For centuries, brave men and women have volunteered to put their lives on the line to protect our freedom. In honor of Memorial Day, this week’s Minnesota Mondays focuses on Historic Fort Snelling. Situated where the Mississippi and Minnesota Rivers meet, the fort was founded in 1820 to protect the fur trade. Throughout the years the fort played a key role in the American expansion while housing multiple military dignitaries, Presidents and enslaved people, including Dred and Harriet Scott. It also served as an internment camp in 1862, after the U.S.-Dakota War and the fort was used as a training center from the Civil War through World War II.Today, visitors to the historic site can experience what life was like in the 1800’s. They can visit the hospital and learn about the medicinal practices of the times, step into Sutler’s Store to see what items were available to soldiers for purchase, check out the barracks, Commanding Officer’s House, schoolhouse, Squad Room, Post Shops, Half-Moon Battery and the Round Tower.
Throughout the site, there are costumed staff to describe life at the fort. There’s also a variety of events throughout the day including Cannon and Infantry Drills, cooking demonstrations and Retreat Parades.
In addition to the historic site, Fort Snelling National Cemetery is just a few miles away. The final resting place of generations of military heroes (including my own beloved Grandfather), it’s a beautiful place to visit and honor those who have served our country with pride.