Manchester City

Coffee County, Tennessee

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Manchester City Hall is located at 200 West Fort Street, Manchester, TN 37355.
Phone: 931‑728‑4652.


Athens as described in 1939 [1]

Manchester, at the foot of the Cumberland Plateau, is the seat of Coffee County. A garment factory here is the only remnant of Manchester's once thriving cotton factories. As early as 1791 an advertisement appeared in the Knoxville Gazette: "The subscriber has his machine in order for carding, spinning and weaving and is wanting a number of good weavers—such as are acquainted with the weaving of velvets, corduroys and calicoes. John Hague, Manchester (Metro District) Nov. 11, 1791."

Manchester has long been a shipping point for crossties; cutting them was long a source of cash income for farmers. When the farmer had gathered his crop he had little else to do except feed the stock and lay in a supply of wood. He then went to the woods to chop or saw down a tree. If the trees were tall and had few limbs, the farmer could get two "ties" from one tree, otherwise he got only one. After the tree had been felled, the length of one or two "ties" was measured off and the log notched.

When a load of crossties was finished, it was hauled into town and sold. Cash received for such a load was exchanged for shoes and heavy underwear, or for coffee, sugar or other foods that could not be produce on the place. At Christmas time, tie money went into the purchase of nuts, apples, oranges, candy and shotgun shells for hunting on Christmas Day.

The process of producing crossties has changed. A portable sawmill is now moved into the woods, and the logs are sawed into crossties there. This method is much faster and more economical.

At the northeast corner of the public square is a large mound of earth and stone, believed to have been built by prehistoric tribesment as a signal point for the Old Stone Fort.

  1. Works Progress Administration, Federal Writers' Program, Tennessee: A Guide to the State, American Guide Series, Tennessee Department of Conservation, Stratford Press, 1939.

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