Sounds mysterious, doesn’t it. “In SITU” means “on-site,” and that’s the kind of experience you get when you pull back the curtain – or turn off of Highway 52 at Manfred. As the promotional literature says, “Visit history where history was made.”
It’s a 120-year step back in time at Manfred. People whose ancestors settled the region recapture the spirit of those early pioneers. They have preserved, restored and recorded their history and the existing buildings.
We were driving by one early spring day in 2017, east to west, when we saw off the highway, a couple of buildings that looked very attractive, not at all anything like the kind of buildings in most modern towns. So, I mentally marked the turn off to the little village so on the return trip we could pull in.
Headed west to east on Highway 52, I found the gravel road and headed in to town. *Ding!* *Ding!* my visual alarm went off. I did not see it the first time I passed Manfred. There to the side of the road a perfect model for one of my photographic collections called “Prairie Patina.” A 1950-ish Ford Sedan. Once in town (last census recorded a population of 6), we headed to the building we saw from the highway. We puzzled over a “handicapped” parking sign for what?
Then we rounded the corner and saw the preservation of local history, not just a building of dusty artifacts, but an actual step back in time – or in to the Twilight Zone.
What a perfect setting for a 1910 movie set!
Now we know when to return – May through September, when the buildings are open and guided tours are available.
Have you toured the site during visiting hours? What’s it like?