Near Richfield in Hennepin County, Minnesota — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
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 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
George Catlin, 1830
Minnesota Historical Society
Historic Fort Snelling
Erected by Minnesota Historical Society.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Agriculture • Forts and Castles • Natural Features. In addition, it is included in the Minnesota Historical Society series list. A significant historical month for this entry is October 1860.
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. Marker is at Historic Fort Snelling. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Saint Paul MN 55111, United States of America. Touch for directions.
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 WoyuonihanWhiskey (approx. ¼ mile away); De Dakod Makoce Unkitawapi E E (approx. 0.3 miles away); Three Islands in the Mississippi (approx. 0.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Richfield.
Also see . . . Historic Fort Snelling. "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.)
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on March 22, 2009, by Keith L of Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin. This page has been viewed 1,318 times since then and 16 times this year. Photos: 1. submitted on March 22, 2009, by Keith L of Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin. 2. submitted on August 26, 2009, by Keith L of Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin. 3, 4, 5. submitted on March 22, 2009, by Keith L of Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin. • Kevin W. was the editor who published this page.