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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

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

Carnegie Library

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Carnegie Library was built in 1904 with the help of a $10,000 grant from Andrew Carnegie. The building is located just to the west of the Courthouse and now houses the county attorney's office.

Manhattan, KS Carnegie Libraries

Harold M. Freund American Museum of Baking

The American Museum of Baking housed in the Emerson Library of the American Institute of Baking, contains one of the world's largest collections of artifacts on baking history, including the "world's largest collection of baker statuettes and figurines,"

Manhattan, KS Museums

Pioneer Log Cabin

The pioneer museum was built in 1915 as a home and displays agricultural tool exhibits.

Manhattan, KS Museums

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

Circle "E" Feedlot Tours

Custom feeding operation for 12,000 to 15,000 head of cattle. Tours by appointment. ...

Onaga Branch Library

The Onaga Branch Library is part of the Pottawatomie-Wabaunsee Regional Library. We have a large selection of fiction and non...

WWII History Center

Attractions and Services: Tribute Gallery, research database, research library, exhibits, educational programs, gift shop, W...