Tuesday, September 22, 2015


When my husband and I traveled to Minneapolis, we stayed in the Visitors' Officers  Quarters on the 133rd Airlift Wing for the Minnesota Air National Guard. It is located by the airport. In the evening we could sit out front and see/hear the planes as they turned around at the end of the runway to take off. (Didn't notice the noise inside our room though.) It was also very near Historic Fort Snelling and Fort Snelling Memorial Chapel.

Historic Fort Snelling was established in 1820 where the Mississippi and Minnesota Rivers come together to protect the fur trade business. It was also used as a site for military training for conflicts during the Civil War thru World War II. Dred and Harriet Scott were also held as slaves here for the doctor who brought them there. You can read some more about the Fort here.

We spent several hours there and learned so much from the "docents" who were dressed in the time of of 1827.

View from one of the Round Towers

Walking up to the Fort 
Looking back at the entrance from inside
The building in the center was the school house.

The Officers' Quarters and the Commanding Officer's House
We were there for the Infantry Drill
A close up of the musket
The kitchen beneath the Commander's Quarters

The woman here is actually cooking the meal (meat stew) that they will all enjoy for lunch later. 

The view of the entrance from the Round Tower
She was managing the post store.

This building housed the hospital. The post surgeon's quarters were in the far left end. Even though the fort was supposed to be representing 1827, they did have the quarters on the lower level set up with information about Dred and Harriet Scott, the slaves of Dr. John Emerson, who was the post surgeon from 1836 - 1849.  It was because of their stay in this slave-free area (Missouri Compromise of 1820) and probably the fact that woman slave had sued and won freedom for her and her son, that years later after the doctor died that Dred sued for their freedom. If you have forgotten your American history, you can read more about this and the historic Supreme Court ruling here.

After we left the Fort, we walked a little ways to the Fort Snelling Memorial Chapel. It was built in 1927-28 and is the first official U.S. military chapel that was built with community donations. Even though the Fort was deactivated in 1946, non-denominational services are still held there. The chapel was locked but I did get two pictures of the outside.

I almost forgot one more bit of information we learned. I mentioned that this location was chosen for the post because it was at this site that the Mississippi and Minnesota Rivers came together. We couldn't see the rivers from the fort, but were told back in the early 1800s there were no trees there. The location provided them a view of the rivers and any approaching traffic that might endanger the fur business. Here is a picture I took looking down on the Mississippi River from the entrance to the Visitors' Center. Hard to believe there were no trees there long ago.

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