Celebrating a Century of Scholastic Journalism Education

JEA Centennial

CELEBRATING A CENTURY OF SCHOLASTIC JOURNALISM EDUCATION
Celebrating a Century of Scholastic Journalism Education

JEA Centennial

Celebrating a Century of Scholastic Journalism Education

JEA Centennial

Our 100 lists of 100: Things About Manhattan, Kansas

Photo+by+David+McBee+%2F+Pexels
Photo by David McBee / Pexels

There’s a lot to know about the Litttle Apple. Never been to Manhattan? After reading this list you will likely want to schedule a visit.

1. Known as “The Little Apple”
2. Home to Kansas State University and JEA
3. In the Flint Hills region of Kansas
4. K-State is largest employer in the city
5. Kedzie Hall, home to JEA, is named after the first female full professor at Kansas State in 1887. It was the first building to be named after a woman. In 1925 K-State awarded Nellie Sawyer Kedzie Jones an honorary doctorate.
6. Blue Earth Plaza entertainment area named after the Dakota Indians
7. Vista Drive-In, a campus favorite since 1964
8. Aggieville, K-State campus town.
9. Varsity Donuts – a favorite stop in Aggieville for the entire family and students opens the Varsity Truck on Thursday-Saturday nights until 2:30 a.m. featuring bacon bombs, mac and cheese and hot donuts.
10. Top of the World – a great area for hiking and a unique view of the city and campus.
11. K-Hill – A landmark on the east side of the city since 1921 was constructed by Engineering students.
12. Willie the Wildcat, mascot of Kansas State University
13. Flint Hills Discovery Center – This museum offers an unique experience for tourists and residents. An introductory film sets the stage for a majestic adventure into the ecosystem of the Flint Hills. Traveling exhibits round out the visit to this interactive facility.
14. The Bill, Kansas State football stadium named for the beloved coach Bill Snyder.
15. Call Hall ice cream – made by students, from the milk of the cows raised at the University’s Dairy Farm, the ice cream is known for its rich, creamy texture and 40 different flavors.
16. Konza Prairie – 8,600-acre preserve in the Flint Hills run by the Nature Conservancy at the University. It offers hiking trails through lowland prairie, across King’s Creek and over limestone ledges to the Flint Hills Prairie.
17. Burning of the fields – a time-honored tradition. Each spring the hills are burned rather than plowed to renew the tall-grass prairie. A stunning site that began with Native Americans to attract bison to the new grass coming up from the charred fields. The burning revives the nutrients for the grass.
18. Sunset Zoo – Home to more than 300 animals representing more than 100 species. Established in 1933, it is one of the oldest zoos in the United States.
19. Marianna Kistler Beach Museum – Located on the K-State campus, the Museum houses the university’s permanent art collection as well as travelng exhibitions. The collection includes works by Kansas artists like John Curry and Gordon Parks.
20. Tuttle Creek Lake and State Park – Built by the Army Corps of Engineers for flood control, it also serves as a popular recreation area for fishing, hunting, boating and camping.
21. National Bio and Aagro-Defense Facility (NBAF) is a biosafey level 4 research laboratory to combat biological threats involving human, zoonotic and foreign animal diseases. The 53,300 square feet facility employs 350 people and replaces the Plum Island facility.
22. Microbrewries – Nine local microbreweries produce rotating lineups of craft brews.
23. Christmas Tree – The tallest Christmas tree in Kansas is in the Blue Earth Plaza and the city marks the beginning of the Holiday season with a lighting of the tree. In 2022 the tree was blown down by strong winds.
24. K-State – The first Land Grant University in the nation.
25. Aggieville – The first shopping district in Kansas.
26. Manhattan is known as “The Little Apple” and on New Year’s Eve has its own ball drop.
27. Riley County Historical Museum features exhiits from pioneer to present day. The city was founded in 1855.
28. Coffee shops – More than 30 coffee shops provide options for all ages.
29. Parks – The city has 13 parks, featuring three water parks.
30. McCain Auditorium – Originally built in 1904 but destroyed by fire in 1965, the theater is the campus cultural center for live performng arts.
31. Somebody Somewhere – A television series set in Manhattan, KS is written and produced by Manhattan native Bridget Everett.
32. The Chef – locally owned, it is the place to go for exceptional breakfasts.
33. Food trucks – A variety of cuisines from half a dozen trucks expands culinary options in Manhattan.
34. Trails – There are 16 (622 miles) hiking trails, 1 camping trail, 14 walking trails and 13 running trails. All are free.
