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

“Where the Waters Meet”

 
 
"Where the Waters Meet" image. Click for full size.
By Keith L, October 27, 2010
1. "Where the Waters Meet"
Inscription. Called M'Dote or "the place where waters meet" by the Dakota, this area is central to many Dakota creation stories and is significant to Dakota people today. Just west of this site is Pilot Knob, which was used extensively for burials by the Dakota up to the 1850s.

Archaeological research has uncovered evidence of habitation at this location going back at least 9,000 years. Artifacts such as French gunflints and other trade goods clearly show this was one of the earliest fur-trading locations in Minnesota, perhaps as early as the 1660s.

The John Casper Wild painting above shows how much the site has changed since its heyday in the 1830s. The warehouses once stood directly on the riverbank, approximately where the railroad tracks run today. Much of the landscape changed in the early 20th century when barge channels were cut and natural burns were stopped in the state park along the river.

The trees now block what was once a tremendous view of the junction of the Minnesota and Mississippi Rivers with Fort Snelling standing over them on the opposite bluff. The river was the lifeblood of the fur trade, and was the major travel artery until the railroad came to Minnesota in the 1860s.

Today the land along the rivers are part of Fort Snelling State Park. Although the contact station and visitor center
"Where the Waters Meet" Marker image. Click for full size.
By Keith L, April 29, 2011
2. "Where the Waters Meet" Marker
are across the river, rough trails for running, hiking, and walking follow the banks of this back channel between the Minnesota and Mississippi.

Historic Fort Snelling
Minnesota Historical Society
Sibley House Historic Site
All images are from the collections of the Minnesota Historical Society

 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Minnesota Historical Society marker series.
 
Location. 44° 53.263′ N, 93° 10.004′ W. Marker is in Mendota, Minnesota, in Dakota County. Marker is on D Street 0.2 miles north of 1st Street / Sibley Memorial Highway (State Highway 13). Click for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1357 Sibley Memorial Highway, Mendota MN 55150, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Faribault House (here, next to this marker); Mendota / Sibley House Association (within shouting distance of this marker); The First Stone House (within shouting distance of this marker); Henry Sibley and Old Mendota (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); General Henry Hastings Sibley (about 300 feet away); Sibley House Historic Site
Dupuis House / Historic Site Visitor Center image. Click for full size.
By Keith L, October 27, 2010
3. Dupuis House / Historic Site Visitor Center

The interpretive panel is located beyond the Dupuis House by the Faribault House.
(about 600 feet away); St. Peter's Church (about 700 feet away); Mendota / Sibley House (approx. 0.3 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Mendota.
 
More about this marker. [photo captions, left to right]
Pilot Knob, Mouth of the St. Peter's River by Seth Eastman, watercolor, 1848.
View of Fort Snelling by J.C. Wild, 1844; At left is the Sibley warehouse, Pike Island is in the middle foreground while Fort Snelling stands above the junction of the Mississippi and St. Peter's (now Minnesota) Rivers.
View of Mendota from the Fort by Seth Eastman, 1848; In this view one sees the Sibley and Faribault houses and warehouses built next to the river.
 
Also see . . .  Mendota Mdewakanton Dakota Community. Who we are. (Submitted on November 7, 2010.) 
 
Categories. Industry & CommerceNative AmericansSettlements & Settlers
 
Dupuis House / Historic Site Visitor Center image. Click for full size.
By Keith L, October 28, 2010
4. Dupuis House / Historic Site Visitor Center

[highway sign at right]
Historic Site
Sibley House
Faribault House
DuPuis House
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Keith L of Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin. This page has been viewed 869 times since then and 31 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. submitted on , by Keith L of Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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