“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
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Historical Markers and War Memorials in Nicollet County, Minnesota

Clickable Map of Nicollet County, Minnesota and Immediately Adjacent Jurisdictions image/svg+xml 2019-10-06 U.S. Census Bureau, Abe.suleiman; Lokal_Profil;; J.J.Prats/dc:title> Nicollet County, MN (74) Blue Earth County, MN (26) Brown County, MN (87) Le Sueur County, MN (9) Renville County, MN (44) Sibley County, MN (13)  NicolletCounty(74) Nicollet County (74)  BlueEarthCounty(26) Blue Earth County (26)  BrownCounty(87) Brown County (87)  LeSueurCounty(9) Le Sueur County (9)  RenvilleCounty(44) Renville County (44)  SibleyCounty(13) Sibley County (13)
St. Peter is the county seat for Nicollet County
Adjacent to Nicollet County, Minnesota
      Blue Earth County (26)  
      Brown County (87)  
      Le Sueur County (9)  
      Renville County (44)  
      Sibley County (13)  
Touch name on this list to highlight map location.
Touch blue arrow, or on map, to go there.
1 Minnesota, Nicollet County, Courtland — Brighton
On the Red River Oxcart Trail to Traverse des Sioux 1854–First white man to claim land–Bruce Pierce. 1855-56–Then; Christian, John & Andrew Anderson; Christian & Torger Peterson & the Jensens. 1862–The Applebaum home . . . Map (db m73506) HM
2 Minnesota, Nicollet County, Courtland — Brighton United Methodist Church1854 – 1984
This Church Was Moved to Farmamerica, Wasega, MN June 1987 Site of the Brighton United Methodist Church Established in 1854 after the Rev. John Tidlund responded to the prayers of the early settlers. Services were held in homes and . . . Map (db m75307) HM
3 Minnesota, Nicollet County, Courtland — Courtland
1855 - First settlers were Jacob Harmon, Mr. Haresine, John Sidel, Jacob Gfeller, & Ole Nelson - Most of the early settlers came from Germany. 1856 - Village of Red Stone, near the ferry, was surveyed but never developed. 1856 - Hilo post . . . Map (db m66070) HM
4 Minnesota, Nicollet County, Fairfax — A Doctor's Life
The Post's surgeon lived here. In addition to treating the sick and injured, the post surgeon was himself a commissioned officer, in charge of enforcing proper sanitary measures. The regular inspection of living quarters, the water supply, . . . Map (db m71677) HM
5 Minnesota, Nicollet County, Fairfax — A Far Cry from Glory
Most officers in the regular army during the 1850s were professional soldiers with combat experience. Most had fought in the Mexican-American War (1846-47), and three quarters were West Point graduates. To those who had seen action in Mexico, . . . Map (db m71768) HM
6 Minnesota, Nicollet County, Fairfax — A Minority in Their Homeland / U.S.-Dakota Conflict
A Minority in Their Homeland For generations, the land stretching out around you was the homeland of the Dakota Indians. Through treaties in 1851, the Dakota sold all of their land in southern Minnesota. The treaties disregarded Dakota . . . Map (db m71126) HM
7 Minnesota, Nicollet County, Fairfax — A New Deal for Fort Ridgely State ParkThe New Deal and Fort Ridgely State Park — United States Civilian Conservation Corps —
President Franklin D. Roosevelt Creates the CCC During the early 1930s close to 40% of America's youth (16 to 24 years old) were unemployed and not in school. Twenty-five percent of adult men were unemployed. Out of this great economic . . . Map (db m71893) HM
8 Minnesota, Nicollet County, Fairfax — A Second Wave of Attacks
The Dakota plan of attack on August 22 was the same as on the 20th—a volley of three shots from the north, followed by a rush of warriors from the east, south, and west. The plan was disrupted again when a mail carrier was spotted on the New Ulm . . . Map (db m199447) HM
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9 Minnesota, Nicollet County, Fairfax — Attack from the Northeast
You are standing where cannon fire stopped the Dakota assault on August 20, 1862. According to Tasina Wakanhdi (Lightning Blanket), who was involved in both attacks on the Fort, the warriors who made the first attack on Fort Ridgely were men from . . . Map (db m71702) HM
10 Minnesota, Nicollet County, Fairfax — Bakehouse
Large wood-burning ovens emitted so much heat that they were housed in a special structure on this site, remote from the other fort buildings. Minnesota Historical Society Fort RidgelyMap (db m72596) HM
11 Minnesota, Nicollet County, Fairfax — Camp Women
In 1860, there were 39 women here at the fort. Most were the wives and daughters of officers and enlisted men. Others were governesses, servants, and cooks hired by officers. Civilian women like Wilhemina Randall, the wife of the post sutler, . . . Map (db m72751) HM
12 Minnesota, Nicollet County, Fairfax — 1 — Captain John S. Marsh State Monument
Erected by the State of Minnesota 1873 Built by Sullivan & Terry, Mankato. In memory of Capt. John S. Marsh • First Serg't Russell H. Findley • Serg't Solon A. Trescott • Corp'l Joseph S. Besse • Private Charles R. . . . Map (db m70679) WM
13 Minnesota, Nicollet County, Fairfax — CCC Camp Life is a Healthful OneThe New Deal and Fort Ridgely State Park — United States Civilian Conservation Corps —
"Life in a CCC camp is a different kind of life than most boys have known. An enrollee, as a CCC man is called, does not have his own private room. There is no one to pamper him. He lives with 200 other men of . . . Map (db m71888) HM
14 Minnesota, Nicollet County, Fairfax — 16 — Chief Mou-Zoo-Mau-Nee State Monument
Erected by the State of Minnesota in recognition of, and to commemorate the loyal and efficient services rendered to the State by Chief Mou-Zoo-Mau-Nee and the Chippewa Indians during the Sioux out-break and the civil war.Map (db m70730) WM
15 Minnesota, Nicollet County, Fairfax — Economic Engine
With hundreds of men and some 175 horses, the garrison had a gargantuan appetite for wood, hay, grain, corn, and beef. Unable to meet the requirements of the post through any direct federal supply system, the War Department issued contracts to . . . Map (db m71497) HM
16 Minnesota, Nicollet County, Fairfax — 2 — Eliza Müller State Monument
The State of Minnesota to the Memory of Mrs Eliza Müller 1877 Her valor and her devotion to the care of the sick and wounded soldiers and refugees during and after the Sioux Indian outbreak of 1862 will forever be . . . Map (db m70713) HM
17 Minnesota, Nicollet County, Fairfax — Five Days and Nights on the River
Elden Lawrence writes about a daring rescue led by his great-grandfather, Lorenzo Lawrence: The Dakota were divided about whether to go to war with the whites. After attempts to avert the fighting proved futile, many Dakota decided to . . . Map (db m72934) HM
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18 Minnesota, Nicollet County, Fairfax — Fort Ridgely
Fort Ridgely both contradicts and fits the popular culture stereotype of a frontier fort. Following its 1855 completion, the Fort’s primary role was to assist the federal government with an orderly transition of land ownership from American Indians . . . Map (db m70107) HM
19 Minnesota, Nicollet County, Fairfax — Fort Ridgely Closes
As the frontier moved westward, Fort Ridgely's importance declined. Troops were withdrawn on May 22, 1867, but the buildings and land remained the property of the federal government. Settlers pillaged the fort, carting off stone, wood, and other . . . Map (db m73002) HM
20 Minnesota, Nicollet County, Fairfax — 8 — Fort Ridgely State Monument
In memory of the fallen; in recognition of the living; and for the emulation of future generations.     Erected A.D. 1896, by the State of Minnesota, to preserve the site of Fort Ridgely, a United States military post established in . . . Map (db m70741) HM WM
21 Minnesota, Nicollet County, Fairfax — Fort Ridgely State Park's Buildings TodayThe New Deal and Fort Ridgely State Park — United States Civilian Conservation Corps —
The legacy of the hard work by the young men of the CCC and veterans of the VCC during the five years the camp was here lives on in the structures we still use and enjoy today. "The CCC has . . . Map (db m71918) HM
22 Minnesota, Nicollet County, Fairfax — Four Days From Fort Snelling
The steamer West Newton left St. Paul on April 26, 1853, transporting the first soldiers to the site of the new post. It took four days to get from Fort Snelling to Fort Ridgely. John P. Owens, passenger and editor of The . . . Map (db m71504) HM
23 Minnesota, Nicollet County, Fairfax — Garrison Life Was Like Clockwork
The army believed that routine promoted discipline. Soldiers were on duty six days a week from daybreak to dusk. Garrison life consisted of roll calls, inspections, parades, guard duty, weapons training, drills, and daily chores called fatigues. . . . Map (db m71993) HM
