Category:Minnesota state historic sites
Pages in category "Minnesota state historic sites"
The following 26 pages are in this category, out of 26 total. This list may not reflect recent changes (learn more).
The following 26 pages are in this category, out of 26 total. This list may not reflect recent changes (learn more).
1. Minnesota Historical Society – The Minnesota Historical Society is a nonprofit educational and cultural institution dedicated to preserving the history of the U. S. state of Minnesota. It was founded by the legislature in 1849, almost a decade before statehood. The Society is named in the Minnesota Constitution and it is headquartered in the Minnesota History Center in downtown St. Paul. Although its focus is on Minnesota history it is not constrained by it and its work on the North American fur trade has been recognized in Canada as well. The Minnesota Historical Society operates 31 historic sites and museums,26 of which are open to the public, MNHS manages 14 sites directly and 10 in partnerships where the society maintains the resources and provides funding. Five sites are being held for preservation but are closed to public access, seven of the sites are National Historic Landmarks and 16 others are on the National Register of Historic Places. Seven sites lie within Minnesota state parks, and three are elements of the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area, journals and other documents of the Minnesota Historical Society. Minnesota Historical Society / Internet Archive
2. Museum – Most large museums are located in major cities throughout the world and more local ones exist in smaller cities, towns and even the countryside. Museums have varying aims, ranging from serving researchers and specialists to serving the general public, the goal of serving researchers is increasingly shifting to serving the general public. There are many types of museums, including art museums, natural history museums, science museums, war museums, the city with the largest number of museums is Mexico City with over 128 museums. According to The World Museum Community, there are more than 55,000 museums in 202 countries, the English museum comes from the Latin word, and is pluralized as museums. The first museum/library is considered to be the one of Plato in Athens, however, Pausanias gives another place called Museum, namely a small hill in Classical Athens opposite to the Akropolis. The hill was called Mouseion after Mousaious, a man who used to sing on the hill, the purpose of modern museums is to collect, preserve, interpret, and display items of artistic, cultural, or scientific significance for the education of the public. The purpose can also depend on ones point of view, to a family looking for entertainment on a Sunday afternoon, a trip to a local history museum or large city art museum could be a fun, and enlightening way to spend the day. To city leaders, a healthy museum community can be seen as a gauge of the health of a city. To a museum professional, a museum might be seen as a way to educate the public about the museums mission, Museums are, above all, storehouses of knowledge. In 1829, James Smithsons bequest, that would fund the Smithsonian Institution, stated he wanted to establish an institution for the increase, Museums of natural history in the late 19th century exemplified the Victorian desire for consumption and for order. Gathering all examples of classification of a field of knowledge for research. As American colleges grew in the 19th century, they developed their own natural history collections for the use of their students, while many large museums, such as the Smithsonian Institution, are still respected as research centers, research is no longer a main purpose of most museums. While there is a debate about the purposes of interpretation of a museums collection, there has been a consistent mission to protect. Much care, expertise, and expense is invested in efforts to retard decomposition in aging documents, artifacts, artworks. All museums display objects that are important to a culture, as historian Steven Conn writes, To see the thing itself, with ones own eyes and in a public place, surrounded by other people having some version of the same experience can be enchanting. Museum purposes vary from institution to institution, some favor education over conservation, or vice versa. For example, in the 1970s, the Canada Science and Technology Museum favored education over preservation of their objects and they displayed objects as well as their functions. One exhibit featured a printing press that a staff member used for visitors to create museum memorabilia
