“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 Fairfax, 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 (75) Blue Earth County, MN (30) Brown County, MN (87) Le Sueur County, MN (9) Renville County, MN (44) Sibley County, MN (13)  NicolletCounty(75) Nicollet County (75)  BlueEarthCounty(30) Blue Earth County (30)  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
Fairfax is in Nicollet County
      Nicollet County (75)  
      Blue Earth County (30)  
      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, 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
2 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
3 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
4 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
5 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
6 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
7 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
8 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
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9 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
10 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
11 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
12 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
13 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
14 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
15 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
16 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
17 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
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18 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
19 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
20 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
21 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
22 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
23 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
24 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
25 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
26 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
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27 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
28 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
29 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
30 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
31 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
32 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
33 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
34 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
35 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
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36 Minnesota, Renville County, Fairfax — Veterans Memorial
A Tribute to All Who Have Served Us in War and Peace Making Us Proud to Be Americans US Veterans of Foreign Wars Post #8459 US American Legion Post #205 For God and CountryMap (db m78637) WM
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Dec. 6, 2023