35. Linear trail – The longest trail and takes over five hours to complete
36. K-State Gardens is 19 acres of horticulture display established as an educational resource. Often used for weddings and event venues.
37. Beecher Bible and Rifle Church – A historic church east of Manhattan named for Rev. Henry Ward Beecher who helped smuggle rifles past pro-slavery forces in crates marked Bibles during the Civil War.
38. Underground Railroad – In 1856 the Underground Railroad spur was built east of Manhattan to assist slaves coming through Kansas on their way to freedom.
39. Liquid Art Winery and Estate
40. Manhattan Town Center – Since its opening in the ’80s, the Mall has been the location for the Manhattan High School junior/senior prom.
41. Summer concerts – The Larry Norvell Band Stand is the site of the Tuesday night Manhattan Municipal Band summer concerts, and other live music performances on weekends.
42. Manhattan Arts Center – Community theater offering theatrical and musical productions as well as a series of classes.
43. Insect Zoo – Located in the Dairy Barn of the University Gardens, the zoo offers an interactive experience for visitors with giant cockroaches, beetles, giant walking and prickly sticks, scorpions and trantulas.
44. Weber Arena – Home of the Kansas State University rodeo.
45. KSAC Radio Towers – Built in 1924, the towers are an excellent example of early radio towers built in the US. The original towers remain intact and are the only remaining towers of their type in Kansas.
46. Parades – The city loves parades including the homecoming parades for the high school and the university, Christmas/Holiday Parade, Fourth of July Parade, Veteran’s Day Parade (the largest in the celebration of service in the state) and features the Veterans Coalition, Kasas State Army ROTC, Ft. Riley, USO and others.
47. Fort Riley – This military reservation of 101,733 acres serves as the home of the Big Red One.
48. Manhattan Regional Airport – Owned by the city of Manhattan, it is the second busiest commercial airport in Kansas. American Airlines serves the area with five daily flights to Chicago and Dallas.
49. Religion – There arer 58 churches and one mosque in Manhattan.
50. Farmer’s Market – A Manhattan staple for 30 years, it is one of the oldest in Kansas. Local producers bring meats, vegetables, baked goods, flowers and crafts every Saturday all year round.
51. Oz Museum – East of Manhattan, the Oz Museum has memoribilia from the 1939 filming of the Wizard of Oz.
52. First Territorial Capital – Pawnee was the capital of the Kansas Territory for five days in July 1885. Where the legislators met briefly to discuss the state’s stance on slavery.
53. Strecker Nelson Gallery – Located downtown, the art gallery displays local and regional artworks and artists.
54. Flint Hills Discovery Center – Fully interactive and hands-on, the Discovery Center is one of the Midwest’s most unique and significant museums and education centers.
55. Linear Bike Trail – An interconnected system of multiple individual trails, it spans nine miles and stretches around the city.
56. Riley County Historical Museum – Established in 1914, the museum houses exhibits and artifacts detailing Manhattan’s past.
57. Midwest Dream Car Collection – A collection of more than 70 vehicles dating from 1907 to the present day.
58. Bramlage Coliseum – The home of K-State’s men’s and women’s basketball teams and the volleyball team. It seats 11,654 and is used for concerts and other events as well as sporting events.
59. Goodnow House – Built by husband and wife Isaac and Ellen Goodnow the house tells and preserves the tale of the Abolitionists who founded Manhattan.
60. Manhattan Hill – One of the city’s eight wonders, it is a popular overlook of the town and the K-State campus.
61. Wildwood Outdoor Adventure Park – A family-friendly outdoor venue where visitors can ride seven different zip lines or join a freefall course in a safe environment.
62. Wolf House Museum – Started as a bording house in 1868 but now details the life in Manhattan in the 1880s with period-correct furniture and decor.
63. World War 1 Memorial Stadium – Built in 1922 it was used as the home field of the football team until 1967 when a new stadium was built north of campus. Memorial stadium has been repurposed as a welcome center, theater and home for the marching band.
64. Wareham Opera House – More than 100 years old, this landmark added a screen in 1911 and became the second theater in Kansas to show movies. In 1988 the permanent seats were removed to allow the space to be an event center. It has also served as a restaurant with apartments above. Today, the space is being renovated to support live music and performance art.
