Fort Snelling

    Following the War of 1812 the War Department created a chain of forts between Lake Michigan and the Missouri River to defend against British encroachment through Canada.  The fort was called Fort Saint Anthony during its construction from 1820 to 1824 by the 5th Infantry Regiment commanded by Colonel Josiah Snelling.  In 1825 the fort was completed and the Army changed the name to Fort Snelling in honor of Col. Snelling's contribution.  Snelling died in 1828 from complications related to dysentery.  In its early years the fort was responsible for protecting settlers, as well as maintaining peace between the Ojibwe and Dakota tribes in the area.  In 1857 the War Department decided that the towns of Minneapolis and St. Paul made the fort unnecessary and sold the property to Franklin Steele, who hoped to create the City of Fort Snelling on the land.
    In 1861 the Civil War broke out and Governor Alexander Ramsey promised President Lincoln a regiment of 1,000 volunteers immediately.  Fort Snelling was reopened and served as a rendezvous and training center for Union soldiers.  The 1st Minnesota Volunteer Infantry was the first regiment of soldiers offered to the Union, and distinguished themselves at Gettysburg.  In 1862 the U.S.-Dakota War prompted several units to return to Minnesota for the six week engagement.  Fort Snelling served as an internment camp following the war, housing nearly 1,600 Dakota who surrendered at Camp Release.
    The Fort's last military engagement was WWII, where it was used as an induction point for new recruits from December 1941 until its decommission.  Specialized units were trained in the fort as well as inductees, it began with Military Police and the 99th Infantry Battalion Separate who spoke Norwegian and trained to fight on skis and snowshoes.  In 1944 the Military Intelligence Service Language School was established in the fort, where it would train second-generation Japanese-Americans as interpreters, interrogators and intelligence workers.
    The fort was decommissioned following the war in 1946, though the U.S. Military still maintains several buildings and properties for use by reservists.

Site Address: 200 Tower Ave., St. Paul, MN 55111
Phone: 612-726-1171

Memorial Day-Labor Day
    Tuesday-Saturday: 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
    Sunday: Noon - 5:00 p.m.
    Saturday: 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Memorial Day, July 4th, and Labor Day: 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Adults: $11
Seniors: $9
Students with ID: $9
Active Military  with ID: $9
Children (6-17): $6
Children 5 and under: Free
Historical Society Members: Free

Historic Fort Snelling Website