Discover how the tallgrass prairie provided the setting for Native Americans and pro-state settlers, alike.


Tue-Fri 8:30 am-5 pm; Sat-Sun 2-5 pm

Contact Information

2309 Claflin Rd
Manhattan, KS 66502
Phone: 785-565-6490

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Site Info

AC / Heating

The Riley County Historical Museum and Archives current building was constructed as a Bicentennial Project for the City of Mahattan, Kansas, in 1976 on the grounds once owned by Isaac Goodnow. The Hartford House is one of the original pre-fabricated houses that some of the first Manhattan settlers brought with them on the Hartford Steamboat in 1855. Visit and discover the past through changing exhibits on Riley County history and in the photographs, manuscripts, and records of the research library.

The Goodnow House State Historic Site is located on the museum grounds, and Riley County staff conduct the tours. The Goodnow House, built in 1861, is an important site to the citizens of Kansas. Isaac Goodnow and his wife Ellen were abolitionists who immigrated to Kansas in 1855 to establish Manhattan as a free-state community. Isaac Goodnow was also a founder of what became Kansas State University and was instrumental in developing the Kansas public school system as the first elected Superintendent of Public Instruction.

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