65. Ag Press – a historic printing facility, long part of the Manhattan community, it closed in 2020.
66. Ag Press Project – will turn the historic Ag Press building into an event center and rock venue.
67. Hale Library – the main library of Kansas State University.
68. Sunderland Innovation Lab – Located in Hale Library, the lab makes innovation accessible to everyone and offers the latest innovative technologies.
69. AI Lab – This Linux computer lab is designed for machine learning and AI development.
70. Fabspace – In Hale Library this glassed-in environment is used for 3D printing, laser cutting and fabrication via powered and unpowered tools – 10 filament 3Dprinters, four resin 3D printers, two laser cutters, two desktop computers.
71. The Great Room – A favorite spot in Hale Library, the “Gothic Room” was devastated by fire but has been restored to its original aesthetic beauty.
72. Thundering Cats – A popular jazz/blues band made up of mostly retired musicians who perform for community events.
73. Rally House Aggieville – A sports apparel store housed in an old movie theater. Site of the New Year’s Eve celebration.
74. Boys and Girls Club
75. Flint Hills Breadbasket
76. Douglas Community Center – Exercise and recreation facility provided free to the public.
77. Hilton Garden Inn and Convention Center
78. Big Brothers and Big Sisters
79. Fairy Godmothers – A organization of women who annomously raise money to support women in need in the Manhattan area.
80. Manhattan Public Library
81. Axe Throwing – Manhatchet and Axe to Grind entertainment outlets.
82. The Little Grill – Features Jammerican food – Jamaican flavoring with American food. The LIttle Grill started with 10 tables and one gril in 2002.
83. Community Cookouts – The entire town participates in a neighborhood cookout celebrating the 1855 founding of Manhattan. Hot dogs and buns are provided for every neighborhood.
84. Mr. K’s Bar and Grill – A local favorite restaurant with a complete collection of Royal Purple yearbooks dating back to 1910.
85. K-State Veterinary Medicine School – Nationally known for its research and animal care, the School limits enrollment to 100 per class.
86. Purple Masque Theatre – Dating back to 1974, the theare provides state-of-the-art facilities for experimental theatre, workshops, Ebony Theatre productions and showcases.
87. Pride of Wildcat Land – The 400-member marching band is a favorite at football games, pep rallies and community events.
88. Fort Riley Blvd. – Heavily traveled and commercialized, the Blvd. serves as a main artery between Manhattan and Fort Riley.
89. The Morris Family Multiicultural Student Center – is a hub for intercultural learning and collaborative initiatives.
90. Tree-lined streets – The residential areas of Manhattan are often defined by tree-lined brick streets.
91. Greater Manhattan Community Foundation – Each year on Arbor Day the Foundation sponsors Grow Green Day collecting donations from the community. In 2023 $1,522,275 was collected and benefited 95 charitable organizations.
92. City Park – a great place to visit with a water park and splash park in the summer and ice skating in the winter.
93. Johnny Kaw Statue – A 24-foot tall statue of the Pioneer Kansas Wheat farmer stands in Manhattan City Park. Constructed in 1966, 11 years after Manhattan’s Centennial celebration that inspired George Filinger to write the story of Johnny Kaw, Kansas’ answer to other heroes like Paul Bunyan and Pecos Bill.
94. Pillsbury Crossing – A popular site for relaxation and gathering, the waterfall at Pillsbury Crossing draws thousands of visitors each year.
95. The Tubes – A popular fishing spot, the tubes were constructed by the Army Corps of Engineers to serve as a stilling basin for Tuttle Creek Resevoir.
96. Pottorf Hall – The site of the Riley County Fairgrounds, Pottorf Hall is a community building used for a variety of events including meals, food distributions, craft shows.
97. Kimble Castle – Built from 1894-1904 by Judge Sam Kimble, this historic landmark features limestone walls, turrets, a carriage house and a secluded 1.5 acre wooded lot.
98. Purple Haze Streetlights – Although the community appreciates the K-State purple glow of the streetlights, it exists because the lights are defective and will be replaced.
99. C. Clyde Jones – At 101 the first dean of the College of Business is considered Mr. Manhattan and the town patriarch. He is a public servant and a generous donor to all things student related.
100. The people – Described in a college guide rating Land Grant Universities, K-State is described as the “happy purple place.” Although the title is specific to the university it describes the friendly, inclusive city itself.

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