Colchester, Manchester What’s the Difference?

Our story Sunday on the murder of Ruby Andrews threw some Kitsap Sun readers for a loop about the location listed for the crime. The dateline, taken from the Kitsap County Sheriff’s report, was “Colchester.” The location of Andrews’ home, where the homicide occurred, is Puget Drive, a loop off Colchester Drive.

View Colchester WA in a larger map
We heard from people commenting on the story and from a couple who live on Puget Drive that “there is no such thing as Colchester.”

Members of the Manchester Crime Prevention & Public Safety Group who met Tuesday with Kitsap County Sheriff’s officials also questioned the Colchester label, saying people in the area consider themselves Manchester residents, period … end of story.

There is, however, historic precedent for the dateline given in a press release by Deputy Scott Wilson, the Sheriff’s Office public information. According to Undersheriff Dennis Bonneville, speaking to the safety group, Wilson referred to county maps to determine the location of the crime. The Kitsap Sun referred to Wilson’s dateline.

The existence of Colchester was further substantiated by Kitsap Sun Web editor Angela Dice, who had to enter information on all of Kitsap’s micro-neighborhoods for the Kitsap Sun’s Real Estate Web page. Her reference was the Tacoma Public Library’s database of Washington place names, according to which, “Colchester is located between Colby and Manchester in Kitsap County. The name is a coined composite of ‘Col’ from Colby and ‘chester’ from Manchester. (Phillips, p. 29).”

Just think, folks, you could’ve been living in Manby.

Comments about the Colchester dateline precipitated a spirited discussion here in the newsroom. Should we strive for literal accuracy, or a dateline that accurately depicts the Manchester mindset – Colchester is a just road not an actual burg. In the end, we decided to take it on a story by story basis … in other words, punt.

In my story about the victim, I used (and the editors left) Manchester as the dateline. It seemed the right thing to do. Although the crime occurred in Colchester, Ruby was a member of the wider Manchester community. In the story on the suspect’s arraignment, reporter Josh Farley used Port Orchard as the dateline, because it took place at the Kitsap County Courthouse, within Port Orchard’s city limits.

In late 2006 and early 2007, the Kitsap Sun hosted a blog, “How Kitsap Got Its Names”. The blog, which also confirms the Colby-Manchester meld theory, is a source of wonderful little nuggets of Kitsap nomenclature trivia.

Colby, in South Kitsap, for example, is “actually a butchered pronunciation of ‘Coal Bay’ (try speaking like a grizzled prospector),” according to then-Kitsap Sun Reporter Chad Lewis, who is now working for the Washington State Department of Corrections (go figger).

According to reporter Chris Dunagan, writing in the blog, Port Orchard was such a popular name it was used in several places before becoming the official name of that present day fair city.

The Web site PlaceNames.com, lists 155 locations within Kitsap County by latitude and longitude. Many of them — like Waterman, Enetai and Fletcher Bay — are remnants of a time when Kitsap residents got around by water on small vessels so numerous they were dubbed the Mosquito Fleet. Kitsap County would like to build a county-wide trail hitting all the little ports from the north end of the county to the south. Other Kitsap names have Native American roots. Yet others are a nod to Kitsap’s timber heritage. Most I’ve heard of but can somebody tell me where in the name of all that is Kitsap are Hintzville, Pearson and Trikkala?

If you consider yourself an expert on Kitsap place names, you can take the quiz on the How Kitsap Got its Names blog. The item is dated Jan. 1, 2007.

From PlaceNames.com: * Agate Point * Annapolis * Bainbridge *Bainbridge Grange * Bangor * Banner * Battle Point * Belfair * Bethel * Breidablick * Bremerton * Bremerton Junction * Brownsville * Burley * Central Valley * Charleston * Chico * Colby * Colchester * Creosote * Crosby * Crystal Springs * Eagledale * East Bremerton * East Port Orchard * Eastwood * Eglon * Eldorado Hills * Enetai * Erlands Point * Fairview * Ferncliff * Fernwood * Fletcher Bay * Fort Ward * Four Corners * Fragaria * Gilberton * Glenwood * Gorst * Hansville * Harper * Hawley * Hintzville * Hite Center * Holly * Illahee * Indianola * Johansons Corner * Keyport * Kingston * Kitsap Lake * Lawters Beach * Lemolo * Lincoln * Little Boston * Lofall * Lynwood Center * Madrona Heights * Manchester * Manitou Beach * Manzanita * Marine Drive * Meadowdale * Naval Depot Junction * Navy Yard City * Olalla * Olympic View * Orchard Heights * Parkwood * Pearson * Point White * Port Blakely * Port Gamble * Port Madison * Port Orchard * Poulsbo * Retsil * Rocky Point * Rollingbay * Rose Point * Scandia * Seabeck * Seabold * Sheridan * Sheridan Park * Sherman Heights * Silverdale * South Beach * South Colby * Southworth * Striebels Corner * Sunnyslope * Sunset Farm * Suquamish * Tolo * Tracyton * Treemont * Trikkala * Twin Spits * Venice

4 thoughts on “Colchester, Manchester What’s the Difference?

  1. Those maps show all kinds of place names that don’t exist, for all practical purposes, except on those maps, so thanks for changing it to Manchester (for what it’s worth, many people in that area say they live in Port Orchard, not Manchester–many simply go by their mailing addresses). But that doesn’t cover one of the articles about Mrs. Andrews that spoke of Manchester convenience-store owner Al Kono, who was killed by Wayne Howard. The location of his store can in no way be considered Manchester, and less than five seconds on the Sun’s Web site would have clarified that it’s Wayne Hower, not Howard. I know that it’s difficult, especially names and especially in the heat of a news cycle, to get everything right. The article on Mrs. Andrews, however, was not under such a deadline. It’s these seemingly inconsequential errors that call into question all of the details in a news story.

  2. drmnet – I hear you on the issue of errors. My apologies. We did run a correction on Hower’s name and corrected the online version of the story, with a notice that the correction was made. You are the first person to call me on the location of Kono’s store, however. How would you describe the location?

    I probably should defer to Wanda Larsen, who e-mailed me the following comments about the geographical definition of Manchester in general:

    “Manchester has a clearly defined boundary, which most people are unaware of. There have been numerous incidents whereby residents do not know they are Manchester residents, when they ARE. The fact that many get mail with a Port Orchard address is very confusing and adds to the conflict as well. Until Manchester has rural delivery with a Manchester address, most people will not realize they actually live in Manchester. The Manchester Post Office zip code is 98353 and contains over 600 “Manchester” postal boxes for pickup and delivery direct to the post office, with no home delivery.

    There are separate boundary lines for the 2007 Manchester Community Plan LAMRID, the Manchester Water District, and the Port of Manchester. We have notes on the actual boundary lines for all three, we will send them separately as soon as we get our notes composed.”

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