Plus Bulbs, Beacon Credit Union, Blooms & Heirlooms, Cottage Creations, Hoffman’s Nursery, Main View Inn, Manchester Realty, Metzger Landscape & Design, Sonshine Greenhouse, Tri Oaks Realty, and Wetzel Insurance Agency.

The Manchester Garden Club provided invaluable assistance in not only helping on event day, but in their many volunteer hours making the Eel River Gardens a beautiful starting point for the tour.  Finally, our thanks to the vendors that attended that day and helped to enhance the experience of our guests that day.

Eel River Arts Festival Coming in September

EEL RIVER ARTS FESTIVAL — SEPT 10EelRiverArtsFestival_LOGO6_outlined

Manchester Main Street is hosting this year’s 4th Annual Eel River Arts Festival on September 10th in the scenic Eel River Gardens overlooking the Eel River, in the heart of historic downtown North Manchester. The Eel River Gardens is a town beautification project designed and maintained by the North Manchester Garden Club, located at the intersection of Main and Market Streets, next to Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church (113 W. Main Street).

Saturday’s 10am-4pm Art Fair will feature live music, highlight area artists’ and artisans’ work, and provide creative enrichment activities for all ages. The event is free to the public.  For more information, including artist applications, please go to the events tab and click on Eel River Arts Festival.

2016 Garden Walk

Saturday, June 18, 2016 will see the return of the biennial garden walk hosted by the America in Bloom committee, a subsidiary of the Manchester Main Street Organization.  This years walk will begin at the Eel River Gardens located at 113 West Main Street.  You will be able to purchase tickets at this location and receive a map to this years tour featuring seven unique private gardens.  Tickets are $8 per adult or two for $15.  Children 12 and under are only $3.00. Touring will take place between 9:00am and 3:00pm.  Tickets will only be available the day of the event, please begin your tour at the Eel River Gardens.

This years private gardens include these homeowners:  Rick and Deb Bauer, Gary and Dee Montel, Cam and Debbie Vanyo, Marie Quick, United Methodist Church, Matt and Diana Nettleton and Larry and Mary Ann Swihart.

America in Bloom and Manchester Main Street would like to thank these generous sponsors for their support with this years event: Batteries Plus Bulbs, Beacon Credit Union, Blooms & Heirlooms, Cottage Creations, Hoffman’s Nursery, Main View Inn, Manchester Realty, Metzger Landscaping & Design, Sonshine Greenhouse, Tri-Oaks Realty and Wetzel Insurance Agency.

Celebrating Historic Preservation Month

The Historic Preservation and Design Committee, a subsidiary of Manchester Main Street, is seeking nominations from the public for the 2016 Annual Preservation Awards.  These awards are given each year to recognize houses or businesses that have made efforts to make North Manchester a more  beautiful place to live and work.  The nominees should be individuals or groups that have restored a historic building or are continuing to maintain the beauty and condition of a  restored property.   National Historic Preservation is celebrated in May each year.  The presentation of the Preservation Awards is hosted by the Historic Homes Preservation Group, a committee of the North Manchester Historical Society.  The awards program will take place on May 17th at 6:30 p.m. at the Center for History, 122 East Main Street, North Manchester.  Nominations may be submitted via email to:  Submissions may also be dropped off at the Manchester Main Street office located at 109 North Market Street, North Manchester.  The deadline for submissions is March 31, 2016.



2015 – A Very Productive Year In Review

MMS_Final.jpgSince 1989, Manchester Main Street (MMS) has been committed to revitalizing and enhancing the rich cultural, natural and architectural resources that make North Manchester a unique and wonderful place to live. Thanks to the active participation and financial generosity of this great community, MMS accomplished quite a bit over the past year.

MMS coordinated the third annual Eel River Arts Festival showcasing North Manchester’s varied creative talent. The event encouraged tourism, instilled local pride and provided creative enrichment activities for all ages. And, the America in Bloom and North Manchester Garden Club committees collaborated with Peabody Retirement Community to re-plant nearly 7000 tulip bulbs donated annually by The Hardware. Over time, the Peabody Tulip Program will create a welcoming patchwork of springtime blooms throughout North Manchester. MMS offers personalized engraved pavers; 330 have been installed in the downtown sidewalks to date. All paver sales revenue is restricted to town improvement projects. MMS is also exploring strategies to promote small business retention, recruitment and development.

2015 marked the inaugural MMS Preservation Awards, honoring individuals and entities for exemplary restoration efforts to make North Manchester a more beautiful place to live. The annual awards are intended to celebrate past work and encourage future projects promoting historic preservation. For the holiday season, MMS encourages Main Street corridor businesses to “Light Up The Town” by outlining their windows in white lights. MMS adds to the festivities and downtown decorations with storefront holiday artwork by Manchester Community Schools’ students. And, to celebrate all these 2015 achievements, MMS hosts an annual Holiday Gala. This exclusive event highlights North Manchester’s numerous attributes – historic buildings, great restaurants, diverse retail and multi-talented residents.

“Manchester Main Street represents a diverse range of age groups, businesses, and economic and community interests in North Manchester. It is by nature a community-driven process empowering local citizens to enact positive change,” said Renata Robinson.  Each year, MMS targets specific town revitalization projects to capitalize on North Manchester’s diverse assets, stimulate the local economy, promote our town and enhance our surroundings. As project planning begins for 2016, MMS welcomes new committee members and the public is invited to attend meetings to voice town improvement suggestions. There are six active committees: America in Bloom, Economic Restructuring, Historic Preservation & Design, Manchester PATH Group, North Manchester Garden Club and Promotion & Art.

If you like and are encouraged by the work that Manchester Main Street is doing, please visit our website and download a 2016 Business or Individual Membership form.  MMS is a 501(c)(3) Indiana not-for-profit corporation and accredited state Main Street organization. Your tax-deductible contribution will be reinvested back into our community, and helps build upon our local pride, exceptional volunteerism and abundant talents. MMS’ office is in the Chamber building (109 N. Market Street), and we encourage business owners and community members to stop in, gather more information and provide feedback. You may contact Manchester Main Street by phone at 260-982-7644 or email us at

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“Light Up The Town” Holiday Gala – THANK YOU

MJSHS Choir Ensemble at Tall Oaks. © 2015 Christine Chamberlain

MJSHS Choir Ensemble at Tall Oaks.
© 2015 Christine Chamberlain

Manchester Main Street (MMS) extends a heartfelt thank you to all the tremendous community support that helped make Saturday’s 4th Annual MMS “Light Up The Town” Holiday Gala a huge success. Over 150 guests attended the December 5 sold out progressive dinner event in celebration of this year’s MMS accomplishments. The evening could not have been possible without venue hosts Dave and Renee McFadden and Carolyn Reahard Living Trust. Their two historic homes – Tall Oaks and the Reahard home – were beautifully transformed into holiday splendor by Dave and Renee McFadden, Bill and Denise Leonhard, Kent and Lisa Ulrey, Michelle and Lindzy Shepherd, and Lori Nevil. Complementary venue shuttle service was provided by Manchester University, Timbercrest Senior Living Community, and Visit Wabash County.

Chad and Christy Maple at Tall Oaks. © 2015 Christine Chamberlain

Chad and Christy Maple at Tall Oaks.
© 2015 Christine Chamberlain

Local event sponsors and donors included: Batteries Plus Bulbs, Beacon Credit Union, NiMa, Shepherd’s Chevrolet, Timbercrest Senior Living Community, Manchester University, Leland and Angilee Beery, Crossroads Bank, Edward and Martha Miller, Brad Yoder, Bill and Mary Earle, Grandstaff-Hentgen Funeral Service, Visit Wabash County, Mary Chrastil, Economic Development Group of Wabash County, Priscilla Metzger, Mr. Dave’s, Nate and Tracy Trump, and David and Patty Grant.

Special mention goes out to Visit Wabash County for sponsoring the historic Wabash County Trolley No. 85. The refurbished 22-passenger people mover is available for private events, historic tours, wedding celebration shuttle services, and public events. Please visit the Visit Wabash County website at or contact Christine Flohr at 260-563-7171 or for more information.

Tall Oaks’ select hors d’oeuvres were prepared by Chartwells. KenapocoMocha, Main View, and Zook’s Cafe created exclusive dinner selections. Delectable desserts from Nordmann’s Nook and Manchester Marketplace were served at the Reahard home. Specialty drinks were provided by Main View. Musical accents and infectious dancing were courtesy of Marilyn Mason directing the Manchester Junior-Senior High School Choir Ensemble and DJ Bob Hipp. And, Gala guests took home numerous one of a kind silent auction treasures generously donated by area businesses and artisans.

