Posts Tagged Kansas

First Day Hikes


First-Day-HikesIf you need to get out and get some fresh air after New Years Eve celebrations, head to Tuttle Creek State Park on January 1 at 10:30 for a “First Day Hike”. Meet at the park office and join a park ranger for a guided bird walk. Dress warmly–no pets, please! Bring binoculars, cameras or other birding items. Word has it that the eagles have returned for the winter, so come along to view these magnificent birds! There are often several species of ducks, geese and other birds to be seen as well!

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The Season for Bicycling

Complete Bike by Chris SidwellsI love biking all year around, but it is especially wonderful in the fall. The cool air, the crunch of leaves under the tires, and the perfect speed for viewing the scenery all add up to an exceptional transportation experience. Manhattan has been named a “Bicycle Friendly Community” by the League of American Bicyclists but we’re not resting on our laurels. Improvements are continuously being made to make biking in Manhattan safer, easier, and more enjoyable. Check out the city’s website to find Manhattan’s Bike Everywhere map, bicycle safety rules, and the latest happenings of the Bicycle Advisory committee. If you want to venture beyond the bounds of our fair city, you might want to check out the Kansas Bicycle Guide from the Kansas Department of Transportation. They have some helpful information and a great bicycle map for the state.

Biking is a great way to get around town, but it can also be a fun social activity. Flint Hills Area Bike Club plans bike-related gatherings and provides an online place to socialize with fellow bike lovers. Two local bike shops, The Pathfinder and Big Poppi Bicycle Company, organize group rides. You can also learn more about repairing and maintaining your bike at UFM.

Of course we also have resources at the library for everything from learning the basics to inspiration:


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What’s Happening, Manhattan? Early Fall 2014

by Alphild Dick, Adult Services Librarian

photo of KS hillside signAs the new school year swings into full gear and the weather slowly starts to change from summer to fall, we can’t help but get excited about the great activities that are going on in the area. If you are looking for fun ways to experience late summer/early fall in Manhattan and the surrounding areas, here are some suggestions that are sure to fill up your calendar (as if you weren’t already busy!).

  • September 13th: Fort Riley Fall Apple Day Festival. Join Fort Riley from 9am to 4pm to celebrate their annual Fall Apple Day Festival. This year there will be a military dog demonstration, a pie eating contest, and military re-enactments, among other events.
  • September 20th:
    • Aggieville’s 125th Birthday Celebration. Just because Aggieville is a supercentenarian doesn’t mean that it doesn’t know how to throw a party. Join the businesses and organizations of Aggieville from 10am until the wee hours of the morning for festivities that include a Mini-Maker Faire; kids’ carnival, featuring Aggieville’s first Ferris wheel; a vintage car show; old-fashioned ice cream social; and way, way more good stuff. (Donut birthday cake, anyone?)
    • ROLL and READ Day at Family Child Resource Center: Join us for the first ever Parents as Teachers “Roll and Read Day!” at 10am at the Riley County Family and Child Resource Center at 2101 Claflin. It will consist of a one-mile walk and stroller roll for the whole family with three literacy stations along the way, as well as a book give-away. Library staff will present mini-storytimes and early literacy tips at one station. In case of bad weather, the event will be held indoors at the resource center.
    • September 25th: Good Books Club at Manhattan Public Library at 7pm. We’re kicking off our brand new book club series this fall with a rollicking discussion of Steven Johnson’s The Ghost Map, which takes us back to the devastating cholera outbreak in 1854 London as Dr. John Snow and Reverend Henry Whitehead work together to prove the cause. This well-researched history also discusses community, cooperation, and city planning, all with an edge of suspense.
    • September 26th: OZtoberFest at Wamego’s OZ Museum. When everyone associate’s your state with L. Frank Baum’s classic story, the only thing you can do is embrace it. 2014 is the 10th anniversary of OZtoberFest, and they are celebrating with an antique car show, costume contest, a Munchkin Land for children, and the Wizard of Oz ballet at the Columbian Theatre.
    • September 27th: Flint Hills FORCES II: Our Town, Our Fort, Our University: Yet another fantastic exhibition at the Flint Hills Discovery Center begins on September 27th and runs through February 1st. This exhibition will feature the shared history of Manhattan, Fort Riley, and Kansas State University, including immersive experiences: a soldier training for trench warfare during WWI; the glamour of the 1920s Wareham Hotel; the struggles of the Great Depression; family life around the television in a 1950’s Manhattan living room; and more. The project is partially funded by the Kansas Humanities Council.

For more information on library events, visit the Events page on our website to see a full listing of all the great happenings in September. For more community events, the Manhattan Convention and Visitor’s Bureau has a full listing on their website.

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Interested in Aggieville History?

Linda Henderson, Adult Services Librarian

Picture1 Aggieville Archives online at

“Aggieville Archives was created to help you remember, discover, or research the history of the Aggieville Shopping District in Manhattan, Kansas.

I decided to launch a Facebook page in November of 2011 called Aggieville Archives. The feedback I’ve received from posting over 2,000 pictures has shown me clearly that many people have a strong interest (and enjoyment) in looking back at the history of Aggieville. Some people connect with personal experiences in a certain location, some have relatives that worked or owned businesses in the area, and some have just enjoyed knowing that there is a lot more to Aggieville than they ever realized.”

Dan Walter, served as Secretary, Treasurer, and then two years as President of the Aggieville Business Association. After publishing his second book on Aggieville history in 1998, the ABA Board of Directors voted Dan as the official Aggieville Historian.

