One of the oldest historical sites run by the Minnesota State Historical Society is Fort Snelling. Built in the 1820s on a bluff high above the confluence of the Mississippi and Minnesota rivers, the fort stood sentinel for decades, a military outpost built to protect the frontier and supply pioneers in the ever-expanding American West.
The fort was an active military post for more than 120 years, standing strong through conflicts at home and abroad. Many Minnesotans got their first taste of military life at Fort Snelling, from Civil War recruits to World War II G.I.s.
|My daughter, my goofy nephew, and myself atop the tower at|
Fort Snelling. The barracks are to the left, and over my shoulder
is the commandant's house.
Located near the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport in the Twin Cities, the Fort is now operated as a living history site, restored to its 1820s-1830's appearance and staffed with living history actors and historians. The fort plays a key role in interpreting more than just military history in Minnesota. The fort serves to help us understand Dakota and Ojibwe history, the history of slavery in America, and the fur trade of the Northwest.
From Zebulon Pike to Dred Scott to Little Crow, many famous Americans have ties to Historic Fort Snelling, one of four major military forts found in Minnesota. (The others being Abercrombie, Ripley, and Ridgely.)
The fort, one of the busiest and most popular of the state's historic sites, is also home to the Fort Snelling National Cemetery, the final resting place of more than 180,000 men and women who have served in our armed forces.
|Frank Glick took this photo of an eagle on a |
gravestone at Fort Snelling National Cemetery.
Do you have any historic forts in your state?
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