Riley County Genealogical Society
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Friday, August 16
August Roundtable  (Round Table)
10:00 am to 11:30 am
Vista Drive In, 1911 Tuttle Creek Blvd., Manhattan, KS
Please join us for an open discussion of all things related to Family History.  We encourage supporting our host with a purchase of coffee or another item.

Sunday, August 18
The City of Many Names: The Hartford Steamboat Crash and the Naming of Manhattan  (Educational Program)
2:30 pm to 3:30 pm
Manhattan Public Library Auditorium, 629 Poyntz Ave., Manhattan, KS

On June 3rd, 1855, Chestina Bowker Allen, New England immigrant and homesteader, wrote in her diary, “The City of many names last called Bluemont is now permanently named Manhattan.” Whether or not the fledgling town on the Prairie would survive depended on good weather, lots of luck, and a chance to out compete surrounding towns for settlers, rail lines, and businesses. Without the perfect combination of conditions, Manhattan, KS, could have ended up like the hundreds of other ghost towns founded during westward expansion. This talk chronicles one fateful event that shaped not only the name of Manhattan, KS, but also helped seal its chance of survival: the Hartford Steamboat Crash. We will explore how this ill- fated steamboat voyage became a much-needed boost during the early settlement of Manhattan, and what the many names of Manhattan reveal about the precarious fates of communities throughout Kansas in the 19th century.

Mary Kohn is a Professor in English and Director of the Chapman Center for Rural Studies at Kansas State University. Through the Chapman Center, Dr. Kohn works to bring faculty, students, and community members together to tell the stories of rural Kansas and to launch the research that will help rural communities thrive.

Sunday, August 18, 2024; 2:30-3:30pm
Location: Manhattan Public Library Auditorium, 629 Poyntz Ave. This RCGS program is free and open to the public.