A message from Dan
Aggieville Archives was created to help you remember, discover, or research the history of the Aggieville Shopping District in Manhattan, Kansas.
In 1989, with the help of several other merchants, I wrote a book titled, “Aggieville 1889-1989: 100 Years of the Aggieville Tradition.” Since that time I’ve been collecting thousands of old and “new” pictures of the Aggieville and Manhattan area, along with recording hundreds of stories about the interesting people and significant events in and around Aggieville through the years.
In an effort to share some of this information I decided to launch a facebook page in November of 2011 called Aggieville Archives. The feedback I’ve received from posting over 2,000 pictures has shown me clearly that many people have a strong interest (and enjoyment) in looking back at the history of Aggieville. Some people connect with personal experiences in a certain location, some have relatives that worked or owned businesses in the area, and some have just enjoyed knowing that there is a lot more to Aggieville than they ever realized.
About a year later I started working with Revamp Creative in Manhattan to lay the foundation for this aggievillearchives.com website. It is and will be “a work in progress” for quite a while, but it is a tool to help me organize my resources and share them with a wider audience.
I hope you enjoy your visit here and that you stop back by soon! Best wishes!
The man behind it all
Dan Walter grew up about a block from Aggieville, working at the Campus Theatre during high school and Ballard’s Sporting Goods during his college years at K-State. After graduating, he worked for 30 years at Varney’s Book Store. Dan says, “All in all, I’ve spent most of my life in a 6-block area in and around Aggieville!”
He served as Secretary, Treasurer, and then two years as President of the Aggieville Business Association. After publishing his second book on Aggieville history in 1998, the ABA Board of Directors voted Dan as the official Aggieville Historian.
He met his wife Paula at K-State. They’ve been married 36 years and have been blessed with 6 sons and 5 daughters. He sings and plays guitar, harmonica, and mountain dulcimer. Dan currently owns a personal historian business called Custom Family Stories in Manhattan.
How to contribute
Right now, the easiest way anyone can contribute financially to Aggieville Archives is to purchase the books listed on this site that are for sale through Able Printing Company and at local bookstores. Royalties from these books help offset the costs of putting this website together and keeping it going.
If you are interesting in making a donation, becoming a sponsor, or purchasing advertising on this site, please contact Dan Walter at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
If you have stories or pictures that you would like included in the record of Aggieville history, please email it to Dan at email@example.com -- he would love to hear from you!
Drug Stores of Aggieville
$36.95171 pages · More info
After giving an overview of the drug stores in the downtown Manhattan area from the 1860s to today, Aggieville Historian Dan Walter shares stories and pictures of the pharmacies and pharmacists of Aggieville. From the day the first Aggieville drug store opened their doors in 1912 to the day the last one closed in 1978, Aggieville drug stores were more than just retail outlets for medicines—they were social centers for generations of K-Staters and Manhattan residents.
Varney's Book Story
$20.9583 pages · More info
It was way back in 1890 when Guy Varney first opened his bookstore doors in downtown Manhattan, Kansas. Enrollment at Kansas State had reached a record high of 590 students, and the doors of opportunity were wide open to the 22 year-old businessman. Tracing the personal lives and business careers of Guy Varney, Grace Varney, Ted Varney, and Jon Levin, this book tells the story of a store that has become a tradition to generations of K-Staters.
Harrison Building Scrapbook
$9.9548 pages · More info
Early on Saturday, February 14, 1998 a fire broke out in the Aggieville shopping area of Manhattan, Kansas which destroyed—in a matter of hours—83 years of Kansas history. The huge building which had most recently housed Club Karrington and Adventure Travel was now only a hollow, smoking shell. Somewhere deep in the rubble lay a huge stone with the inscription “19 - J.R. HARRISON – 15,” which had looked out on Moro Street to welcome K-Staters for over eight decades. This book is the story in pictures of a gone, but not forgotten, landmark of Aggieville’s past.
$22.95104 pages · More info
In 1989 the Aggieville Business Association decided to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the Aggieville shopping district in Manhattan, Kansas. As part of that celebration, Dan Walter put together this 88-page book on the beginnings and development of what has become one of the most well-known student shopping and entertainment areas in the Midwest. From soggy fields in the 1800s to six city blocks of vibrant businesses today, Aggieville has come a long ways in 100+ years. Includes information on every business in Aggieville in 1989, along with an added index of people and businesses mentioned in the book.
Great Flood of 1951
$15.9548 pages · More info
Published in 1951, here are the stories and pictures of the worst disaster in the history of Manhattan as recorded by the writers of The Manhattan Tribune-News and the photographers of The Studio Royal. There was a full six feet of water at 4th Street & Poyntz Avenue in downtown Manhattan. Over 200 city blocks were under water. Over $20 million in damage in and around Manhattan. For those who were not a part of it all, it is difficult to imagine. For those who lived through it all, it is nearly impossible to forget. Re-published with the permission of Tom Carlin of Ag Press.
$5.00 from the sale of each book will be donated to the Riley County Red Cross.
First 100 Years of Manhattan
$23.9593 pages · More info
This 1955 history of Manhattan’s first 100 years, re-released with the permission of author Carolyn Jones Sayler, traces the development of this northeast Kansas town. The early pioneers were a mixed group of farmers, ranchers, judges, educators, ministers, and businesspeople. Determined to help the Kansas Territory enter the Union without slavery, they laid a foundation for what has become one of the most prominent cities in Kansas.
$5.00 from the sale of each book will be donated to the Riley County Historical Museum.