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Mendota in Dakota County, Minnesota — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
 

Henry Sibley and Old Mendota

 
 
Henry Sibley and Old Mendota Marker image. Click for full size.
By Keith L, October 27, 2010
1. Henry Sibley and Old Mendota Marker
Inscription. The Sibley House was built in 1836 for Henry Hastings Sibley, regional manager for the American Fur Company. The first floor was designed for business operations, and the second floor was his bachelor's residence. Two additions were made to the house after 1843, when Sibley married Sarah Jane Steele. The rear addition expanded the living space and added a kitchen and dining area, while the office on the left served as his business headquarters. Sibley also lived here when he served as the first Governor of Minnesota from 1858-1860. The Sibley family moved to St. Paul in 1862.

Largely run-down and abandoned by 1900, the Sibley House was saved by the Daughters of the American Revolution. Purchased for $1 from the Archdiocese of St. Paul in 1910, the DAR spent the next four decades restoring and furnishing the houses and other outbuildings you see today.

Also gone are the barns and outbuildings from Sibley's era, including a kennel that housed his large brood of dogs. An avid hunter, Sibley kept at least a dozen dogs including his favorite, an Irish Wolfhound/Scottish Deerhound mix named Lion who had the run of the house. A massive painting of Lion still adorns his office today.

Directly across the street from the Sibley House stood two vast warehouses for the goods and furs that made up the
Henry Sibley and Old Mendota Marker image. Click for full size.
By Keith L, April 29, 2011
2. Henry Sibley and Old Mendota Marker
bulk of the fur trade. Destroyed when the railroad came through Mendota in the 1860s, they only appear in paintings and sketches made before the Civil War.

To the left is the Cold Store, built about 1843 to store the thousands of furs that came to the site each spring from far-flung posts along the Minnesota River and its tributaries. Largely collapsed when the DAR bought the site, they restored it as a carriage house. Today the building is restored to its original 1840s appearance and is used as a spot to talk about the 19th-century fur trade.


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° 53.285′ N, 93° 9.949′ W. Marker is in Mendota, Minnesota, in Dakota County. Marker is on D Street 0.2 miles north of 1st Street / Sibley Memorial Highway (Minnesota Highway 13), on the left when traveling west. Click for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1351 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. The First Stone House (a few steps
Sibley House image. Click for full size.
By Keith L, October 27, 2010
3. Sibley House
from this marker); Mendota / Sibley House Association (within shouting distance of this marker); Faribault House (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); "Where the Waters Meet" (about 300 feet away); General Henry Hastings Sibley (about 300 feet away); Sibley House Historic Site (about 400 feet away); St. Peter's Church (approx. 0.2 miles 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]
Henry Sibley, Governor's Portrait from the State Capitol.
Lion by Charles Deas, 1841.
Sibley House after restoration, about 1915.
 
Also see . . .
1. Henry Hastings Sibley. Wikipedia entry. "The political boundaries changed so frequently from 1836 through 1862 that, although all of Sibley's children were born in this house, they were each recorded as having been born in different political units: Michigan, Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota Territory and finally,
Cold Store image. Click for full size.
By Keith L, October 27, 2010
4. Cold Store
the state of Minnesota." (Submitted on April 1, 2011.) 

2. American Fur Company. Wikipedia entry. (Submitted on April 1, 2011.) 
 
Categories. Industry & Commerce
 
Sibley House and Cold Store image. Click for full size.
By Keith L, October 27, 2010
5. Sibley House and Cold Store
<i> Sibley Home, Oldest Building in State, Now Owned by the D.A.R., Mendota, Minn.</i> image. Click for full size.
By The Acmegraph Company, circa 1915
6. Sibley Home, Oldest Building in State, Now Owned by the D.A.R., Mendota, Minn.
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Keith L of Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin. This page has been viewed 700 times since then and 26 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.   6. submitted on . This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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