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

St. Peter's Church

St. Peter's Church Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Keith L, October 28, 2010
1. St. Peter's Church Marker
Inscription.  Here at Mendota (where the rivers meet) missionaries ministered to both Indians and settlers, enduring the hardships of a sprawling wilderness that was the Minnesota country. In 1842, Father Lucien Galtier built a small, log chapel with only two windows, where the Catholics of St. Peter's Parish worshipped for nearly eleven years.

In 1844 Father Augustin Ravoux, who had already spent three years in the area, arrived at Mendota to assist Father Galtier. When Father Galtier left to serve another parish in the fall of that year, Father Ravoux assumed full responsibility for ministering to the thriving Mendota community, which was the American Fur Company's chief trading center with the Dakota (Sioux) Indians in Minnesota territory.

Father Ravoux had this church constructed in 1853. Built of limestone quarried nearby and roofed with hand-split pine shingles, the entire structure measures only 35 by 75 feet, and the rear portion was originally used as living quarters for the pastor.

The steeple has been twice replaced; the original cross that topped the spire now hangs over the inside door. While alterations have
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changed the interior, the exterior remains much as it was in 1853.

This church still serves St. Peter's Parish and is the oldest church in continuous use in Minnesota. From its vantage point, it commands a spectacular view of the Minnesota and Mississippi Rivers and of Historic Fort Snelling.

[seal of The Minnesota Historical Society]
Erected by the Minnesota Historical Society

Erected 1973 by the Minnesota Historical Society.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Churches & Religion. In addition, it is included in the Minnesota Historical Society series list. A significant historical year for this entry is 1842.
Location. 44° 53.161′ N, 93° 10.088′ W. Marker is in Mendota, Minnesota, in Dakota County. Marker can be reached from 1st Street / Sibley Memorial Highway (State Highway 13) half a mile north of State Highway 110, on the left when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1405 Highway 13, Mendota MN 55150, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. A Great River's Road / Mendota, the Meeting Place (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); Paper Towns & Other Imaginary Worlds / Frontier Fortunes and Mississippi Mansions (about 500 feet away); General Henry Hastings Sibley
St. Peter's Church and Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Keith L, October 28, 2010
2. St. Peter's Church and Marker
(about 700 feet away); "Where the Waters Meet" (about 700 feet away); Faribault House (about 700 feet away); Mendota / Sibley House Association (approx. 0.2 miles away); The First Stone House (approx. 0.2 miles away); Henry Sibley and Old Mendota (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Mendota.
St. Peter's Church image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Keith L, October 27, 2010
3. St. Peter's Church
Credits. This page was last revised on November 21, 2020. It was originally submitted on November 8, 2010, by Keith L of Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin. This page has been viewed 1,104 times since then and 43 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on November 8, 2010, by Keith L of Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin.

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Jun. 3, 2023