24 Minnesota, Nicollet County, Fairfax — Joseph LaFramboise -Interpreter to the Sioux
1826   Licensed U.S. fur buyer with H. H. Sibley. 1834   Owned Little Rock Trading Post on the Minnesota River. 1837   Interpreter for Indian Treaty at Fort Snelling and Washington D.C. 1838-39   Guide for Jean N. Nicollet, U.S. Gov’t . . . Map (db m183868) HM
25 Minnesota, Nicollet County, Fairfax — Log Buildings
Five log buildings stood in a row behind the barracks. They were among the earliest structures erected at the post to serve as officers' homes until regular quarters were completed. Archaeological excavations indicate that the building in the . . . Map (db m72801) HM
26 Minnesota, Nicollet County, Fairfax — Officers' Latrines
In 1972 Minnesota Historical Society archaeologists excavated a row of latrines that stood behind the officers' quarters, in order to retrieve household articles disposed of during the post's active years. This excavation revealed that the . . . Map (db m72670) HM
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27 Minnesota, Nicollet County, Fairfax — Officers' Quarters—A
The frame structure that stood here probably housed two officers and their families, much as a duplex would today. A central hall divided the building, and each half contained living, sleeping, and cooking areas. Minnesota Historical . . . Map (db m71980) HM
28 Minnesota, Nicollet County, Fairfax — Officers' Quarters—B
At first glance, this foundation of Officers' Quarters B appears identical to that of Officers' Quarters A. A closer look, however, reveals that this building was somewhat larger. Sketches of the two structures indicate they also had different . . . Map (db m71854) HM
29 Minnesota, Nicollet County, Fairfax — Officers' Quarters—C
This building was identical to Officers' Quarters B and was one of several Fort Ridgely structures excavated by G. Hubert Smith in the mid-1930s. Assisted by unemployed World War I veterans from the Works Progress Administration, Smith not only . . . Map (db m71625) HM
30 Minnesota, Nicollet County, Fairfax — Powder Magazines
This original log powder magazine, and another one similar to it, stood across the road in front of you when Fort Ridgely was an active military post. These buildings were used for storing ammunition and unused weapons. During the 1862 battles, a . . . Map (db m71726) HM
31 Minnesota, Nicollet County, Fairfax — Reinforcements Arrive
Soldiers and civilian refugees peered anxiously in this direction, fearing another attack and praying for help. The garrison had dug entrenchments and built an earthen wall south of the fort. Barricades on all sides had been strengthened. During . . . Map (db m71599) HM
32 Minnesota, Nicollet County, Fairfax — Stone Barracks
The immense stone barracks was the most impressive building at Fort Ridgely. Measuring 235 feet by 40 feet and two stories high, it could house as many as 400 enlisted men. Its two-foot-thick walls were made of rectangular granite blocks set in . . . Map (db m72209) HM
33 Minnesota, Nicollet County, Fairfax — Surgeon's Quarters—Headquarters
Fort Ridgely's commandant and its surgeon lived with their families in the structure on this site. A central hallway divided the quarters into two separate living units. The building was destroyed by fire in 1865. Minnesota Historical . . . Map (db m71667) HM
34 Minnesota, Nicollet County, Fairfax — Surprise Attack at Redwood Ferry
On the morning of August 18, 1862, Captain John Marsh, 46 soldiers, and interpreter Peter Quinn left the fort to respond to news of violence at Lower Sioux Agency. After an 11-mile march, the soldiers prepared to cross the Minnesota River at the . . . Map (db m71633) HM
35 Minnesota, Nicollet County, Fairfax — This Fort Had a Purpose
Fort Ridgely served as a buffer between Dakota Indians on the reservations and white settlers pouring into the Minnesota River valley. Soldiers stationed here enforced treaty agreements and protected the Dakota from intrusions onto their . . . Map (db m71197) HM
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36 Minnesota, Nicollet County, Fairfax — To the Memory of Hazen Mooers
Arrived in 1816 Becoming the First White Settler of This Community Donated & Erected by B. J. Krahn 1940 Hazen Mooers one of the pioneers of the fur trade with the Sioux, came to the no. west in 1816 conducted a trading post at Big Stone . . . Map (db m70664) HM