3. Fort Snelling – Fort Snelling, originally known as Fort Saint Anthony, was a military fortification located at the confluence of Minnesota and Mississippi Rivers in Hennepin County, Minnesota. Mississippi National River and Recreation Area, a National Park Service unit, Fort Snelling also refers to an unorganized territory in Hennepin County, Minnesota, containing the former fortification. The Census in 2000 enumerated a population of 442. The Minnesota Historical Society now runs the fort, located atop a bluff along the river, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources runs Fort Snelling State Park, protecting the land at the bottom of the bluff. Fort Snelling once encompassed both parcels, the fort is a National Historic Landmark and has been named a national treasure by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Lieutenant Zebulon Pike in 1805 acquired Pikes Purchase for the United States, significant settlement began in the late 1810s. Following the War of 1812, the United States Department of War built a chain of forts and these forts primarily protected the northwestern territories from Canadian and British encroachment. The Army founded Fort Saint Anthony in 1819, colonel Josiah Snelling commanded the 5th Infantry Regiment. Its soldiers constructed the original Fort Saint Anthony from 1820 to 1824, during construction, most soldiers lived at Camp Coldwater, which provided drinking water to the fort throughout the 19th century. The post surgeon began recording meteorological observations at Fort Saint Anthony in January 1820, upon its completion in 1825, the Army renamed the fort as Fort Snelling in honor of its commander and architect. At Fort Snelling, the garrison attempted to keep the peace between the Dakota people. Colonel Snelling suffered from dysentery, and bouts of the illness made him susceptible to anger. Recalled to Washington, he left Fort Snelling in September 1827, colonel Snelling died in summer 1828 from complications due to dysentery and a brain fever. John Marsh, a native of Danvers, Massachusetts, came to the fort during the early 1820s, at the fort, he set up the first school for children of the officers. He also developed a relationship with the local Sioux tribe. He had been studying medicine at Harvard for two years before deciding to leave school without earning a degree and he used this opportunity to read medicine under the tutelage of the post physician, Dr. Purcell. The physician died before Marsh completed the course, so he still had no medical degree. In 1830 Fort Snelling was the birthplace of John Taylor Wood, John Emerson purchased the slave Dred Scott in Saint Louis, Missouri, but he later worked and lived at Fort Snelling during much of the 1830s, having brought Dred and his wife Harriet Scott with him
4. James J. Hill House – The James J. Hill House in Saint Paul, Minnesota, United States, was built by railroad magnate James J. Hill. The house, completed in 1891, is near the end of Summit Avenue near the Cathedral of Saint Paul. The house, for its time, was large and was the showcase of St. Paul until James J. Hills death in 1916. It is listed as a U. S. National Historic Landmark and it is also a contributing property to the Historic Hill District. The home has 36,000 square feet of living area, Hill bought three lots on Summit Avenue in 1882, during an era when wealthy citizens were scrambling to build fashionable homes in the neighborhood. The street offered a view of downtown St. Paul. The family previously lived in the Lowertown area in St. Paul, near Ninth, Hill also realized that recent improvements in home technology, such as electric lighting, plumbing, ventilation, and fireproofing, could be incorporated into a new home. Moreover, since Hill was becoming a prominent person in the community. Hill supervised the design and construction closely, later, in 1889, Hill fired the architects because they had overridden his orders to the stonecutters in Massachusetts, and hired the Boston firm of Irving and Casson to finish the project. The St. Paul Pioneer Press reviewed the house just before it was completed in 1891, saying, Solid, substantial, roomy, there has been no attempt at display, no desire to flaunt an advertisement of wealth in the eyes of the world. Impressive, fine, even grand in the simplicity of design, the interior features an art gallery that housed Hills collection of painting and sculpture. It even had an organ, installed after someone suggested to Hill that other wealthy people had pipe organs in their homes. The house had a system of gas and electric lighting. However, there were no electrical outlets installed, because during that era electricity was used for lighting. The woodwork in the house is very intricate, with hand-carved woodworking in the hallway, the formal dining room. Other rooms in the house, particularly on the floor where most of the family members lived, do not have hand carved woodwork. The first floor, in addition to the art gallery, music room, hall, and formal dining room previously mentioned, also had a library, a drawing room, and Mr. Hills home office. The second floor contained Mr. and Mrs. Hills rooms, two guest rooms, and rooms for their five daughters, Gertrude, Rachel, Clara, Ruth, the third floor contained rooms for their sons James, Walter, and Louis
