Ever wanted to own a mansion? Or live in a house listed on the National Register of Historic Places?
Well, then you just might be in luck, because you could fulfill both those desires by purchasing one of the two historic Cheney Mansions currently for sale in Manchester.
The Cheneys were a family of silk manufacturers who built large homes in Manchester along Hartford Road and Forest Street starting in the 1860s so they could be near their factories. Many of those homes still survive to this day, and about 30 structures within the area now compromise the Cheney Brothers National Historic Landmark District, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Two private owners of homes within the district currently have those homes on the market.
"What's unique to Manchester is that the Cheneys stayed here, they built these mansions, and there's an intrigue by the people who live here to have them right in the middle of town," said , a local realtor who is listing one of the homes and who grew up in the Horace Bushnell Cheney Mansion nearby. "They're quite large, and it takes a unique person to want to live in one of those houses."
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The first home for sale is the Seth Leslie Cheney Mansion at 139 Hartford Rd. The home is owned by , who operates the Mansion Inn Bed and Breakfast out of it.
"It's time for me to move on. I'm getting older and I want to get on with the rest of my life," said Hamstra, 65, who has owned the home since 1995 and operated it as an inn since 2001.
When asked, Hamstra, a Michigan native, said he would "probably move somewhere out west" after selling the home.
The Seth Leslie Cheney Mansion, which was built in 1840 and expanded in 1933, is 5,900 square feet and has 17 rooms, eight bedrooms and six baths. It is on the market for $589,000.
The second Cheney Mansion currently for sale, the Howell Cheney Mansion at 110 Forest St., was built in 1901 (Cheney founded Howell Cheney Technical High School in town in 1915). The home is 7,000 square feet and has 15 rooms, including six bedrooms and four baths. It is owned by Gerry and Hope Krause, who could not be reached for comment. It is currently on the market for $699,900.