Centennial Celebration

The Riley County Historical Museum is pleased to announce the opening of a new exhibit, "The Riley County Historical Museum: Celebrating 100 Years of History and Heritage".

This centennial celebration, opening Thursday, October 13th, 2016, will showcase over one-hundred artifacts and photographs significant to the history of the Riley County community. Some of these notable objects include a section of the original seating from the Wareham Opera House, a penny-farthing bicycle owned by Guy Varney and a hand-carved sunflower clock made from local wood for the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893.

The exhibit will run throughout the next year and will be accompanied by a series of programs.

The Riley County Historical Museum began as part of the Riley County Historical Society founded in 1914. The organization's objective was to "promote interest in and preservation of written or printed records of our history and also to collect relics for a museum". In 1915, the Society built the first Riley County Historical Museum, the Pioneer Log Cabin, which is still open for visitors in Manhattan's City Park today. By 1957, the museum outgrew the Pioneer Log Cabin and moved to the basement of Manhattan City Hall, while still maintaining the Pioneer Log Cabin as a historical site. The Society hand-dug the basement in City Hall to build the Museum and Riley County provided financial support for the project. As a bicentennial project, Riley County built the current museum building at 2309 Claflin Avenue and the Museum moved to this location in 1977, with an addition to the museum doubling its size in 1986.

The Riley County Historical Museum and the Riley County Historical Society continue their partnership to preserve and present Riley County history for future generations. Come celebrate with us as we honor 100 years of Riley County history and heritage!