5. Mill City Museum – Mill City Museum is a Minnesota Historical Society museum in Minneapolis. It opened in 2003 built in the ruins of the Washburn A Mill next to Mill Ruins Park on the banks of the Mississippi River. The museum focuses on the founding and growth of Minneapolis, especially flour milling, the mill complex, dating from the 1870s, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It is part of the St. Anthony Falls Historic District and within the National Park Services Mississippi National River, the museum features exhibits about the history of Minneapolis, flour milling machinery, a water lab and a baking lab. Voices of people who worked in the Washburn A Mill are heard throughout the show, visitors exit on the 8th floor, where extant equipment is interpreted by staff, and are then led to the ninth-floor observation deck to view St. Anthony Falls. The Gold Medal Flour sign still shines at night atop the grain elevator. Across the river, the former competitor Pillsbury A Mill is topped with a sign reading Pillsburys Best Flour, the work of local artists is featured throughout the building. Pieces by JoAnn Verburg, Tom Maakestad, Kim Lawler, Kathleen Richert, Paul Wrench and Becky Schurmann include murals, an art glass collage, a 15-foot Bisquick box, Mill City Museum began an outdoor concert series named Mill City Live in the summer of 2004. The concerts are held in the museums Ruin courtyard and feature Twin Cities bands of various genres. Mill City Live was originally held on the first and third Thursdays of June, July, August, and September, as of 2016, the concerts are held every Wednesday night in August. The first Washburn A Mill, built by Cadwallader C. Washburn in 1874, was declared the largest flour mill in the world upon its completion, and contributed to the development of Minneapolis. On May 2,1878, a spark ignited airborne flour dust within the mill, creating an explosion demolished the Washburn A. The ensuing fire resulted in the deaths of four people, destroyed five other mills. Known as the Great Mill Disaster, the explosion made national news, in order to prevent the buildup of combustible flour dust, ventilation systems and other precautionary devices were installed in mills throughout the country. At the peak of the Washburn A Mills production, it could grind over 100 boxcars of wheat into almost 2,000,000 pounds of flour per day, an ad from the 1870s advertised, Forty-one Runs of Stone. This is the largest and most complete Mill in the United States, advertising hyperbole aside, the mill, along with the Pillsbury A Mill and other flour mills powered by St. Anthony Falls, contributed greatly to Minneapoliss development. The mill was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1983 for its technological innovations, Washburn later teamed up with John Crosby to form the Washburn-Crosby Company, which later became General Mills. After World War I, flour production in Minneapolis began to decline as flour milling technology no longer depended on water power, other cities, such as Buffalo, New York, became more prominent in the milling industry
6. Minnesota State Capitol – The building also includes a chamber for the Minnesota Supreme Court, although court activities usually take place in the neighboring Minnesota Judicial Center. The building is set in a landscaped campus, various monuments are to its sides and front. Behind, a bridge spans University Avenue, and in front others were added over the sunken roadway of Interstate 94. Set near the crest of a hill, from the Capitol steps a panoramic view of downtown Saint Paul is presented, however, like all capitols with domes in the US it is also inspired by the idea of domed capitols originating with the United States Capitol dome. Work began on the capitol in 1896, and construction was completed in 1905. It is the building to serve this purpose, the first capitol was destroyed by fire in 1881, and the second was completed in 1883. Above the southern entrance to the building is a gilded quadriga called The Progress of the State which was sculpted by Daniel Chester French and it was completed and raised to the roof of the capitol in 1906. The four horses represent the power of nature, earth, wind, fire, the women leading the horses symbolize civilization, and the man on the chariot