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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

Hartford House

The Hartford House that sets adjacent to the Historical Society Museum is a restoration of a prefabricated house that the early settlers brought to Manhattan in 1855

Manhattan, KS

Riley County Courthouse

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places the dominating limestone Courthouse was completed in 1906, built by Topeka contractor, J.B. Betts, and local contractor, Clarence Johnson. The citizens pledged $1,000 for the tower clock.

Manhattan, KS Historic Courthouses

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

Pottawatomie Lake #2

State Fishing Lake No. 2.is located about four miles northeast of Manhattan. Pottawatomie Lake #2 is a scenic lake of about 75 acres that holds nice populations of crappie, largemouth bass and bluegill. The lake also produces impressive strings of channel catfish and holds some very nice walleyes.

Manhattan, KS Recreation

Things to do near Manhattan, KS