Manchester was settled in 1775 and became a town in 1850. It was first named Kennebec, but finding that their mail often went to Kennebunk, the townspeople decided in 1854 to change the name to Manchester.
The central part of town was first known as Hallowell Cross Roads, Manchester Cross Roads, Manchester Forks, and finally simply The Forks, a fitting name as seven roads meet here: Winthrop, Pond, Kerns Hill, Hallowell, Augusta, Puddledock and Readfield Roads.
The southern part of town borders Cobbosseecontee Lake and is a popular recreation spot in Central Maine. Cobbosseecontee Lake, or simply Cobbossee, is known for its coves, inlets, and over two dozen islands. It also has the only active inland waters lighthouse in Maine, Ladies Delight Light, which is located in the bordering town of Winthrop.