Not only has Manchester, Virginia, been known as Manatosh and Rocky Ridge, but the area was originally an independent city that was later annexed by Richmond, Virginia in 1901.
Manchester was originally incorporated as a town in 1769, and was named for a city in Manchester, England. The city originally served as the county seat of Chesterfield County in the 1870s. Manchester is considered to be part of the Greater Richmond area. This area is generally divided into four distinct regions that include the West End, East End, North Side, and South Side. This former independent city turned neighborhood is located in the heart of the South Side of Richmond, Virginia. However, since there isn't a single municipal organization considered to be representative of the Greater Richmond area, the boundaries of the sub-regions tend to be a bit vague, causing the Greater Richmond area to extend well beyond the limits of the city, and into several nearby counties.
Moving to Manchester
Moving into this area may be a bit confusing for newcomers. The Manchester area of Greater Richmond is referred to as "Old Manchester" by area locals, and is considered to be one of Richmond's many neighborhoods. Since the entire area is considered to be a neighborhood in Richmond, there are no separate established neighborhoods in this area. Boundaries aren't that distinct. Living areas and businesses converge and intermingle -- like at a really good cocktail party.
However, there are several local moving truck rental companies located in the area. Potential residents who are just coming into the area may want to ensure that they have the proper identification documents available. Most rental agencies and landlords require proof of identification and a social security number to run a credit check prior to approving a rental application. Also, be sure to bring a copy of the newly signed lease when signing up for utilities. Proof of residence is generally required by most utility companies, and you swearing up and down that you "really do live here now" probably won't suffice.
Sections of Manchester
The former city's past is clearly visible in many of the city's structures. Former railroad and street railway buildings belie the area's long history. The courthouse and multiple historic houses inject age, decorum, and antiquity into Manchester's atmosphere.
The Old Manchester area has numerous housing options for new and existing area residents. There are house rentals and apartment rentals in Manchester, Virginia. In fact, there are new rental units being built in the area. Finding an apartment or home for rent shouldn't be a difficult endeavor. As an industrial and residential area, Old Manchester is most notable for recent development efforts. New homes are being added to the area at a rapid pace. There have also been improvements made to the area's industrial building loft rental condos. These improvements are part of a community initiative to revitalize and improve the area, so you can watch your new hometown get prettier -- kind of like watching your girlfriend put makeup on in the morning.
Living in Manchester
Like other urban areas, the Manchester area offers a fast-paced urban lifestyle for its residents. Living areas, work areas, and retail spaces are merged. Walking is a viable mode of transportation, but there are numerous public transportation options such as buses and taxis that are also available. Manchester is connected to Richmond via Interstate 95, and four additional highways making commuting much easier for both visitors and residents.
There are a variety of restaurants in the area with a wide variety of flavors and choices of cuisines. One can easily order Asian fare as takeout for one meal, and dine in at an Italian restaurant rated at four stars for the next meal. Aside from dining, the typical types of entertainment are readily available in Manchester. There is a local theater and a municipal park. Whatever cannot be found with the Manchester borders can easily be found just a hop, skip, and a jump away in Richmond, Virginia.
The Manchester Residential and Commercial Historic District received the honor in 2006, of being added to the National Register of Historic Places. This area is located on the south side of the James River and is linked to the area's central business district by three area bridges. The district sports a distinct combination of mid-19th century architecture amidst several early-20th century commercial and residential structures. Locals and visitors are attracted to this area because of the impressive variety offered from the distinct building types and styles that are housed in such a small area of the neighborhood. It's almost as if the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries collided and formed a collage of buildings.
This is a unique area that began as an English settlement. The neighborhood has a long history and carries the distinction of being one of the first of many Virginia towns to be annexed by Richmond. The area continues to thrive and grow, even today. Continued growth and development is expected well into the future, so why not come be a part of it?