Historic Fort Snelling

National Historic Landmark

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

Hours

Closed for the season except for special events.
 
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
 
Sept-Oct:
Sat Only 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

Connect with Historic Fort Snelling

Historic Fort Snelling on Twitter Historic Fort Snelling on Facebook Minnesota History Center on Flickr

2017 Dec 13

Weather Forecast
 

Soldiers' Gardens

Soldiers' Gardens

In the 1820s, soldiers had to produce their own corn, wheat and vegetables, and tend livestock. See heirloom crops.

Topographical Map of Fort St. Anthony (Fort Snelling), drawn by Sergeant Joseph Heckle, 1823. Minnesota Historical Society Collections.

This map from 1823 shows the locations of some of the post fields and gardens. Soldiers cultivated fields to the west of the fort on the prairies, as well as along the river bottom below the fort.

 

History

To make the fort as self-sufficient as possible, the garrison planted crops in nearby fields. Soldiers spent most of their time cultivating and harvesting approximately 400 acres of corn, wheat, hay, and vegetables. Weather, flooding, and pests (specifically blackbirds) were the greatest threats to the fort’s crops. The military had so much trouble with frontier agriculture that in 1833 a general order was issued which disbanded the practice of requiring forts to grow their own food, with the exception of keeping vegetable gardens. However, officers were allowed their own personal gardens, which may have been worked by enlisted soldiers as well as by servants or slaves. 

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