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MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Richfield in Hennepin County, Minnesota — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
 

The Prairie

 
 
The Prairie Marker image. Click for full size.
By Keith L, October 16, 2008
1. The Prairie Marker
(photo caption)
The Prairie Back of Fort Snelling, Seth Eastman, 1840s
Inscription. A Sea of Grass

In its early days Fort Snelling was surrounded by a sea of head-high grass. The vast Minnesota prairie was broken only by small groves of trees—willows, cottonwoods, and oaks that grew near creeks, lakes, and marshes.

Early soldiers at Fort Snelling had limited success farming the prairie. Tools to break the soil and seeds adapted to the climate would not be available until the late 1840's. They did find the prairie hay to be excellent forage for livestock, however, and mowed many acres of the long grass each year.

Tremendous Fires

"Tremendous fires on the Prairies—last night—light enough to pick up the Smallest Substance from the ground.

"Public Wood—20 Cords which had been cut, Corded up and paid for—was entirely consumed by the fireing of the Prairies yesterday evening."
Major Lawrence Taliaferro,
St. Peters Indian Agency Journal
October 24, 1827


"There are many modes by which the fire is communicated to them [the prairies], both by white men and by Indians—par accident; and yet many more where it is voluntarily done for the purpose of getting a fresh crop of grass, for the grazing of their horses, and for easier traveling during the next summer, when there will be no old grass to lie upon
The Prairie Marker and Fort Snelling image. Click for full size.
By Keith L, July 23, 2009
2. The Prairie Marker and Fort Snelling
The Round Tower is the oldest standing structure in Minnesota, having been built around 1820. It is believed that the tower may have been designed as a last-ditch defensive position since its musket loopholes face both inside and outside the fort's walls.
the prairies, entangling the feet of man and horse, as they are passing over them."
George Catlin, 1830

Minnesota Historical Society
Historic Fort Snelling
 
Erected by Minnesota Historical Society.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Minnesota Historical Society marker series.
 
Location. 44° 53.572′ N, 93° 10.979′ W. Marker is near Richfield, Minnesota, in Hennepin County. Marker can be reached from State Highway 55 north of State Highway 5, on the right when traveling north. Click for map. Marker is at Historic Fort Snelling. Marker is in this post office area: Saint Paul MN 55111, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. U.S. Army, Buildings 17 and 18 (within shouting distance of this marker); Colonel Josiah Snelling (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); Giacomo Constantino Beltrami (about 500 feet away); Elizabeth R. Snelling (about 500 feet away); Wokiksuye K'a Woyuonihan (approx. 0.2 miles away); Whiskey (approx. mile away); De Dakod Makoce Unkitawapi E E (approx. 0.3 miles away); Three Islands in the Mississippi (approx. 0.3 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Richfield.
 
Also see . . .  Historic Fort Snelling
The Prairie Marker and Fort Snelling image. Click for full size.
By Keith L, October 16, 2008
3. The Prairie Marker and Fort Snelling
National Register of Historic Places District #66000401
. "The story of Fort Snelling is the story of the development of the U.S. Northwest. While surrounded today by freeways and a large urban population, Fort Snelling was once a lonely symbol of American ambition in the wilderness." (Submitted on March 22, 2009.) 
 
Categories. AgricultureForts, CastlesNatural Features
 
Below the Marker image. Click for full size.
By Keith L, October 16, 2008
4. Below the Marker
The marker is located on the bridge above this highway.
View from the Bridge image. Click for full size.
By Keith L, October 16, 2008
5. View from the Bridge
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Keith L of Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin. This page has been viewed 1,105 times since then and 80 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on , by Keith L of Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin.   2. submitted on , by Keith L of Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin.   3, 4, 5. submitted on , by Keith L of Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin. • Kevin W. was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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