Minnesota is full of natural and man-made beauty from waterfalls and lakes to architectural masterpieces. But MN also holds a lot of history in its land and buildings. Some of the most fascinating places to visit in Minnesota are historical landmarks, from houses to industrial sites. Here are 12 of our favorites, that everyone should visit:
1. Fort Snelling on the Mississippi is one of the city's favorite landmarks, and rightfully so.
It is surrounded by beautiful river adjacent land, now a state park. It was built from 1820 to 1824, and originally called Fort Saint Anthony. It was used as a training ground during the Civil War, and World War II, and decommissioned in 1946. The builds are continually being resorted, and the fort is now an education center run by the Minnesota Historical Society where you can learn about military history, the fur trade, and the significance of the land to Native American communities.
2. The James J. Hill House might be one of the most fun to tour in MN.
Built in 1891 by railroad magnate James J. Hill, the house in St. Paul features a grandiose interior and massive lot.
3. Grand Portage National Monument tells the story of MN's fur trade as well as Ojibwa history.
It is a fun place on the shore of Superior to learn about Ojibwa culture and the voyageurs who traded and traveling along the Pigeon River.
4. The Hull-Rust-Masoning Mine is huge. So huge in fact, that it's one of the world's largest open pit iron mines.
In Hibbing you can find this epic mine and peer into its abyss, as well as find the remnants of Old Hibbing, before the town was moved. That's right... the entire town was moved, to make room for (you guessed it) more mining!
5. Mille Lacs Kathio State Park holds some of MN's most fascinating history in its archeological sites.
The site of Native Burial Mounds and evidence of copper tools, this place is a up and coming history buff's dream. Even a simple stroll can teach you more than you ever thought you'd know about Minnesota's history.
6. The Plummer Building in Rochester is a part of the world-renowned Mayo Clinic and an architectural masterpiece.
It was designed by Ellerbe & Co., and was the tallest building in Minnesota until the Foshay Tower was built.
7. The St. Croix Boom Site holds the stories of MN's logging industry of the early 1900s.
The series of booms caught logs in the river as they were cut, and the St. Croix Boom Company would collect them and distribute them to the proper owners (as previously marked on the trees). It has one of MN's first historical roadside markers, and is a symbol of the one massively destructive industries in MN that has since faded.
8. Soudan Underground Mine State Park is another state favorite for the adventure it provides visitors.
The underground mine holds a University of Minnesota laboratory, and allows visitors to go down 27 levels near Lake Vermilion and learn about mining history and construction.
9. Mill City Museum is a gorgeous museum and historic landmark in Minneapolis that tells the story of MN's milling industry.
It was once the Washburn "A" Mill, which had a history with a massive explosion, and then a horrible fire, which left it in a state of disrepair until the Minnesota Historical Society built the museum.
10. Split Rock Lighthouse is one of our most iconic landmarks, its silhouette against Lake Superior is undoubtably one of the most recognizable images of our state.
It was built to help ships find their way safely across Superior, after a massive storm that claimed nearly 30 ships included the Madeira, whose wreckage is near the lighthouse. It was retired in 1969, and visited frequently today. It is in one of the most popular state parks, and is one of the most picturesque lighthouses around.
11. Pipestone National Monument is Minnesota and national treasure for the history it contains.
The stone from this sacred Native American site is used to make special pipes essential to the prayer process.
12. In Saint Paul, Summit Terrace, or the F. Scott Fitzgerald House at 599 Summit Avenue, is one of Minnesota's most treasured homes.
It's part of a "New York" style rowhouse and part of the Historic Hill District. It is where Fitzgerald's parents lived for many years, and where the author lived for some time and wrote frequently before moving out of state.