Manhattan Public Library has a number of Dan’s books for you to enjoy.  Aggieville Through the Years, 1880’s to the Year 2000!;  The American College Town;   The Drug Stores of Aggieville:..and a Few Other Tangents Along the Way;   Manhattan Mysteries: Stories of the ‘Little Apple’;      Aggieville, 1889-1989: 100 Years of the Aggieville Tradition  ands The Harrison Building Scrapbook, 1915-l998.  MPL also has a Manhattan  history file that you may find interesting.




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Fundraising in the Flint Hills

golfLooking to have a good time and spread some goodwill this August? You’ll be able to do just that at one of the many spectacular fundraisers happening in Manhattan this month.

  • 25th Annual Mercy Golf Classic on August 11 from 10:30am-7pm: A day-long benefit golf tournament supporting community health initiatives at Mercy Regional Health Center. Located at Colbert Hills Golf Course
  • Brew at the Zoo on August 22 from 6-9pm: Visit Sunset Zoo and try local microbrew samples while supporting the zoo and its wildlife conservation efforts. In addition to beer samples, there will also be small bites, entertainment, and live, in-person encounters with Sunset Zoo’s animal ambassadors!
  • Art Happens on August 23 from 6:30-10:30pm: features visual artists demonstrating their creative process, performing artists giving short performances, a silent art auction, and the evening ends with a live art auction. Heavy hors d’oeuvres from local restaurants will be served.
  • Cattle Baron’s Ball on August 23 at 6pm: Support the American Cancer Society at the 4th annual Cattle Baron’s Ball. The Cattle Baron’s Balls have raised nearly $257,000 for Society programs, research for on prevention, early detection, and cancer cures. Entertainment, dancing, auctioning, and food and drink will be provided at this all-out party for a great cause.


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Wonder Workshop Underground Railroad Tours

wonder WorkshopWonder Workshop Children’s Museum is led by director Richard Pitts in their new location oat 506  S. 4th   Street  (776-1234).            

 One of the opportunities available through this gem of a museum is a tour of the Undergound Railroad locations in Wabaunsee County just east of Manhattan. We have Mr. Pitt’s book, A Self-Guided Tour of the Underground Railroad in Kansas.  In it you will find a number of locations that were part of this history that can still be visited by taking an afternoon tour beginning on K-18 or Zeandale road. Chris Barr’s cabin is very close to the popular swimming spot, Pillsbury Crossing.  It was built during this time period and was then enclosed within the walls of a larger home which preserved it.  The Zeandale community has dismantled the house and left this little cabin with newspaper glued in the cracks verifying the date of when it was first built in the 1850’s.  A trap door by the fireplace could have led to a hiding place for fugitive slaves and a crawl space could have also.  We have quite a number of books chronicling this period of our countries history including slave narratives such as Remembering Slavery : African Americans Talk About Their Personal Experiences of Slavery which includes two sound cassettes of actual interviews of former slaves from the Archive of Folk Culture/Library of Congress.

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Celebrating Harriet Beecher Stowe: June 14, 1811—July 1, 1896

stowe  Stowe was an abolitionist and the author of the novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Upon meeting her, Abraham Lincoln allegedly remarked, “So you’re the little woman who wrote the book that made this big war.”

The story that rocked the country was of Eliza Harris, a slave whose child is to be sold, escapes her beloved home on the Shelby plantation in Kentucky and heads North, eluding the hired slave catchers. Aided by the underground railroad, Quakers, and others opposed to the Fugitive Slave Act,  Eliza, her son, and her husband George run toward Canada. As the Harrises flee to freedom, another slave, Uncle Tom, is sent “down the river” for sale. Too loyal to abuse his master’s trust, too Christian to rebel, Tom is separated from his family and sold down river. As the novel progresses, the juxtaposed narratives highlights the harsh reality of slavery.

The Beecher, Bible and Rifle Church, founded in June of 1857, is just east of Zeandale on K-18.  Its history is intertwined with Harriet Beecher Stowe.  The Reverend Henry Ward Beecher was one of her twelve siblings.  Her seven brothers all became ministers. In the years leading up to the Civil War, Henry Ward Beecher raised money to purchase slaves from captivity and to send rifles—nicknamed “Beecher’s Bibles”—to abolitionists fighting in Kansas and Nebraska.

With the passage of the Kansas-Nebraska bill in May of 1854, Kansans were allowed to have a say about whether they would be a free or slave state. As a result many settlers journeyed to the state in order to influence that decision. One such group was known as the Connecticut-Kansas Colony . They arrived with Sharps rifles and 25 Bibles that Henry Ward Beecher provided.  The rifles were smuggled through pro-slavery areas in crates marked “Beecher’s Bibles,” and consequently the rifles themselves became known as Beecher’s Bibles. Wabaunsee was staunchly anti-slavery and became part of the Underground Railroad in late 1856 and helped Lawrence after Quantrill’s Raid.

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Manhattan Tree Walks

treeThe days of early summer are a great time to take a self-guided tree walk in Manhattan City Park or on the KSU campus. Guides for both of these tree walks can be found online by going to, then entering City Park Tree Walk or Campus Tree Walk in the search box.

Before or after your walk, learn to recognize trees and appreciate their beauty and strength with The Urban Tree Book: and Uncommon Field Guide for City and Town by Arthur Plotnik or the masterfully illustrated Sibley Guide to Trees  by Davod Allen Sibley. Both books are available from Manhattan Public Libraryi


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