Manchester offers small town charm with big industrial-era history

With nearly 200 years of history, Manchester once served as a hub for industry but has managed to keep its small-town charm.  
Once called the Silk City, Manchester was home to many industrial-era factories, including a machine shop that specialized in making bolts of silk for textiles.
Owned by the Cheney brothers in 1839, the family was the world's largest producers of silk with offices in France, Italy, and New York City.
Connecticut author Marty Podskoch has written two books about Connecticut, and his friend and author Joe Composeo has written about Manchester.
 "We were a base for industry. The captains of industry were here," Composeo says, "Manchester is kind of like a microcosm of what was going on in the United States during the 1800s."
Aside from the Cheney Silk factory, Manchester is also home to Mathers Electric and Pitkin Glassworks, one of the oldest glass factories in New England.
Historians say only a single shelled-out wall of the glass factory remains in Manchester to this date.
Manchester is also home to the Cheney Art Room.
Students from all over United States visit the art room and take part in classes offered by world-renowned artists with a focus on folk art.
After learning of Manchester's history, one could work up an appetite and that's where the Shady Glen comes in.
The restaurant has been family-owned for 75 years and is now in its fourth generation.
It's a '50s-style restaurant with a unique signature menu that features homemade ice cream.