The Oldest Building In Minnesota Was A Part Of A Historic Fort That's Now The Centerpiece Of A State Park
By Trent Jonas|Published July 05, 2023
Trent Jonas came to Minnesota to attend college - and never left. He's a Twin Cities-based writer with a BA in English and a MFA in creative writing, a Minnesota Master Naturalist, and the proud father of two adult children. With more than a decade of freelance writing experience under his belt, Trent is often out exploring his favorite topics: Minnesota's woods, lakes, and trails. Rhubarb pie is his weakness, so discovering new diners is also a passion.
Surrounded by a state park that bears its name, historic Fort Snelling is a controversial structure in the history of Minnesota and the Upper Midwest. Now operated by the Minnesota Historical Society, the fort is home to the oldest building in Minnesota – and it is intertwined with some of its darkest history.
With more than two centuries of history, the oldest building in Minnesota casts a long shadow, much of which is dark. It’s for this reason that interpretation of sites like Fort Snelling and Old Mendota, which rose up along side it and abuts part of Fort Snelling State Park, must take a broader view of history so that we can all understand the complexities – and often tragedies – involved in the development of what is now the state of Minnesota.
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