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

Military Highways

Military Highways Marker image. Click for full size.
By William J. Toman, August 13, 2010
1. Military Highways Marker
Inscription. As the State was explored and settled by Euroamericans, it became necessary to connect one place of settlement to another. The Native Americans had numerous trails that they used, some of which had developed from animal paths. The Fur traders and the oxcarts that traveled between Winnepeg and St. Paul created other networks of trails, but as settlement increased there was a need for better maintained roadways.

Early roads established by the federal government were built to "facilitate the business of government". Establishing routes between military posts was the first order of business. In 1820 efforts were made to establish a road between Fort Snelling and Camp Missouri (located near present day Omaha, Nebraska), but surveys did not find a good route. In 1836 the U.S. Congress appropriated $100,000 to fund a road to connect the Red River of the North with Arkansas. Captain Nathan Boone arrived at Fort Snelling to begin the survey work in 1838, but it was never completed.

Not until the 1850s were the first military roads built. A law requiring the Secretary of War to construct certain roads in the Territory of Minnesota was passed on July 18, 1850. They were as follows: the Mendota-Wabasha Road, the Point Douglas-St. Louis River Road, the Point Douglas-Fort Ripley Road and the Red River Addition, the Swan River-Long
Military Highways Marker image. Click for full size.
By William J. Toman, August 12, 2010
2. Military Highways Marker
With the rest area shelter on the left
Prairie Road and the Mendota-Big Sioux River Road. The last which would have connected Fort Snelling to Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, was only completed to Mankato. Of the original 560 miles of military roads only small portions are still in use, as county and township roads. But those five roads formed the framework of the statewide network of roads that followed.
Erected 1997 by the Minnesota Historical Society.
Marker series. This marker is included in the Minnesota Historical Society marker series.
Location. 43° 38.218′ N, 95° 58.885′ W. Marker is near Adrian, Minnesota, in Nobles County. Marker can be reached from Interstate 90 2 miles west of State Highway 91, on the right when traveling east. Click for map. The marker is at a rest area on eastbound Interstate 90. Marker is in this post office area: Adrian MN 56110, United States of America.
Categories. Roads & VehiclesSettlements & Settlers
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by William J. Toman of Green Lake, Wisconsin. This page has been viewed 894 times since then and 114 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on , by William J. Toman of Green Lake, Wisconsin. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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