Historic Fort Snelling

National Historic Landmark

Mailing Address:
200 Tower Avenue
St. Paul, MN 55111
Directions

Hours

Sept-Oct:
Sat Only 10 am-5 pm
 
Memorial Day Weekend-Labor Day:
Tue-Sat 10 am-5 pm
Sun Noon-5 pm
 
Open Memorial Day, July 4, and Labor Day, 10 am-5 pm

 

Admission

Get Tickets
  • $12 adults
  • $10 seniors and college students w/ID
  • $10 veterans and active military
  • $6 children ages 5-17
  • Free for children age 4 and under and MNHS members
  • Museums on Us: One free admission for Bank of America and Merrill Lynch card holders the first full weekend of every month. Bring your card and picture ID.
  • Free parking

 

Contact

612-726-1171

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2017 Oct 21

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The Fort Expands (1865-1940)

Co. I, 25th U.S. Infantry Regiment, 1883.
MNHS collections.

Fort Snelling continued to expand in the decades following the Civil War. During the 1870s and 1880s, the fort became the headquarters of the U.S. military’s Department of the Dakota and was a staging and supply base for campaigns against American Indian nations in the west during the last half of the 1800s. During the 1880s the fort was garrisoned by the 25th U.S. Infantry, an African American regiment, often referred to as the "Buffalo Soldiers". The fort also served during the Spanish-American War(1898) and the Philippine-American War (1899-1902). Many stone and brick buildings were constructed after 1898 in order to house the infantry, cavalry and artillery units that garrisoned the post. Some of these structures are still standing today. 

U.S. General Hospital #29, ca. 1919.
MNHS collections.

After the U.S. joined the fighting in World War I (1917-1918) Fort Snelling became a processing center for thousands of Minnesota recruits. So many soldiers were housed at the fort that a temporary cantonment of hundreds of wooden buildings was constructed near where the Minneapolis-St. Paul Regional Airport is located today. During the war the fort’s massive brick barracks became a training school for junior officers and the post hospital was designated U.S. General Hospital #29 and treated wounded veterans returning from European battlefields. 

3rd Infantry at Fort Snelling, 1918

3rd U.S. Infantry at Fort Snelling, 1918.
MNHS collections.

After World War I, Fort Snelling came to be regarded as the "country club of the army," and soldiers stationed at the fort enjoyed polo matches, swimming pools and other recreational activities. During the 1930s the post received a face-lift when the Civilian Conservation Corps worked on repairing old buildings and constructing new ones. When the Selective Service Act of 1940 went into effect, the Fort Snelling Reception Center was created to process new recruits and help prepare them for military service.

 

Bibliography/Reources

"Nationalism in Minnesota During the Spanish-American War", Minnesota History, Spring 1968.

"Spanish American War Collections at the Minnesota Historical Society", Minnesota History, Fall 1998.

Spanish American War Records in the Minnesota Historical Society

Thirteenth Minnesota and the Battle for Manila

Holbrook, Franklin F. and Livia Appel. Minnesota in the War with Germany, vol. I and II. St. Paul, MN: Minnesota Historical Society, 1928.

Osman, Stephen E. Fort Snelling Then and Now: The World War II Years. St. Paul, MN: Friends of Fort Snelling, 2011.