Mendota in Dakota County, Minnesota — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
Mendota / Sibley House Association
The Dakota people lived on these prairielands by the 1700s. They knew this place as Mdo'-te or "the junction of one river with another." French explorers and traders who were here in the late 1600s named the Minnesota river Sans Pierres because the river was silty but had few rocks. British explorers and traders who arrived a few years later misunderstood the French name, calling the river Saint Peter's. In 1852, the territorial legislature changed the name of the river to Minnesota, a version of its Dakota name.
The American military arrived here in 1805 when Lieutenant Zebulon Pike signed a treaty with the Dakota, purchasing a parcel of land that included the river valley and the high bluff across the river on which Fort Snelling was built.
What had been a meeting spot for the Dakota became a trading hub for the entire region when the American Fur Company opened a post at Mendota. Alexis Bailly
Trade ended here in 1851, when the Treaties of Traverse des Sioux and Mendota resulted in the removal of the Dakota to a reservation in the upper Minnesota Valley. Henry Sibley resided here until 1862 and led an active political career, serving as Minnesota Territory's first delegate to Congress (1849-53) and the state's first governor (1858-1860).
The Minnesota Chapter of the DAR was established in 1891 for the purpose of fostering patriotism, historic preservation, and education. Its members formed the Sibley House Association (SHA) in 1910 to preserve the then abandoned home of Henry Hastings Sibley, Minnesota's first governor and a descendant of Revolutionary
For the next 85 years, the DAR worked to make the house and its history available to Minnesotans. It raised funds, coordinated restoration work, collected photographs and artifacts, and operated a successful tour program. During that time it also added two other Mendota properties to the site. The house built in 1854 by Sibley's secretary, Hypolite DuPuis, was purchased in 1922, and operated as the popular Sibley Tea House until 1973, providing funds to run the museum. The 1839 house of Jean Baptiste Faribault, a long-standing Mendota fur trader was acquired in 1936 and restored with the help of the Works Progress Administration.
After 86 years of restoration and care of the Sibley Historic Site, the Sibley House Association of the Daughters of the American Revolution generously donated its properties and collections to the State of Minnesota in 1996.
[seal of The Minnesota Historical Society]
Erected 1987 by the Minnesota Historical Society.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Exploration Industry & Commerce • Native Americans • Settlements & Settlers. In addition, it is included in the Minnesota Historical Society, and the Works Progress Administration (WPA) projects series lists. A significant historical month for this entry is June 1930.
Location. 44° 53.282′ N, 93° 9.982′ 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). Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1357 Sibley Memorial Highway, 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. The First Stone House (within shouting distance of this marker); Henry Sibley and Old Mendota (within shouting distance of this marker); Faribault House (within shouting distance of this marker); "Where the Waters Meet" (within shouting distance of this marker); General Henry Hastings Sibley (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Sibley House Historic Site (about 500 feet away); St. Peter's Church (approx. 0.2 miles away); Mendota / Sibley House (approx. 0.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Mendota.
Also see . . . Houses of the Sibley Historic Site. (Submitted on November 21, 2010.)
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on November 21, 2010, by Keith L of Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin. This page has been viewed 1,002 times since then and 5 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. submitted on November 21, 2010, by Keith L of Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin.