Museum Exhibits

The Riley County Museum offers various exhibits for the public to view that are all free of charge.

Riley County Historical Museum Current Exhibits

"The Land and the People"-

 This exhibit, located in the museum gallery, provides the visitor with an overview of the rich history of Riley County through displays of historic photographs and fascinating objects. You will discover what it was like to be a pioneer on the Kansas prairie as you view exhibitions on early settlers such as Isaac Goodnow who helped develop freedom on the Kansas frontier. Other topics in this exhibition include the history of the Kansa Indians, early settlers, agriculture, and business development in Manhattan.

"Celebrating a Century of History and Heritage: The Riley County Historical Museum" -

This exhibit showcases 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 Woman's Reason: The Women's Suffrage Movement in Riley County" - 

Last year (2020) marked the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment, granting women full voting rights in the United States. Kansas women, however, gained the right to vote in national elections eight years earlier. In this exhibit, learn about the incredible women and events in Riley County that helped pave the way for full women's suffrage in the state. 

Temporary Outreach Exhibits in Riley County 

"Honorable Richard Dean Rogers: A Life of Service"

Through this exhibit, we honor the life of the late Judge Richard Dean Rogers, who served the Manhattan, Riley County, and Kansas community throughout his lifetime. Judge Rogers was a decorated World War II veteran, Manhattan City Commissioner, two-term mayor of Manhattan, member of both chambers of the Kansas Legislature, and nominated by President Gerald Ford to the United States District Court for the District of Kansas. This exhibit is available for viewing at the Riley County Courthouse and open normal business hours 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. 

"At Home with Nature: The Wildlife Photography of Jane Laman"

Kansas State University graduate and long-time Riley County resident Jane Laman lived a life surrounded by nature through pursuing a career in professional dog training and wildlife photography. This exhibit features examples of Laman's wildlife prints and is available for viewing at the Riley County Office Building lobby. It is open normal business hours, Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.. 

"Fighting for Equality: People with Different Abilities" 

The Riley County Historical Society & Museum presents the Freedom's Frontier National Heritage Area exhibit "Fighting for Equality: People with Different Abilities," with an additional panel of Riley County related history, at the Manhattan Town Center, East Court, through July 11, 2021. Admission is Free. 2020 marked the 30th anniversary of the American Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990. This exhibit explores the challenges and achievements of Americans seeking civil rights for those with disabilities, focusing on examples from Missouri and Kansas. 

Also visit our other historical sites.

Past Exhibits

Click here to see some of the museum’s past exhibits!