In the mid-1990s, the 130-year-old Manatt house was about to be sold by the city council in the Poweshiek County town of Brooklyn. The council was willing to dispense of the building for $1, given the buyer would move the building to make room for the new library. Residents received word of the arrangement made by the council and immediately began raising the $50,000 required to void the sale. The community banded together, raising $52,000 in less than a month. The home was purchased and now is operated as a historical museum by the Brooklyn Historical Society.