Manhattan is a city located in Riley County, in the northeastern part of the state of Kansas, United States. It is the county seat of Riley County and is known for being the home of Kansas State University. Here's a brief overview of its history:
Early History: Manhattan was founded in the 1850s as a part of the westward expansion during the settlement of Kansas Territory. The area was initially chosen as the site of a new college under the provisions of the Morrill Land-Grant Act of 1862. This college later became Kansas State University.
Bleeding Kansas: During the mid-1800s, the region became a focal point of the "Bleeding Kansas" conflict, which was a precursor to the American Civil War. The conflict revolved around whether Kansas would be admitted to the Union as a free or slave state. The area around Manhattan was not as heavily involved in this conflict as some other parts of the state, but tensions and clashes did occur.
Development and Growth: The establishment of Kansas State Agricultural College (now Kansas State University) in Manhattan played a significant role in the city's growth. The university contributed to the development of the local economy and brought educational and cultural opportunities to the area.
Modern Era: Manhattan continued to grow throughout the 20th century, partly due to the presence of Kansas State University and Fort Riley, a nearby military installation. The university's research and educational activities have led to the city's development as a center for technology, agriculture, and various other industries.
Economic and Cultural Significance: Manhattan's economy has diversified over time, and it is known for industries such as education, research, healthcare, agriculture, and manufacturing. The city's vibrant cultural scene is enhanced by its university population and includes museums, theaters, and community events.
Fort Riley: Fort Riley, a major United States Army post, is located near Manhattan. It has a rich history dating back to the mid-1800s and has played a significant role in various military operations and conflicts, including both World Wars and subsequent conflicts. The fort continues to be an important installation for the U.S. Army.
In summary, Manhattan has a history deeply intertwined with the westward expansion, the establishment of Kansas State University, and its role in military history due to its proximity to Fort Riley. It has grown from its humble beginnings into a thriving city with diverse economic, educational, and cultural offerings.
Top Tourist Attractions
- Kansas State University: The university's beautiful campus is a significant draw for visitors. The Beach Museum of Art, McCain Auditorium, and the K-State Insect Zoo are just a few of the attractions on campus.
- Flint Hills Discovery Center: This interactive museum is dedicated to the unique Flint Hills region of Kansas. It offers exhibits about the natural and cultural history of the area, as well as hands-on activities and educational programs.
- Sunset Zoo: A small and family-friendly zoo that features a variety of animals, including tigers, giraffes, lemurs, and more. It's a great place to spend time with kids and learn about different species.
- Konza Prairie Biological Station: Managed by Kansas State University, this nature preserve offers hiking trails that allow visitors to experience the beauty of the tallgrass prairie ecosystem. The views from the top of the Konza Prairie Scenic Overlook are particularly stunning.
- Tallgrass Brewing Company: If you're a fan of craft beer, Tallgrass Brewing Company offers tours and tastings. It's a chance to sample locally brewed beers and learn about the brewing process.
- Columbian Theatre and Museum: This historic theatre hosts live performances, and its museum provides insights into the history of the theatre and the region. It's a great blend of entertainment and history.
- Riley County Historical Museum: Located in the Carnegie Building, this museum features exhibits and artifacts that showcase the history of Riley County, including its settlement, Native American history, and military heritage.
- Bill Snyder Family Stadium: Home to the Kansas State University Wildcats football team, the stadium offers guided tours where you can learn about the team's history and traditions.
- Tuttle Creek State Park: Just outside Manhattan, this state park offers outdoor recreational activities such as camping, boating, fishing, hiking, and wildlife watching.
- Blue Earth Plaza: A downtown area featuring shops, restaurants, and public spaces. It's a great place to stroll, enjoy local cuisine, and experience the city's community events.
These attractions provide a mix of cultural, natural, and recreational experiences that highlight the diverse offerings of Manhattan. Whether you're interested in history, outdoor activities, or simply enjoying the local atmosphere, there's something for everyone to enjoy in this charming Midwestern city.
The city experiences a temperate continental climate characterized by distinct seasons and moderate precipitation. Here's an overview of the climate you can expect in Manhattan:Seasonal Temperatures:
- Summer (June to August): Summers in Manhattan are warm and can be quite humid. Average high temperatures range from the mid-80s to low 90s Fahrenheit (29-34°C), with occasional days reaching higher temperatures. Humidity levels can make it feel hotter than the actual temperature.
- Fall (September to November): Fall brings cooler and more comfortable weather to the area. Average highs start in the mid-70s (around 24°C) in September and drop to the mid-50s (around 13°C) by November. Fall foliage is also a notable feature of this season.
- Winter (December to February): Winters in Manhattan are cold and can occasionally experience snowfall. Average highs range from the upper 30s to mid-40s Fahrenheit (3-8°C), and nighttime lows can dip below freezing. Snow accumulation varies from year to year but can result in picturesque winter scenes.
- Spring (March to May): Spring sees a gradual warming of temperatures. Average highs start in the mid-50s (around 13°C) in March and rise to the mid-70s (around 24°C) by May. Spring can be a pleasant time to visit, with blooming flowers and trees.
Like many areas in the central United States, Manhattan is located within "Tornado Alley," a region prone to tornado activity, particularly during the spring and early summer months. While tornadoes are possible, they are not an everyday occurrence, and the city has systems in place to monitor and respond to severe weather events.
Overall, the city offers a mix of seasonal experiences, from warm summers to snowy winters. If you plan to visit, be sure to pack clothing appropriate for the weather conditions of the season you'll be traveling in.
Manhattan is situated in the northeastern part of the state and is characterized by its diverse geographical features. Here's an overview of the geography of Manhattan:
- Location: Manhattan is located in Riley County, Kansas, in the Flint Hills region of the state. It's approximately 50 miles (80 kilometers) west of Topeka, the state capital.
- Flint Hills: The city is situated within the Flint Hills, a unique and scenic area known for its tallgrass prairie ecosystem. The Flint Hills cover a significant portion of eastern Kansas and are characterized by rolling hills covered with native grasses.
- Kansas River: The Kansas River (also known as the Kaw River) flows along the northern edge of Manhattan. This river plays a significant role in the city's history and geography, providing water resources and recreational opportunities.
- Konza Prairie: The Konza Prairie Biological Station, managed by Kansas State University, is located to the south of Manhattan. It is a preserved area of native tallgrass prairie and serves as a research site for ecological studies.
- Tuttle Creek Lake: Tuttle Creek Lake is a reservoir located to the north of Manhattan. It was created by the Tuttle Creek Dam on the Big Blue River. The lake provides flood control, water supply, and recreational activities such as boating, fishing, and camping.
- Topography: The area around Manhattan is characterized by rolling hills and valleys, which are typical of the Flint Hills region. This topography contributes to the scenic beauty of the area.
- Wildlife and Nature: Due to the presence of the Konza Prairie and the surrounding natural areas, Manhattan is home to a variety of wildlife species. Visitors can spot native grassland birds, mammals, and other creatures in their natural habitat.
- Agriculture: The fertile soils of the region have historically supported agriculture, including farming and ranching. Agriculture remains an important part of the local economy and contributes to the rural charm of the area.
In summary, Manhattan is situated within the picturesque Flint Hills region, known for its tallgrass prairies, rolling hills, and unique ecosystems. The Kansas River, Tuttle Creek Lake, and the nearby Konza Prairie all contribute to the city's diverse geography and offer a range of outdoor and recreational opportunities.