Reahard home photobooth — Greta Miller, Deno Migliorini. Jabin and Hannah Burnworth. © 2015 Christine Chamberlain

Reahard home photobooth — Greta Miller, Deno Migliorini, Jabin and Hannah Burnworth.
© 2015 Christine Chamberlain

We are grateful for the MMS Board members, countless volunteers and event attendees who played a huge role in creating a memorable night out on the town. In particular, we would like to thank the North Manchester Key Club for their invaluable event service staffing and clean up. Holiday Gala organizers were Maribeth Callicoat, Brandi Chauncey, Stacey Jarrett, Susan Manwaring, Matt Nettleton, Renata Robinson, and Tracy Trump. Event and photobooth images were courtesy of Christine Chamberlain and Kimberly Baer. Additional event photos can be accessed on MMS’ facebook page. For more information, visit MMS’ website, contact us by phone at 260-982-7644 or email us at

Downtown Artwork Exhibit – Student Holiday Banners

MMS_StudentHolidayArtwork2Manchester Main Street (MMS) is thankful for the tremendous support of local businesses and residents in helping “Light Up The Town” this holiday season. The Main Street business corridor is dazzling with festive white lights outlining the merchants’ windows. You may also notice the new holiday artwork in the downtown storefronts? MMS’ Historic Preservation & Design and Promotion & Art committees have collaborated with Manchester Community Schools (MCS) for this annual installation.

Each year MCS elementary, intermediate and junior high students create colorful banner designs for the Honeywell Center’s Winter Banner Contest. Wabash and Miami County districts are invited to participate, and ten banners from each school are submitted and displayed at the Clark Gallery. This year 40 winners were honored and will be reproduced as full-sized street pole banners. MCS’ 2015 selections will be installed on the historic light posts in downtown North Manchester by early December.
MMS_StudentHolidayArtwork1MMS coordinated with MCS art teachers and downtown building owners to fill the windows of eleven storefronts with the student banner artwork. We invite you to take a stroll downtown. 147 creative holiday scenes complement the decorative lighting on Main Street. And, while taking in the sights, be sure to stop by North Manchester’s many unique retailers and specialty stores for all your holiday shopping needs.

MMS_DNM_samples_notecard3Select notecards featuring images from MMS’ Discover North Manchester exhibit are available at Cottage Creations, KenapocoMocha Coffee Shop, Nordmann’s Nook, One World Handcrafts, Peabody Retirement Community, Timbercrest Senior Living Community, and MMS’ office (109 N. Market Street) in North Manchester, and at Visit Wabash County (221 S. Miami Street) in Wabash. To purchase additional merchandise – notecards, prints, posters, etc. – CLICK HERE. For more information, contact Manchester Main Street at 260-982-7644 or

“Light Up The Town” Holiday Gala – Saturday, December 5th

HolidayGala_SAVEtheDATEMark your calendars for North Manchester’s most memorable night out on the town. Manchester Main Street’s (MMS) 4th annual “Light Up The Town” Holiday Gala will be held on Saturday, December 5, from 5:30 – 11pm. This progressive dinner event will feature specialty treats from North Manchester’s finest restaurants, bars and entertainers. Two historic venues will be transformed into holiday splendor, and filled with live music, dancing and silent auction treasures. Attendance is limited for this exclusive event, so be sure to reserve your space now. Discounted “Early Bird” tickets will be available through November 1. The registration deadline is November 15.

The night begins in elegance, with hors d’oeuvres, cocktails and modern Tudor decor, at the stately Tall Oaks. Take a scenic tour of the magnificent holiday lighting along Main Street’s historic streetscape in the Wabash County Trolley No. 85. Then, head over to the Reahard Home to visit with friends and enjoy white linen fine dining, delicious entrees, complementary beverages, luscious desserts, choice liqueurs and infectious dancing. Savor memories new and old, and, be sure to indulge in your chance to win rare silent auction finds. This unique evening of refinement and fun in celebration of MMS’ 2015 accomplishments promises to be one party you won’t want to miss!

$40 “Early Bird” and $45 regular priced individual tickets are available at the MMS office in the Chamber building (109 N. Market Street) or CLICK HERE to download a Gala brochure. MMS members’ discounted tickets are $35. $250-$750 event sponsorships, which include Gala tickets, can also be purchased. Silent auction donations can be directed to Susan Manwaring at 260-982-6720 or All Gala proceeds will support MMS and its 2016 town improvement projects. Like us on Facebook for all the latest Gala event details. For more information, visit MMS’ website, call us  at 260-982-7644 or

Eel River Arts Festival – THANK YOU

MMS_ERAF_ArtFair_FaithMiller1Manchester Main Street (MMS) is extremely grateful for all the wonderful community support that helped make last weekend’s 3rd Annual Eel River Arts Festival a huge success. The September 12th event, showcasing North Manchester’s talented entertainers and amazing regional artists, would not have been possible without the partnership of the Town of North Manchester, North Manchester Garden Club, Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church and The Firehouse. The Eel River Gardens, located at the intersection of Main and Market Streets in the heart of downtown, was beautifully transformed into a festive venue for creativity, imagination and fun. Set against the backdrop of North Manchester’s historic streetscape and overlooking the Eel River, what better way to highlight our beautiful town and scenic river?