represents prosperity. In 1994 and 1995, the statues underwent a procedure which included replacing the gold leaf on the figures. A sphere perched above the dome also has similar treatment. Any classical dome built since Michelangelos must expect to be compared to it and his drawings show that he originally planned a wider drum and, correspondingly, a more massive dome. The smaller dome as built could be criticized by some as too small and it is smaller than St. Peters and has a simplified design, single columns round the upper lantern instead of double ones, for instance. The ribs on the dome are less pronounced than those on St. Peters. Gilbert knew that St. Peters dome was on the edge of being unstable and his engineer for this project, Gunvald Aus, bound the brick dome in reinforcing steel bands, and Gilbert crowned the paired columns round the drum with additional stone. Other than St. Peters, additional buildings with marble domes include the Taj Mahal in India, the central block under the dome needed three entrances, and Gilbert avoided creating visual references to a triumphal arch, which would have been inappropriate in its position. Equally, he managed to avoid any reference to a block that would have been offensive to Minnesotans. However, Gilbert drew ire for choosing stone from Georgia rather than native Minnesota stone, the capitol cost US$4.5 million at the beginning of the 20th century. It opened its doors to the public for the first time on January 2,1905, a hundred years later, the buildings estimated value was $400 million
7. Minnesota Transportation Museum – The Minnesota Transportation Museum is a transportation museum in Saint Paul, Minnesota, United States. The MTM operates several heritage sites in Minnesota and one in Wisconsin. The museum is involved in preserving local railroad, bus. The MTM was formed in 1962 to save a streetcar that had been built, many of the museums early members were formerly part of the Minnesota Railfans Association, which had organized railfan trips from the 1940s to the 1960s. In 2004–2005, the streetcar operations became the Minnesota Streetcar Museum. In addition, a steamboat that was built by TCRT in a style similar to its streetcars became the Museum of Lake Minnetonka. After the first streetcar, TCRT No,1300, was successfully restored, other projects were examined in the time before the streetcar could be put on its own set of rails. The Minnehaha Depot was a former Milwaukee Road depot at Minnehaha Falls, the station, built in 1875, was nicknamed The Princess because of its delicate architecture. The depot is a property to the Minnehaha Historic District. Trains running on special routes have sometimes stopped at the station, tracks owned by the Canadian Pacific Railway reach the station, though it is at the disused end of a rail spur. The depot is owned by the Minnesota Historical Society, and the Minnesota Transportation Museum operates the depot for the Minnesota Historical Society, in 1967, the depot became the first building to be restored by the museum and it was outfitted with exhibits. Today, the METRO Blue Line station serving Minnehaha Park is located across the road from the old depot, several buses from the 1940s and 1950s are also operated by the museum. Most equipment in the bus collection were built by the GMC division of General Motors, the conversion from a streetcar to bus system required two years. The last trolley run was on Hennepin Avenue on June 18,1954, the collection consists of multiple buses operated in and across Minnesota. The buses are used in charter service, and form a very visible part of the Museums collection. This part of the collection is sponsored by Richfield Bus Company, graciously providing maintenance, as the museum has acquired much of its bus collection from Metro Transit, the bus company sometimes requests the use of the old buses for special events. MTM, in conjunction with the Historical Society of Osceola, Wisconsin, operates a railroad called the Osceola. Excursion trains are operated on trackage owned by Wisconsin Central Ltd. now part of Canadian National Railway