37 Minnesota, Nicollet County, Fairfax — Who Lived in the Barracks?
Most soldiers at Fort Ridgely were low-ranking enlisted men, and before 1861 most of these were foreign-born. Out of 166 enlisted men in the 1860 census, 70 were from Ireland, 34 from Germany, ten from Great Britain, and 33 from the United . . . Map (db m72429) HM
38 Minnesota, Nicollet County, Fairfax — Working Year-Round to Develop the ParkThe New Deal and Fort Ridgely State Park — United States Civilian Conservation Corps —
Although Fort Ridgely had been a state park since 1911, little development for recreation had occurred. Under the direction of the Department of Interior, the National Park Service (NPS) planned, designed, and supervised the . . . Map (db m71881) HM
39 Minnesota, Nicollet County, Lafayette — Bernadotte Co-op Creamery
Creamery, organized as "Riverside" in 1895 - changed to "Bernadotte" in 1944 - New creamery built 1936 - cost $10,518. It handled whole milk at all times. Patorns delivered cream over 40 years. Co-Op dissolved in 1959. Building sold and used as . . . Map (db m73900) HM
40 Minnesota, Nicollet County, Lafayette — Bernadotte Lutheran Church
Organized 4 May 1866 at Magnus Peterson home, Pastor John Pehrson, by Swedish settlers, 21 charter families, 104 families by 1870. Commemorated on native stone, set in 1937. First worship in homes, in school-house No. 26; first church built . . . Map (db m79770) HM
41 Minnesota, Nicollet County, Lafayette — Bernadotte Lutheran Church Monument
This Monument Erected by the Bernadotte Lutheran Church in memory of pioneers who settled here by and before 1870, and who organized and became members of same. Church was organized May 4, 1866. ——— The first resident . . . Map (db m79799) HM
42 Minnesota, Nicollet County, Lafayette — Lafayette Township and Village
First settler in township was Louis Sharro. John Bush and family came in 1854 and kept an Inn for travelers. Township organized in 1858. First post office 1859 - moved to Village 1897. Village platted 1896; Incorporated Feb., 1900. Minneapolis & St. . . . Map (db m66615) HM
43 Minnesota, Nicollet County, Nicollet — New Sweden Creamery
New Sweden Creamery Association was organized Jan. - 1895.   350 cows were pledged for the Creamery. The creamery was built in 1896. Jan., 1898, Samuel Haugdahl was hired as butter maker.   He received many state and national awards in . . . Map (db m73922) HM
44 Minnesota, Nicollet County, Nicollet — Nicollet Veterans Memorial
1917 · Honor Roll · 1918 U.S. American Legion Our Men Who Have Enlisted Boys Clarence-Infantry • Bresnahan Mike-2nd M.G. • ★ Bean Kenneth-Aviation • Bratsch August-Infantry • Currier Harry . . . Map (db m79069) WM
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45 Minnesota, Nicollet County, Nicollet — Nicollet Village
Early villages: 1856 Swan City, Dakota City near Judson, Eureka with the first post office later named Nicollet (a stage coach center). 1870 arrival of Winona, St. Peter Railroad moved Nicollet to present site. 1892, village had 4 . . . Map (db m211518) HM
46 Minnesota, Nicollet County, Norseland — New Sweden Indian Attack
  Mrs. Maria Jonsson, wife of Erik Jonsson, and their son Pehr, were killed by Sioux Indians on August 23, 1862, near their home in New Sweden Township, about five miles northwest of this marker. Both natives of Sweden, Mrs. Jonsson was . . . Map (db m73601) HM
47 Minnesota, Nicollet County, Norseland — Norseland Community
The name Norseland was originated by community spirited settlers - 1858-Norseland Store was built by John Burke 1896-Patrons built Norseland Co-op Creamery next to the Burke store which had a post office 1922-Emil Swenson became a partner . . . Map (db m73868) HM
48 Minnesota, Nicollet County, Norseland — Norseland Community
1854-Methodist church organized-disbanded 1900. 1858-Norwegian Lutheran church organized - 1911 present church erected. 1858-Scandian Grove Lutheran church organized. 1888 stone church erected. 1858-Burkes had a general store & post . . . Map (db m73881) HM
49 Minnesota, Nicollet County, Norseland — Norseland Lutheran Church
