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Since 1889 Aggieville has served the K-State student body and the local residents as the place to visit when coming to Manhattan, Kansas. The oldest shopping district in Kansas, Aggieville’s wide variety of businesses makes it a family-friendly environment during the day and a college hot spot at night! With annual events including the Mayor’s Christmas Parade, Manhattan St. Patrick's Day Parade, K-State Homecoming Parade and Pep Rally, and the Little Apple New Year’s Eve Celebration & Ball Drop “The ‘Ville” attracts people from around the country.
In the 1800’s, the area now known as Aggieville looked quite a bit different than it does today. Houses were sparsely scattered across open acres of fields, and dirt roads provided the main pathway to campus for the 514 Kansas State Agricultural College students.
Before 1898, students at the KSAC had to inconveniently purchase their textbooks downtown (this was before roads and cars). A carriage ride from campus to downtown took over 30 minutes and the walk was often muddy and wet. The college decided to build a bookstore and dining facility closer to campus, but it was shut down in 1899. That September, a group of students started the Student Co-Operative Association. This bookstore on Moro St. became the foundation of Aggieville, drawing momentum toward business development, including the venerable Joseph “Guy”
Varney, founder of Varney’s Book Store.
After World War I, Aggieville experienced enormous growth. Trolly lines were built and later paved over during the car boom of the 1940s. Aggieville was home to massive celebrations following pivotal football game rivalries, and home of the 1997 celebration after K-State’s first victory over Nebraska since 1969 which included the tearing down of the goal posts and dragging them, en masse, down to Aggieville.
This and more information about Aggieville can be found in “Aggieville 1889 ~ 1989: 100 Years of the Aggieville Tradition”, by Dan Walter available only at Varney’s Book Store in the heart of Aggieville.