8. Saint Anthony Falls – Saint Anthony Falls or the Falls of Saint Anthony, located northeast of downtown Minneapolis, Minnesota, was the only natural major waterfall on the Upper Mississippi River. The natural falls were replaced by an overflow spillway after it partially collapsed in 1869. Later, in the 1950s and 1960s, a series of locks, from 1880 to about 1930, Minneapolis was the Flour Milling Capital of the World. These locks were built as part of the Upper Mississippi River 9-Foot Navigation Project, the area around the falls is designated the St. Anthony Falls Historic District and features a 1. 8-mile self-guided walking trail with signs explaining the areas past. Before European exploration, the falls held cultural and political significance for native tribes who frequented the area, the falls was an important and sacred site to the Mdewakanton Dakota and they called the Mississippi River, hahawakpa, river of the falls. Dakota associated the falls with legends and spirits, including Oanktehi, god of waters and evil, the rocky islet where the woman had pointed her canoe towards doom thus was named Spirit Island which was once a nesting ground for eagles that fed on fish below the falls. Dakota also camped on Nicollet Island upstream of the falls to fish, since the cataract had to be portaged, the area became one of the natural resting and trade points along the Mississippi between Dakota and Anishinaabe peoples. The Anishinaabe term was recorded as kakabikah, Hennepin named them the Chutes de Saint-Antoine or the Falls of Saint Anthony after his patron saint, Anthony of Padua. Later explorers to document the falls include Jonathan Carver and Zebulon Montgomery Pike, by the 1860s, however, industrial waste had filled the area and marred the falls majesty. The districts archaeological record is one of the historic sites in Minnesota. The National Register of Historic Places is facilitated by the National Park Service, a Heritage Trail plaque nearby says, For untold generations of Indian people the Mississippi River was an important canoe route. To pass around the falls, the Dakota and Ojibway used a portage trail. Starting at a landing below the now occupied by the steam plant. From here it followed the east bank along what is now Main Street to a point well above the falls, geologists say that the falls first appeared roughly 10,000 years ago several miles downstream at the confluence of the glacial River Warren. Estimates are that the falls were about 180 feet high when the River Warren Falls receded past the confluence of the Mississippi River, over the succeeding 10,000 years, the falls moved upstream to its present location. The water churning at the bottom of the falls ate away at the soft sandstone, from its origins near Fort Snelling, St. Anthony Falls relocated upstream at a rate of about 4 feet per year until it reached its present location in the early 19th century. Tributaries such as Minnehaha Creek begot their own waterfalls as the Mississippi River valley was cut into the landscape, when Father Louis Hennepin documented the falls he estimated the falls height to be 50 or 60 feet. Later explorers described it as being in the range of 16 to 20 feet high, the discrepancy may have been due to scope, as the current total drop in river level over the series of dams is 76 ft
9. Split Rock Lighthouse – Split Rock Lighthouse is a lighthouse located southwest of Silver Bay, Minnesota, USA on the North Shore of Lake Superior. The structure was designed by lighthouse engineer Ralph Russell Tinkham and was completed in 1910 by the United States Lighthouse Service at a cost of $75,000, including the buildings and it is considered one of the most picturesque lighthouses in the United States. Split Rock Lighthouse was built in response to the loss of ships during the famous Mataafa Storm of 1905. One of these shipwrecks, the Madeira, is located just north of the lighthouse and it is built on a 130-foot sheer cliff eroded by wave action from a diabase sill containing inclusions of anorthosite. The octagonal building is a brick structure with concrete trim on a concrete foundation set into the rock of the cliff. It is topped with a large, steel lantern which features a third order, bi-valve type Fresnel lens manufactured by Barbier, Bernard and Turenne Company in Paris, France. The tower was built for a second lens, but when construction went over budget. The lens floats on a surface of liquid mercury which allows near frictionless operation. The lens is rotated by a clockwork mechanism that is powered by weights running down the center of the tower which are then reset by cranking them back to the top. When completed, the lighthouse was lit with an incandescent oil vapor lamp that burned kerosene, at the time of its construction, there were no roads to the area and all building materials and supplies arrived by water and lifted to the top of the cliff by crane. The light was first lit on July 31,1910, thanks to its dramatic location, the lighthouse soon became a tourist attraction for sailors and excursion boats. So much so, that in 1924 a road was built to land access. In 1940, the station was electrified and the lamp was replaced with a 1000 watt electric bulb, Split Rock was outfitted with a fog signal housed in a building next to the light tower. The original signal was a pair of sirens driven by two Franklin 30 hp gasoline-driven air compressors manufactured by Chicago Pneumatic Tool Company, in 1932 the gasoline engines were replaced with diesel engines. The steam sirens were replaced with a Type F-2-T diaphone type signal in 1936, the station and the fog signal were electrified four years later, but discontinued in 1961. The light was retired in 1969 by the U. S. Coast Guard, the lighthouse is now part of the Split Rock Lighthouse State Park and is operated by the Minnesota Historical Society. The site includes the tower and lens, the fog signal building, the oil house. It is restored to appear as it did in the late 1920s, the site was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1969
