Historic Fort Snelling: Bridging Our Past to a Brighter Future

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For thousands of years, the area around Historic Fort Snelling has evoked both pride and pain for people of many backgrounds. It is also a place of great beauty, located at the confluence of the mighty Mississippi and Minnesota rivers. Currently, Fort Snelling is unable to fully share its integral part of Minnesota history due to serious structural issues and limited space.

The Minnesota Historical Society (MNHS) is requesting $34 million in bonding funds from the State of Minnesota and plans to raise an additional $12 million in private funding to create a new visitor center by rehabilitating the historic cavalry barracks and ordnance buildings. The request also provides for the demolition of the current visitor center and landscaping of the vacated space to create a park-like plaza for reflection and commemoration. The project would increase exhibit space in the new visitor center and make the area easier to navigate.

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Through the completion this project, visitors of all ages and backgrounds will come together in a park-like commons overlooking the Mississippi. People will gather to share experiences and reflect upon the site’s many stories—stories of American history told nowhere else — placing Minnesota on the map for history and park lovers worldwide.

To commemorate the fort’s bicentennial in 2020, MNHS is embarking on a major initiative to reintroduce this dramatic area to Minnesotans and history lovers worldwide. I am excited to support such an important enhancement to our state.