Our blog is to keep family and friends informed of our motorhome journeys.
We have dreamed of this for many years and finally our dream has come true.
We are looking forward to many happy miles ahead.
One's destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things. Henry Miller.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Visit to Fort Snelling-St Paul,MN

?7 September 2013

A 6 hr drive from Copper Harbor, MI to Saginaw, MN and our campground for the next 3 nights. Our route took us via 41/26 to 28 to 2 across upper part of Wisconsin across bridge to Duluth. Ogston RV Park is very nice. We are in site 54 with a lake view. There are 3 small lakes in the campground.
Ogston Rv Park

Site 54

View Of Duluth

View from Thompson Hill Welcome Center

Welcome to Minnesota

Tomorrow we are going to meet Todd and Susi who will show us the expanded Fort Snelling. Todd is very involved in the restoration of the 2nd or expanded fort. Some refer to it as the upper fort. The fort is adjacent to the airport which took much of the fort land for the expansion of the airport.I will touch briefly on the history as John will be more thorough on his website and blog. Both Todd and Susi are very knowledgeable and gave us a very good tour. Thank You.
Susi's Pic of Eagle

Fort Snelling Plaque

Note: Left side is now airport
Officers' Quarters


John,Susi & Todd

With John & Todd

The Historic Fort Snelling was expanded after the Civil War. During the 1880's it was garrisoned by the 25th Infantry also known as the African American "Buffalo Soldiers". The fort remained active during the Spanish-American,Philippine-American, WW I and WW II. It was a processing and training center. In the 1930's the CCC repaired and constructed new buildings. Today, many of the buildings have fallen in disrepair and are much needed of funds to bring the fort back to its original shape. Many of the original buildings have been torn down when the airport expanded. The fort originally stood on 1,500 acres above the Mississippi and Minnesota Rivers with solid brick and stone structures as old as 120 years. Over 600,000 men and women passed through between 1941 and 1946.

The Historic and first Fort Snelling was established in 1819 to protect the fur trade and to gain the friendship and cooperation of the Indian communities. The early years were mainly peaceful and the garrison spent most of its time farming.The post was officially closed in 1858 when Minnesota became the 32nd state. It was purchased by by Franklin Steele and the post was turned into pasture for his sheep. When the Civil War began, Fort Snelling was re-opened to serve as a training center for the soldiers. These were the first soldiers to fight for the Union army.Between 1861 and 1865 over 24,000 soldiers passed through on their way to southern battlefields. By war's end over 2500 soldiers from Minnesota had died in battle or from illness with countless more wounded.

Sally Port to Fort

View of Fort

Another View

Model of Fort


The US-Dakota War of 1862 was an important event in Minnesota's history. In the summer the situation was desperate for the Dakota people as annuity payments were late and traders refused to extend credit which left many starving. On 17 August a group of Dakota attacked and killed settlers and the war began. Over a 6 week period hundreds of civilians and soldiers and Dakota were slained. 38 men were hanged in the largest mass execution in US history. The rest of non combatants were removed to Fort Snelling. Those who survived the harsh conditions of the interment camp were deported to western reservations.

Slavery had reached the Northwest Territory by the time Fort Snelling was built and fur traders employed labor and some officers owned slaves including Colonel Snelling and the post doctor Emerson. When Dr Emerson moved to St Louis, his slaves Dred and Harriet Scott sued for their freedom under the assumption that they had been enslaved in free territory. The case went all the way to the Supreme Court in 1856 where it was decided that slavery could legally exist in all states. This decision may have been a factor leading to the Civil War. The Scott's finally received their freedom and Dred Scott died 1 year later.
Dred & Harriet Scott

Living Quarters for Scott's in Kitchen

The first fort has been beautifully restored with interpreters guiding you with narration of how life was in the fort.
This is definitely worth a visit.

The Round Tower is the oldest standing structure in Minnesota. Over the years since 1820 it has been a guardhouse, washhouse,storehouse,prison, museum, private home and even a beauty shop.
Round Tower

Round Tower Signage

Inside of Tower

The schoolhouse was used as a classroom and a chapel.


The Sutler store served the soldiers, officers and families with goods and merchandise.

Sutler's Store 

Sutler's Store Merchandise

The Commanding Officer's House is one of four original buildings
Commander's House

Interior Rooms

Master Bedroom

Children's Bedroom


Commander's Office

Interesting Sled


Other buildings are the Shops, hospital, Indian Agency,Officers' Quarters and Barracks.


Gun Shed

Married Quarters

Soldiers' Barracks

Officer Dining

Enlisted Dining


Surgeon's Quarters

Hospital Pharmacy


Is There no Privacy?

Saddle & Harness Shop

Wheel Shop

Woodmaking Shop







We enjoyed our tour of both forts.

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