Family Adventures · Gallivanting with Linder Tire Service · Museums and History

The Mysterious Klondike of Manilla

*We have a lot of wonderful travels and one of the reason why is because we have the honor of being official On the Road Ambassadors for Linder Tire Service.

An afternoon ghost search in Western Iowa. Midnight wouldn’t have been better.

Manilla, IA: Crawford County

“Historic hotel” is two words that have so much meaning to our travels and there’s plenty of them to go around here in the Midwest. Some of my favorite are off the beaten path and in small towns. Manilla, Iowa, has one that no longer has the vacancy sign on but it now doubles as a museum and is one of the most unique of its kind. The stories of its haunting make it even more tantalizing to me and my family. We started this travel blog to educate ourselves and the Klondike gave us a Western Iowa education for all of us.

The care, time, and love that goes into this local museum is what makes these trips so memorable and always necessary.

It was the beginning of the fall and the air was still warm and on one of the few dry weekends of the season. Many ghost searches are set in late or early morning hours, but not this one. The lighting on this Manilla afternoon could not have been more perfect. The prairie sunlight from generations before us seemed to showing us around.

Manilla is a classic railroad town and the past is proudly displayed in their plush public park. The constant and comfortable sun was pouring on us everywhere we went and supplied a soothing aura for the whole day.

Always sign the guest book. A task our oldest daughter never forgets.

A family that ghost hunts together stays together. Anyone else say that? Local museums can be some of the greatest ways to learn about our history and you gotta love the ones that need an appointment to tour. Something about calling a local to open the front door to a world of artifacts and history stirs my imagination even more. Michele Ertz was our guide today and she had every corner of this property curated organized.

Those are the faces of two teenagers that are 100% engaged with the guide and the stories she told us on this day.

The front parlor of a Victorian era hotel, such as this, always sounds just right for a break. Everything you see in this picture from the furniture, piano, rug and drapes has significance and/or a very interesting story. This room has the favorite chair of a deceased and beloved former resident of the Klondike and it is said that you can see it rocking from time to time. People have also said they feel the need to get out of the chair as if the spirit of the woman is telling to get off her favorite place to relax.

Each room at the Klondike has a theme and story. Activity has been reported in many of these rooms with vintage and antique collections from the area. The beds, nightstands, lamps, clothing… everything has energy. Mediums who have visited the Klondike have said that it serves as major depot for spirits searching for the next step in their afterlife and the staircase is said to be the spiritual freeway of the hotel.

The hardwood floors creaked at times, but the old hotel was still in great shape. We took modern day technology and blended it with the old hotel. Our EVP app brought up several words on our phone that were very peculiar on our tour. Doorway…basement..disease…

Shadow figures explained in the basement of the Klondike…


Each room had a story and one more interesting than the last. From professional paranormal investigators to skeptics to travelers like us, just about every room has encountered movements, apparitions or strange sounds. The Klondike even has pictures you can see for yourself when you visit or spend the night if you dare.


We need these places, haunted or not, more than ever now and amazing folks like Michele are the ones that keep them open with countless volunteered hours pouring into the upkeep and management of the property. These museums are the lifeblood of some of the most important history we have and they always produce something we’ve never seen before. The tours can be coordinated from the contact info above. Something tells me you may not see everyone with you on your tour, but you may feel them all around at the Klondike.

Thank you, Manilla! We make trips like these happen because we have some great sponsors!
You see that!?! It’s blue skies and it’s making our time at Linder Tire Service even better because we’re prepping for our autumn gallivants!

With crisp fall air comes beautiful and sunny afternoons. We all have our favorite drives and let’s keep them full of great memories with a safe vehicle. As we know, fall means that the sun is setting earlier and we need to make sure all our exterior lights are working. Brakes are best when getting a regular inspection, but the backside of your car needs to be telling folks behind you that you’re about stop and get a selfie by a pretty Maple tree. Linder Tire Service gives all of them a look with every satisfying oil change.

Deals on Linder’s tires can be found all year long by clicking on their coupons along with their full maintenance specials. Get those cars maintained and winterized now and think about greeting the road with some premium new tires. And say it with me….Anti freeze! We’re gong to need that, so let’s get that fluid and the rest of them looking great for that first of many frosty days coming up.

The old tractor keeps going because its had skilled workers from Linder Tire Service keeping these and so many more vehicles running since 1932. Iowa City, North Liberty and Ginnell locations are ready for another 86 years!

You might as well enjoy yourself while you’re getting some professional service done on your car. The Disney books made my time zip right by.

*Linder tire service is the sponsor of the content on this blog post. All opinions expressed are of our own. Thanks for Gallivanting!

One thought on “The Mysterious Klondike of Manilla

Leave a Reply