Gil on the Go: Live in Manchester

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MANCHESTER, Conn. (WTNH) — News 8’s Chief Meteorologist Gil Simmons is making his way to communities across the state every Friday in November until Thanksgiving for our Gil on the Go series!

This week, Gil is live in Manchester — the “City of Village Charm.”

Back in 1672, the land Manchester is on today was purchased from the Mohegan Tribe by a Puritan clergyman. Manchester was once part of East Hartford and was then incorporated as a separate town in 1823.

Manchester was home to the world’s largest silk mill in the 1830s, thanks to the Cheney family. The town even got the nickname, ‘silk town.’

Glass manufacturing also served as a big industry in Manchester during the late 18th century into the early 19th century. Captain Richard Pitkin and his sons used to provide gun powder to the Connecticut militia. They then started the state’s first successful glass making factory, and it remained in operation until 1830. Out of green glass, they made inkwells, flasks, bottles, and other small items for the West Indian trade. The Pitkin Glass Works factory is located at the intersection of Parker and Putnam Streets near the town green.

WATCH: Gil does push ups to stay warm

The Lutz Children’s Museum started as an idea from a staff member of Manchester schools in the early 1950s. Chairperson for the Art Department, Miss Hazel Lutz, approached the PTA Council with the idea of creating a museum for the local school children. Her idea gained full support, and they even named the museum in her honor. It became open to the public in 1958 so that all children can enjoy the ever-growing museum and its exhibits. Amid the pandemic, the museum is open again, and timed tickets are available for purchase online.

Every Thanksgiving, more than 15,000 runners, walkers, and notable athletes from all over the world come for the Manchester Road Race. This year, the race is completely virtual, and people from all over the globe are still signing up to run the annual Turkey Day race closer to home. There’s still time to sign up. Click here to register.

Some notable people who were born in Manchester include Dana White, president of UFC “Ultimate Fighting Championship,” and Seth Devalve, NFL Tight End for the Carolina Panthers.

Catch Gil on the Go next Friday, Nov. 20 in Middletown.

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