Welcome to Thursday Doors! This is a weekly challenge for people who love doors and architecture to come together to admire and share their favorite door photos, drawings, or other images or stories from around the world. If you’d like to join us, simply create your own Thursday Doors post each (or any) week and then share a link to your post in the comments below, anytime between 12:01 am Thursday morning and Saturday noon (North American eastern time). If you like, you can add our badge to your post.
First off, remember – there will be no Thursday Doors challenge next week (June 2nd) and no recap published on Sunday, June 5th. I will update the table of entries to the Thursday Doors Writing Challenge.
The Writing Challenge runs through Tuesday, May 31st. To date, we have collected twenty entries, and they are fine examples of creative writing and poetry.
It turns out the title I chose for today’s post was somewhat aspirational in nature. I had hoped to answer the questions people have asked during the weeks in which I’ve been sharing photos from Manchester, Connecticut. My effort wasn’t entirely successful, but I did find some answers.
Numerous people asked whether the Cheney brothers were benevolent or merely interested in improving profit. The sources I’ve read indicate that they followed newly emerging theories in workplace management that advocated building a healthy community in which their employees could thrive. They built or supported building schools, churches, parks, a fire department, public utilities, and the only family-owned railroad in the country. They offered meals at cost in company cafeterias and low-interest, long-term loans for employees to buy housing.
Several people asked if the Cheney family in Manchester, CT is related to the family of our former Vice President, Dick Cheney. The answer is yes, but it’s a distant link. The common ancestor is a man named Lawrence Cheney. He lived in England, and his two sons, William and John, sailed to Massachusetts in the 1630s. That would put them on-board with New England’s earliest arrivals. Dick Cheney is a descendant of William, while the Connecticut Cheneys trace their history to John.
There were a few questions about the Cheney Railroad and its purpose. First and foremost, the railroad connected the mill area to the main line railroad that traveled into Hartford. This connection brought raw material to the mill and send finished goods to market. The railroad was also used to carry Manchester school children to Hartford High School before Manchester had a high school. The railroad also ran on Sundays to carry resident to church. The train schedule was set each week, according to the service times specified by the priest.
I also received a couple of questions about the roof structures and windows. This, I could answer (and did) Those angled structures on the roof and the large expanse of windows in all the mills was to take advantage of natural light.
There were many questions about the weird looking steeple or spire on St. Mary’s Episcopal Church. I was not able to find a definitive answer, but similar spires are described as “lanterns” and some of those are illuminated on special occasions. I could find no evidence that this spire is or has been illuminated. There were other questions that I was not able to answer.
Oh well, a little mystery is good.
If you are in a hurry and don’t wish to scroll through the comments, click to Jump to the comment form.