Historic Fort Snelling 2020

Historic Fort Snelling Revitalization Project

Reintroducing Historic Fort Snelling

After more than two years of rehabilitation and improvements, MNHS is excited to reintroduce the public to Minnesota’s first National Historic Landmark - Historic Fort Snelling.

Here on Dakota homeland known as Bdote, come learn, share and connect to all of the complex stories of those who crossed paths here and shaped history in Minnesota – from the Dakota, Ojibwe, and enslaved people, to fur traders, immigrants, soldiers and veterans.

The revitalization project includes the removal of a failing 1980s underground visitor center and creation of the dynamic new Plank Museum & Visitor Center inside a rehabilitated 1904 cavalry barracks. The new center welcomes visitors with exhibit spaces and galleries, meeting rooms and classrooms, plus accessible restrooms, a museum store, and grab-and-go food and beverage. It will be open to the public year-round.

Visitors will also experience expanded outdoor learning opportunities in the revitalized landscape with stunning river overlooks, paved and unpaved pathways, native plantings, enhanced interpretive spaces and places to reflect as well as a picnic area, improved accessibility, and parking.

As part of the project, MNHS worked with community partners to design a new interpretive plan for the site that brings more depth to the cultural understanding and features more histories of the many people who have been part of its remarkable history, including Dakota, Ojibwe and other Native Americans, African Americans, Japanese Americans, women, soldiers, veterans, and more.

The reopening of Historic Fort Snelling represents the culmination of $34.5 million in improvements, $19.5 provided by State of Minnesota appropriations and $15 million in private funding. MNHS could not have accomplished this significant feat without this substantial support from the state appropriations made by the Minnesota Legislature and approved by the Governor, as well as the invaluable private support we received from many donors, including Raymond D. Plank, Ruth and John Huss, Eugene C. and Gail V. Sit Foundation and Sit Investment Associates Foundation.

See all past updates.


Watch video Reintroducing Historic Fort Snelling on YouTube

More about this project

The Minnesota Historical Society would like to express our sincere appreciation to our dedicated community partners who have participated as members of the Dakota Community Council (DCC) since June of 2017. Members of this working group have provided much needed guidance and expertise to help MNHS expand the interpretation of this site's complex history, and includes the following:

Carly Bad Heart Bull
Syd Beane
Dustin Beaulieu
Fern Cloud
Lonna Hunter
Franky Jackson
Teresa Kitto-Remick
Darlene St. Clair

Cheyanne St. John
Tamara St. John
Gabrielle Tateyuskanskan
James (JB) Weston
Sarah Weston
Noah White
Diane Wilson
Yvonne Wynde


Experience Historic Fort Snelling this summer.

With a human history 10,000 years in the making, the area now known as Fort Snelling is the site of essential stories of our shared past—some well-known, others known by very few. Now is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to connect Historic Fort Snelling and its stories in meaningful ways with an increasingly diverse Minnesota and America. #hfs2020

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