The Lord our God be with us as He was with our fathers; let Him not forsake us. Kings, 8, 57.     The Norseland Lutheran Church was organized in the year of our Lord, 1858, at the home of Johannes Johnson Odegaard, located 1 mile east . . . Map (db m73840) HM
50 Minnesota, Nicollet County, Norseland — Scandian Grove Evangelical Lutheran Church
In this house, built by Andrew Thorson in 1855 the early settlers met often for worship, and the Scandian Grove Evangelical Lutheran Church was organized on June 13, 1858. Dedicated to The Memory of the Pioneers 1953 In . . . Map (db m78600) HM
51 Minnesota, Nicollet County, North Mankato — Geology of MinnesotaMankato Region
     This marker is located near the big bend of the Minnesota River directly opposite the mouth of the Blue Earth River. The abandoned channel east of it is the former course of the LeSueur before it joined the Blue Earth. Most of the broad . . . Map (db m66715) HM
52 Minnesota, Nicollet County, St. Peter — "Only a Memory Now"
In 1856 a new town thrived where you are now standing. 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 . . . Map (db m75762) HM
53 Minnesota, Nicollet County, St. Peter — A Minority in Their Homeland
For generations, the land stretching out around you was the homeland of the Dakota Indians. Through treaties in 1851, the Dakota sold all of their land in southern Minnesota. The treaties disregarded Dakota people's traditional decision-making . . . Map (db m71537) HM
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54 Minnesota, Nicollet County, St. Peter — A River Crossroad
For centuries animals and people used the solid footing and shallow water at Traverse des Sioux as a natural river crossing. In time the crossing became a place for people to meet and trade goods. European fur traders were quick to see the . . . Map (db m73945) HM
55 Minnesota, Nicollet County, St. Peter — Archaeology
Archaeology is the recovery and study of material evidence, such as remainders of pottery, to help us learn about people and places of the past. In 1994 the Minnesota Historical Society conducted a survey to map and excavate the . . . Map (db m78179) HM
56 Minnesota, Nicollet County, St. Peter — District 6 School
This 1.1 acre site represents the history of public education in rural United States. It was one of 68 rural school districts organized in Nicollet County. The first school building on this site was built in the early 1860's. The present . . . Map (db m120011) HM
57 Minnesota, Nicollet County, St. Peter — Ecakensdonyapi
Here, for countless generations, Dakota people followed the traditional ways of their ancestors. Living close to the land, they learned how to read nature's signs and developed an intimate understanding of the habitats and growth cycles of . . . Map (db m207956) HM
58 Minnesota, Nicollet County, St. Peter — Exploring the River Valley
Although European traders reached this area in 1695, it was not systematically mapped until the late 1830s. The mapmaker was Joseph Nicollet, a French astronomer and cartographer who led two government-sponsored expeditions into what is now . . . Map (db m74990) HM
59 Minnesota, Nicollet County, St. Peter — Fur Trader Louis Provencalle
Because of its importance as a river crossing, Traverse des Sioux was a major distribution point for the fur trade. As early as the 1770s, the Dakota were trading here for guns, blankets, and kettles. One prominent local trader was the . . . Map (db m76158) HM
60 Minnesota, Nicollet County, St. Peter — Land-Seas
Imagine standing in this spot 150 years ago. It would have looked very different than it does today. To the west (your left) was a rolling prairie — vast, nearly treeless grasslands. In the summer the prairie would be ablaze with . . . Map (db m77940) HM
61 Minnesota, Nicollet County, St. Peter — Ministering to the Dakota
The Reverend Stephen Riggs and his wife, Mary, arrived at Traverse des Sioux in 1843 to establish a Protestant mission for the Dakota. He and other missionaries believed they had a duty to convert Indians to Christianity. Their efforts . . . Map (db m78112) HM
