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Manhattan, Kansas

Manhattan, Kansas

It all began in the spring of 1855 when the Cincinnati and Kansas Land Co. left Ohio on the steamboat Hartford. They were headed for central Kansas via the Ohio, Mississippi, Missouri, and Kansas Rivers. Their goal: to settle a town and name it Manhattan, thinking it might become a second Manhattan, New York.

On the way up the Kansas River, three men stopped, went ashore, and hired a wagon. They drove to what is now Junction city, where they intended to start the Manhattan of the Midwest.

But the Hartford ran aground in the Kansas River south of the confluence of the Blue and Kansas Rivers.

The Cincinnati and Kansas Land Co. and all of the small groups of settlers already in the area joined forces to form a town, which they agreed to call Manhattan.

Manhattan has grown steadily since then. Although Manhattan, Kansas, may not be another New York City in size, residents of Manhattan of the Midwest think you'll savor the savvy of "The Little Apple."

"The Little Apple" is home to more than 40,000 people today. Manhattan is nestled in among the picturesque Flint Hills, so named for their numerous bands of limestone and flint.

Attractions and Upcoming Events

Wareham Hotel

Harry P. Wareham moved with his family from Flush, Kansas in 1868, when he was two years old and when he was nine and his brother, William, was eleven, their father died. Mrs. Wareham, Sarah, established the Wareham Millinery Company, which she ran for many years.

Manhattan, KS Historic Hotels

Konza Prairie

In the heart of the Flint Hills, the 8,616-acre Konza Prairie is a rare opportunity to experience the Prairie as the pioneers did during their trek westward. Once a part of the Dewey Ranch, Chicago Industrialist C.P. Dewey acquired the prairie piece by piece during the last quarter of the 1800s. <

Manhattan, KS Nature Preserves

Riley County Historical Museum

Take a peek at the past through changing exhibits on Riley County history and in the photographs, manuscripts, letters, diaries and records of our research library. Included in the Museum Complex is the 1855 prefabricated Hartford House, the Randolph Jail, and the Goodnow House.

Manhattan, KS Museums

Randolph Jail

The Randolph Jail is a nineteenth century jail located on the grounds of the Riley County Historical Museum. It was relocated here from the old town of Randolph in northern Riley County when the old town location was moved with the creation of Tuttle Creek Reservoir.

Manhattan, KS Pioneer Life

Sunset Zoo

The 52-acre Sunset Zoo is home to 13 endangered species as well as many other rare animals. It features the largest outdoor chimpanzee exhibit in Kansas - Chimpanzees of Tanganyika - along the lush African Forest Trail. Visit the Bald eagle's Aerie, BATS!

Manhattan, KS Zoos

Things to do near Manhattan, KS

Plumb Place

Carrie Plumb was the widow of Emporia Founder and United States Senator Preston B. Plumb. She built the house in 1895 around ...

Earl Wright Gallery

The Brown Center on the Cowley College campus houses the Earle Wright Gallery. The campus itself is worth visiting just to se...