10. Jeffers Petroglyphs – The Jeffers Petroglyphs site is an outcrop in southwestern Minnesota with pre-contact Native American petroglyphs. The petroglyphs are pecked into rock of the Red Rock Ridge, the exposed surface is approximately 150 by 650 feet and surrounded by virgin prairie. Several old wagon trail ruts traverse the site, one of which is believed to be the old coach route from New Ulm, Minnesota to Sioux Falls. The exact age of the petroglyphs is not known, but the earliest petroglyphs are estimated to be from 9000 to 7000 years ago. But some atlatl symbols at Jeffers are a match with similar symbols at Indian Knoll in Kentucky. Another clue to the age comes from the projectile point carvings, other carvings, such as thunderbirds, dragonflies, turtles, and shamans, are symbolic of later tribes such as the Otoe tribe, Sioux, and Iowa tribe. These are believed to date between 900 CE and 1750 CE, there are over 4000 American Indian images preserved in the bedrock. The bedrock was flattened and smoothed over by glaciers 14000 years ago, several archaeologists have hypothesized theories about the purpose of the carvings. Some hypotheses include the practice of hunting magic, performance of sacred ceremonies, or recording historical events in the lives of warriors, shamans, the exact age and purpose of the carvings is only speculation, not established fact. Meanwhile, some Native Americans view the Jeffers site as sacred ground, jerry Flute, a Dakota elder, was quoted as saying, To the contemporary Native Americans who reside in and around the state, is a very spiritual place. It is a place where Grandmother Earth speaks of the past, present, the Minnesota Historical Society purchased the site from W. R. Jeffers, Jr. in 1966 and it was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1970. It is maintained by the Minnesota Historical Society and is open to the public between May and September, here federally threatened prairie bush clover is found, as well as big bluestem, Indian grass, gray-headed coneflower, Maximilians sunflower, cordgrass and coreopsis. The upland sandpiper, regal fritillary and Poweshiek skipper can be found on these prairies, the visitor center is open from May through September and features hands-on exhibits and a multimedia presentation about the site. Daily natural and cultural programs are offered about such topics as archaeology, how Native Americans made and used the atlatl, a travois and cordage. The Starry Night, Prairie Night event is annually in the park. During this time the park manager allows amateur astronomers to use the park, many amateur astronomers attend this event and several members bring their telescopes and allow, and often encourage, others to share their views of the night sky. This site is valued not only because of its historic nature, the site is much darker than most populated areas in Minnesota and is rated green by the Clear Sky Chart. Gardner, Denis P. Minnesota Treasures, Stories Behind the States Historic Places, st. Paul, Minnesota, Minnesota Historical Society
11. Sibley Historic Site – The Sibley Historic Site is the site of Henry Hastings Sibleys home, who was the regional manager of the American Fur Company and Minnesotas first governor. It is one of the 26 historical sites that are operated by the Minnesota Historical Society, located in what is now the city of Mendota, the site consists of four limestone buildings and a large lawn area. Three of the buildings are open for touring, including a fur company cold store from 1843, the Sibley House, considered the oldest private residence in Minnesota, was built between 1835 and 1836 by a team of over 100 white and Dakota laborers, directed by John Mueller. It was made of limestone cut from a nearby quarry. Sibley lived here as a bachelor for eight years, until his marriage to Sarah Jane Steele. After his marriage, Sibley turned the office into a parlor. It was in office that plans were drawn up for the Minnesota Territory, and it became the temporary territorial headquarters in May 1840. When General Sibley moved to St. Paul in 1862, he sold his home to St. Peters