62 Minnesota, Nicollet County, St. Peter — Nicollet County Veterans Memorial
This memorial is dedicated to all the men and women from Nicollet County who served their country in the military service. ——————— Donated by Mrs. Maurice (E. Luella) Anthony . . . Map (db m65956) WM
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63 Minnesota, Nicollet County, St. Peter — Norseland Community
In 1854 the first settlers from Norway and Sweden arrived in the area. By 1858, the village of Norseland had formed, with the Norwegians gathering for church east of town and the Swedes to the west. That year, the Burke brothers opened a . . . Map (db m120010) HM
64 Minnesota, Nicollet County, St. Peter — Old Traverse Cemetery
March, 1856 – Traverse des Sioux and St. Peter organized a cemetery Assoc. purchasing 10 acres. Early Missionaries, pioneer, and Civil War Veterans are buried here. Rev. T. C. Williamson, first Missionary in this area and Rev. Stephen . . . Map (db m66414) HM
65 Minnesota, Nicollet County, St. Peter — St. Peter Boat Landing
About 150 feet North of this Park was the old boat landing. Boat transportation from the earliest years of this area until the 1870's was the main source of commercial transportation. The first steamboat to come up the Minnesota River was . . . Map (db m65784) HM
66 Minnesota, Nicollet County, St. Peter — The Bornemann House
First property owner was Wm. B. Dodd. Fourth property owner, Adolph Bornemann, born in Traverse des Sioux 1862. His father, Bernhard, a journalist from Germany came to Traverse des Sioux in 1856; built a hotel & raised sheep. 1869, the Bornemanns . . . Map (db m68094) HM
67 Minnesota, Nicollet County, St. Peter — The Eugene St. Julien Cox House
In 1871, Eugene St. Julien Cox, a man of eccentric tastes and "great vigor of mind" built this picturesque neo-Gothic Italianate house noted for its towered cupola, small balconies, and carved eaves. Cox began his law career in 1857 and . . . Map (db m65464) HM
68 Minnesota, Nicollet County, St. Peter — The Old French Cemetery
The Old French Cemetery was located south of this ravine. The earliest settlers and a few Indians were buried there until about 1850. (D. A. R. Emblem) Erected by Traverse des Sioux Chapter, . . . Map (db m66273) HM
69 Minnesota, Nicollet County, St. Peter — The Rush for Land
The signing of the 1851 treaty was the signal for settlers and speculators to rush into the new territory. Here, between 1852 and 1855, several town sites were laid out for sale. The first outfit to offer land was the Traverse des Sioux . . . Map (db m75224) HM
70 Minnesota, Nicollet County, St. Peter — The Treaty of Traverse des Sioux
Near this place on July 23, 1851, the Sisseton and Wahpeton bands of the Dakota sold 21 million acres of land to the federal government for $1,665,000—about 7.5 cents per acre. The Dakota, hoping to ensure a future for their children, . . . Map (db m71152) HM
71 Minnesota, Nicollet County, St. Peter — Traverse des Sioux
This ancient fording place, the "Crossing of the Sioux," was on the heavily traveled trail from St. Paul and Fort Snelling to the upper Minnesota and Red River valleys. Here, on June 30, 1851, Governor Alexander Ramsey, Commissioner of Indian . . . Map (db m65557) HM
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72 Minnesota, Nicollet County, St. Peter — Treaty of Traverse Des Sioux
Why a Treaty? Created by the federal government in 1849, Minnesota Territory was more than twice the size of the present-day state of Minnesota, extending into the Dakotas as far as the Missouri River. But white emigrants could not . . . Map (db m168092) HM
73 Minnesota, Nicollet County, St. Peter — Treaty of Traverse des Sioux Site
. . . Map (db m66310) HM
74 Minnesota, Nicollet County, St. Peter — Welcome to Traverse des Sioux
On July 23, 1851, a treaty was signed here that transferred millions of acres of Dakota land to the U.S. government. The treaty also resulted in the Sisseton and Wahpeton Dakota bands' movement to reservation lands along the Minnesota River. . . . Map (db m79309) HM
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May. 30, 2023