Take Shelter

Sigman, George Washington - Root Cellar

Manhattan Township

Riley County

This arched cave is off of the basement of a house on Moro st. in Manhattan, KS. It was apparently the cold storage for the Historic Halfway House Tavern and residence of George Washington Sigman. This was built in 1865 and was located between Manhattan and Kansas State Agricultural College. Mr. Sigman was a union war veteran, stone mason, orchard planter and entrepreneur. He would have built this building and the cave just after the end of the war. It stood alone on the prairie between the tiny village of Manhattan on the river and Bluemont College (KSU) on the Hill. As such it was called the ”halfway house” and served as a watering hole and social spot for students, cavalry and rough frontier folk. It was the original Aggieville. Sigman later built 7 more stone houses on what was to become Moro st. These included the Lone Star Hotel and Brothel which stood until 2008. He also helped build some of the first stone buildings on campus in the 1870's. The cave opens to the east into the houses basement and is approximately 14'(L)x6.5'(W)x7'(H).