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 Nov 23

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South Battery

One of the surviving structures from the fort's early days, the South Battery looks out over Fort Snelling State Park.

History

Also known as the Hexagonal Tower, this limestone structure was designed to protect the front wall and landing road sides of the fort. Mounting two, 12-pounder iron cannons on the top floor, the tower could deliver blasts of canister shot the length of each wall. The two lower floors were built with embrasures, or long slits, for muskets in their outer walls. Colonel Snelling originally intended to build this defensive position as a blockhouse within the adjacent Commissary Warehouse. An 1821 map shows this feature, which was modified during construction. The South Battery is the least altered of the fort’s four original buildings. During much of the 19th century, it was used for storage, though its final military use was as a latrine for the nearby laundress quarters. In later years, a concrete floor was poured and the tower used to house an electrical transformer.

Archaeology

When archaeologists broke through this floor in the 1960s, they found quantities of leather military accouterments preserved in the mud below. They also found a chamber carved into the bedrock which likely held ammunition for the cannons above. Today, the battery has been carefully restored to its 1820s appearance and now features replicas of its original cannons.

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