MMS_ERAF_ArtFair_SusanDelauter1Saturday’s Art Fair featured the unique pottery, jewelry, painting, mixed media and photography of 15 area artists – Hannah Burnworth (Milkhouse Studio), Vicki Carpenter (Vicki Lynn Jewelry), Kristy Church (Black Squirrel), Donna Clevenger (Recycled Fun 4 U), Roxanne Coffelt (Shanghai Tai), Susan Delauter (Life Repurposed), Monte Ellson (Big City Skylines), Carolina Forman (Sticky Stone), Britta Glass, Michele Graham (Michele Marie Photography), Photography by Jason Lenon, Marcy Pratt (True Beauty Dolls), Rick Reiff (Reiffhaus Studios), Fine Art by Susan Ring, Sue Scamihorn (Scamihorn Stoneware). And, culinary artist, Masters Hand BBQ, served up samples of their “Taste of Heaven” products.

MMS_ERAF_ArtFair_potterydemo1Art demonstrations were provided by North Manchester artist, Annie Shilling (pottery making), and Roann’s Restoration Services (weaving). Sonshine Greenhouse offered fall flowering mums, and decorative kale, pumpkins and gourds for sale. And, local musicians performed through the day: Dave Hicks, Ken Preston, Linda Kummernuss, Greg and Annie Clark, Dale Carpenter, Andrew Chinworth, Maya Hippensteel, Kerry Flanigan, and JP Freeman. Kids activities included craft making workshops, and Michele Marie Photography’s Fall Fun Photobooth for the entire family. And, Manchester Main Street provided delicious food for sale prepared by Main View and Nordmann’s Nook.

MMS_ERAF_ArtFair_ChinworthHippensteelWe extend a heartfelt thank you to the Manchester Main Street Board members, countless volunteers and event attendees who played a huge role in creating a memorable Eel River Arts Festival. Special recognition goes out to Susan Manwaring for her tremendous help in organizing the kids craft activities and food, Dale Carpenter for coordinating the musical line-up, Janet Ecklebarger for creating and furnishing the on-site event banner, Jeff Diesburg and The Graphic Brand for advertising and marketing materials graphic design, JP Freeman for sound, and Lark Killingbeck, Diane Nettleton, and Manchester University’s Artist Anonymous members, Angela Gonsiorwski, Sara Joll, Glyniss King, Jessica Klemm, Rebecca Minnich-Ullom, and Sarandon Smith, for assisting and inspiring Saturday’s craft making creativity.

Eel River Arts Festival artists’ work and event photos can be viewed on Facebook. For more information, visit Manchester Main Street’s website or contact us by phone at 260-982-7644 or

Eel River Arts Festival – THIS WEEKEND (Sept 12th)

MMS_ERAF_ArtFair_2015Manchester Main Street’s (MMS) 3rd Annual Eel River Arts Festival is this weekend – September 12th – in the heart of downtown North Manchester. Saturday’s 10am-4pm Art Fair is free to the public, highlighting area artists’ work – Sue Scamihorn, Life Repurposed, Reiffhaus Studios, Carolina Forman, Recycled Fun 4 U, Shanghai Tai and many more! Come meet the artists and purchase unique pottery, jewelry, painting, mixed media and photography. There will be plenty of food and creative enrichment for all ages, so be sure to stop by.

Check out local artists as they create art – Restoration Services’ rug and furniture weaving, and Manchester Community Schools Art Teacher Annie Shilling’s pottery making demonstrations. And, enjoy live musical performances throughout the day. Kids activities include craft making, art workshops and face painting. Plus, new this year, a Pop-Up Photobooth. Visit the Michele Marie Photography tent to have your picture taken with a festive fall backdrop setting. Perfect for a little family memory, Facebook update or Holiday Cards!

The Eel River Arts Festival will be held in the scenic Eel River Gardens, located at the intersection of Main and Market Streets, against the backdrop of North Manchester’s historic downtown streetscape. The Eel River Gardens, overlooking the Eel River, is a town beautification project designed and maintained by the North Manchester Garden Club. And, a colorful new mural installation by the Manchester University Art Department to celebrate the Eel River is located along the South Market Street retaining wall.

CLICK HERE to view the Eel River Arts Festival’s music line-up and event activities, and to download a complete listing of the artists. And, preview the artists’ work on our Facebook page. For additional event information, visit MMS’ website or contact at 260-982-7644 or

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Manchester Main Street seeks to stimulate revitalization of downtown North Manchester through economic development and historic preservation.
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