Catholic Parish, the Catholic Sisters used the home for a school and convent from 1867 to 1878, adding a belfry on the roof and remodeling the interior. For the next few decades, the house was leased to different parties, including the artist Burt Harwood, as a studio, the house was then used briefly as a storehouse, but was soon abandoned and became a lodging place for railroad transients. These new tenants tore up the floorboards and staircases for firewood, the house was restored by DAR chapters throughout the state, and was opened to the public on June 14,1910. In May 1997 the DAR turned the ownership of the Sibley Historic Site to State of Minnesota, as of 2015, the historic is operated in partnership with the Dakota County Historical Society. Adjoining the Sibley estate is the site of the home of Jean Baptiste Faribault, built in 1839. This Colonial house is built of yellow sandstone with a red sandstone front. Faribault left the house after the death of his wife in 1847, river travelers, priests, teachers, explorers, and government representatives all made stays at the inn. The house was sold and rented to private parties. By the 1880s, Mendota had ceased to be a center of activity, eventually, the Faribault house was seen as having sufficient historic value to receive government aid in its restoration. In 1934, the State Highway Department began the restoration of the Faribault House through a Public Works Administration project, in 1935, the partially restored home was turned over to the DAR, who completed the restoration. The house and grounds were opened to the public on May 5,1937, on the southeast corner of the historic site is the Dupuis House, built in 1854 for fur trader Hypolite Dupuis, who also served as private secretary to General Sibley for many years
12. Traverse des Sioux – Traverse des Sioux is a historic site in the U. S. state of Minnesota. Formerly a Minnesota state park, the site of the old settlement and river ford is now a State Historic Site and a Minnesota State Monument, Traverse des Sioux is located in Nicollet County, Minnesota on the Minnesota River, just north of the city of St. Peter. Traverse is a French word that means crossing, and some state that its use in the name refers to the crossing of the Minnesota River at this location. At least one source however states that Traverse des Sioux is named for the transit of the prairie to the west. The settlement at Traverse des Sioux was a destination of Métis carters during the days of the Red River Trails, frémont used the term Traverse des Sioux to refer to the transit across the plain west of the river. They returned to the river near the mouth of the Cottonwood River at modern New Ulm, a ford of the Minnesota River existed from Pre-contact times. A trading post at the site of the crossing likely existed in the last half of the century. By the 1840s it was used as a transshipment point in the fur trade, at Traverse des Sioux the furs were transferred to flatboats bound for Mendota, Minnesota and eastern markets. In the later part of that period some cart trains went all the way to Mendota or Saint Paul, Minnesota, where the furs were taken by Mississippi riverboat to markets downriver. The lands surrendered including Minnesota west of the Mississippi and south of the lands of the Ojibway, all of what later became South Dakota east of the Big Sioux River, after the treaty a town was platted, which kept the settlements name. Its seventy buildings included two hotels, several churches, and five taverns and this town lost its position as county seat of Nicollet County in 1856, and soon was superseded by Saint Peter, the new seat a short distance to the south. The old town was abandoned by 1869, in 1905 a legislative commission was formed to identify the site of the 1851 treaty. Investigation located the spot, which was dedicated in 1914, Traverse des Sioux Treaty Site Park was established by legislative action, but little development occurred. The park was reclassified as a wayside park in 1937. By 1963 these efforts had stopped, and the site was inundated by the devastating 1965 floods of the Minnesota, in 1969 however expansion was authorized, and the foundation ruins of the townsite were marked. In 1980 the wayside and townsite were removed from the park system and transferred to the control of the Minnesota Historical Society. The site is managed by the Nicollet County Historical Society in partnership with the Minnesota Historical Society, archaeologists have also found Paleo-Indian projectile points estimated to be 9,000 years old, indicating the site was inhabited or visited by Native Americans for many millennia. Red River Trails Treaty of Traverse des Sioux Christianson, Theodore, Minnesota, The Land of Sky-Tinted Waters