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The Manchester journal. [volume] : (Manchester, Vt.) 1861-current
Place of publication:
Manchester, Vt.
Geographic coverage:
  • Bennington, Bennington, Vermont  |  View more titles from this: City County, State
  • Manchester, Bennington, Vermont  |  View more titles from this: City County, State
C.A. Pierce
Dates of publication:
  • Vol. 1, no. 1 (May 28, 1861)-
  • English
  • Bennington County (Vt.)--Newspapers.
  • Manchester (Vt.)--Newspapers.
  • Vermont--Bennington County.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01224329
  • Vermont--Manchester.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01224335
  • Vermont--Newspapers.
  • Vermont.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01204305
  • "Republican." Cf. Rowell, 1880.
  • Also issued on microfilm as part of the Civil War newspapers collection.
  • Archived issues are available in digital format from the Library of Congress Chronicling America online collection.
  • Editor: <Oct. 7, 1862-> J. Anderson.
  • Imprint varies: Bennington, Vt. : Banner Pub. Co., <Jan. 15, 1992->
  • Latest issue consulted: Vol. 131, no. 48 (Jan. 15, 1992).
sn 83025668
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The Manchester journal. [volume] May 28, 1861 , Image 1


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The Manchester Journal

After serving an apprenticeship at the Vermont Phoenix in Brattleboro, in 1861 printer Charles A. Pierce moved across Vermont and started the weekly Manchester Journal to serve the communities in the northern half of Bennington County. The new weekly met a local need, and by the end of its first year, the Journal was on "a reliable and permanent foundation." A typical country paper, the Manchester Journal included local, state, and national news, as well as literary items and miscellany. Pierce and his editors were strong supporters of the Union cause during the Civil War, and provided Journal readers with coverage of the activities that would "preserve our common country...against the base machinations of designing traitors."

In 1870, Pierce and his brother bought the Bennington Banner and decided to relinquish the Journal. Local businessman Franklin H. Orvis purchased the latter in 1871 and set about improving its financial status. He hired David K. Simonds, a lawyer with extensive newspaper experience, to help with editorial matters. Within months, Orvis had dramatically increased the Journal's subscriptions and advertising revenue, enabling Orvis to turn his attention to his primary business, the Equinox House resort. Simonds subsequently purchased the Journal and ran it for 34 years. He was known for his passionate editorials and strong support for local improvements.

Printer Otto R. Bennett published the Manchester Journal from 1905 to 1940. In 1910, Bennett advertised that the paper served a "high class rural territory, comprised of twelve towns." To better serve those communities, in 1914 he expanded the Journal to eight pages and modernized its layout. Years afterward, another Vermont paper observed that the Journal was "far from a crusading or sensational paper," but rather was "representative of an important Vermont community." Bennett's son, G. Stewart Bennett, carried the Journal forward to 1968, and it continues to serve Manchester and the surrounding area in print and online.

Under all publishers, one activity has received a great deal of attention in the Journal. Since the mid-19th century, Manchester and surrounding communities have capitalized on the area's rural scenery and amenities to draw visitors from urban areas. The Journal documented and promoted local tourism from its earliest issues. A June 1861 article, "Manchester as a Summer Resort," assured readers that they could experience lofty mountains, secluded forests groves, and tumbling brooks with all the comforts and luxuries of civilization close at hand. In September 1861, the paper's review of the season concluded that "Manchester as a place of summer resort stands A1 in the public estimation."

The Manchester Journal informed readers about recreational activities such as fly fishing in the Batten Kill, golfing at the Ekwanok Country Club, and excursions on carriage roads and hiking trails. For many years, the paper also listed the arrivals and departures of summer visitors. While the Journal focused on tourism in Manchester, especially the Equinox Resort, correspondents for other towns, such as Dorset reporter Si Clone (Andrus L. Bowen), regularly included information about accommodations, visitors, and activities. Later, the paper covered winter and then four-season tourist activities.

Provided by: University of Vermont