Take Shelter

Godwin, Orlando - Root Cellar

Ashland Township

Riley County

Home has root cellar built into a hill through a retaining wall off of what would have been a covered porch to the south of a 2 story stone house that was built in 1880 by Orlando Godwin, who came to settle in the Manhattan area in 1857. His family owned the property to the north at the bottom of the hill and he eventually made his way north to this spot located just to the northwest of what is now the Kanza natural preserve. It might have actually been his son that made the move. Either way the family first lived in a dugout home with stone walls and a dirt roof to the east of the house while they worked on building the house. There is a story involving some of their family having to take shelter in a cave by the river during a major wild fire that tore through the area in 1871. This might have been an arched cave near the original family home.

The stone house associated with the cave is located about midway up a hill south of Shane Creek and was built partly into the hill behind it. The current homeowner believes that the original two story house was built in 1880 (this date is confirmed) and then the later kitchen addition was added by George Seigle who bought the house after a series of owners in 1902. Its thought they put on the kitchen addition first and a little later the cave off of the covered porch. It’s clear that the three sections are built with a different style of cut stone. The house was owned by a Seigle until 1982. The cellar opens to the east, stepping up two steps and measures 11.5’(L)x7.5’(W)x 7.5’(H).