Near St. Peter in Nicollet County, Minnesota — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
"Only a Memory Now"
Traverse des Sioux had five taverns, two hotels, several churches, and even a brewery—some 70 buildings in all—and a population that at one time reached about 300. But dreams of grandeur were stilled when nearby St. Peter was chosen as the county seat in 1856. By 1869 nothing was left of the once-booming town.
The Mystery of Metropolisville
Edward Eggleston's 1873 novel The Mystery of Metropolisville drew on his life in Traverse des Sioux during the frenetic 1850s. "Metropolisville is only a memory now," Eggleston wrote. "The collapse of the land-bubble and the opening of the railroads destroyed it. Not only has Metropolisville gone, but the unsettled state of society in which it grew has likewise disappeared—the land-sharks, the claim speculators, the town proprietors, the trappers, and the stage drivers have emigrated or have undergone metamorphosis. The wild excitement of 1856 is a tradition hardly credible to those who did not feel its fever."
Erected by the Minnesota Historical Society.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Settlements & Settlers. In addition, it is included in the Minnesota Historical Society series list. A significant historical year for this entry is 1856.
Location. 44° 20.999′ N, 93° 57.029′ W. Marker is near St. Peter, Minnesota, in Nicollet County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of North Minnesota Avenue (U.S. 169) and Dodd Avenue (State Highway 22), on the right when traveling north. Marker is along an interpretive trail that is adjacent to the Nicollet County Historical Society Treaty Site History Center. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1851 North Minnesota Avenue, Saint Peter MN 56082, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Welcome to Traverse des Sioux (within shouting distance of this marker); Land-Seas (within shouting distance of this marker); Archaeology (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); A Minority in Their Homeland (about 300 feet away); Traverse des Sioux (about 300 feet away); Ministering to the Dakota (about 400 feet away); Ecakensdonyapi (about 400 feet away); Treaty of Traverse Des Sioux (about 700 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in St. Peter.
More about this marker. captions:
• Ruins of Presbyterian church, Traverse des Sioux, 1954
• Alfred Sully, View of Traverse des Sioux, 1856. Courtesy Beinecke Library, Yale University
Also see . . .
1. Traverse des Sioux(Submitted on July 30, 2014.)
2. The Mystery of Metropolisville. (Submitted on July 30, 2014.)
3. Alfred Sully. Wikipedia entry. "During and after the American Civil War, Sully served in the Plains States and was widely regarded as an Indian fighter. Sully, like his father, was a watercolorist and oil painter." (Submitted on July 30, 2014.)
Credits. This page was last revised on August 6, 2021. It was originally submitted on July 30, 2014, by Keith L of Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin. This page has been viewed 495 times since then and 25 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on July 30, 2014, by Keith L of Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin.