Joseph Renville, an explorer and fur trader whose mother was Dakota and father French, established a fur post at Lac qui Parle in 1826 and invited missionaries to the site. The mission was established in 1835, and there the first Dakota dictionary, grammar and gospel were completed. After Renville's death in 1846, Dakota opposition to the mission forced the missionaries out.
A chapel built in the 1940s by the WPA features exhibits related to the Dakota and the missionaries who worked with them. Visitors can learn about life in the pre-territorial mission, the development of the Dakota alphabet and the translation of the Bible into the Dakota language.
The site is managed by Chippewa County Historical Society. It is located eight miles northwest of Montevideo on Chippewa County Hwy. 13, off U.S. Hwy. 59.
For more information, visit www.mnhs.org/lacquiparle. For more information about the U.S.-Dakota War of 1862, visit www.usdakotawar.org.