Civil War Exhibit and Programming Focus of August Activities At Historic Fort Snelling

For immediate release

Release dated: 
July 3, 2013
Media contacts: 

Megan Lawson • Marketing and Communications • 651-259-3141 •

Jessica Kohen • Marketing and Communications • 651-259-3148 •

Tom Pfannenstiel • Historic Fort Snelling • 612-725-2430 •

Quick facts: 

Place: Historic Fort Snelling
Address: 200 Tower Avenue
Fort Snelling History Center, St. Paul MN 55111
Phone: 612-726-1171

Civil War Exhibit and Programming Focus of August Activities At Historic Fort Snelling

Historic Fort Snelling is pleased to begin August with an exhibit of portraits by local artist Jay Wittenberg, highlighting the men of the First Minnesota Regiment who fought in the Civil War. Additional Civil War programs include a new trolley tour that focuses on the years following the war and the annual Civil War Weekend. Other programs include popular one-day camps, a free bicycle tour and the annual Labor Day family program.

Wittenberg portraitPortraits of the First Minnesota: Contemporary Civil War Portraits of Minnesota's First Regiment
Dates: Aug. 3 to Oct. 31, 2013

View works by local artist Jay Wittenberg, of members of the First Minnesota Regiment. The portraits of soldiers reflect the public service, personal sacrifice and Minnesota’s pivotal role in the Civil War. This exhibit is being offered in conjunction with the 150th anniversary of the Civil War and Minnesota’s participation in it. The images will be hung in the Visitor Center exhibit gallery space. This exhibit is free.

What: Day Camps
Time: Noon to 4 p.m.
Cost: $50/$45 for MHS members
Reservations: Required; reserve online.

  • Soldier One-Day Camp
    Date: Saturday, Aug. 3, 2013

    During the day, young soldiers can "enlist" for an afternoon with the 5th regiment at Historic Fort Snelling. The new recruits will learn about the lives of soldiers during the 1820s at Fort Snelling. Campers will learn to march and drill, watch musket and cannon firings and much day camp

    Space is limited to 12 campers. For ages 8 to 12.

  • Bugler One-Day Camp
    Date: Saturday, Aug. 24

    Spend an afternoon with the musicians of Historic Fort Snelling and learn how to play the bugle. Campers will be issued bugles so they can practice a variety of historic tunes, many of which are still used today. No musical experience is necessary.

    Boy Scouts can use this class to work towards their Bugling Merit Badge. Space is limited to 10 campers. For ages 10 to 14.

What: St. Paul After The Civil War - Trolley Tour
When: Saturday, Aug. 3 and 10
Time: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Cost: $45/$40 for MHS members
Reservations: Required, reserve online.

When the Civil War ended, Union veterans, recently freed slaves and European immigrants arrived by the hundreds in St. Paul. Some were returning residents, others sought a new home. Join a 3 hour trolley tour and hear their stories of arrival or homecoming and explore the St. Paul they helped to build, a city trying to move on after a devastating war.

Beginning at Historic Fort Snelling, you'll travel through St. Paul’s oldest neighborhood, the West End, where Union veterans and immigrants settled alongside each other. Visit historic Oakland Cemetery and find out how Minnesotans honored their Civil War dead. Drive through Rondo where freed slaves created a home for their children and grandchildren. Explore the grounds of the Old Soldier’s Home, built for Civil War veterans in 1883 and enjoy an 1870s-inspired picnic lunch, catered exclusively for the tour by Chowgirls Killer Catering. Food included in ticket price.
This program is made possible in part by the Legacy Amendment's Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund through the vote of Minnesotans on Nov. 4, 2008.

What: Civil War Weekend: 1863 Year of Decision
When: Saturday, Aug. 17 and Sunday, Aug. 18
Time: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Cost: $11 adults, $9 seniors and college students, $6 children ages 6-17; free for children age 5 and under and MHS members

civil war weekendTravel back to the year 1863 and explore Fort Snelling's Civil War history with costumed staff and re-enactors. Visit interactive learning stations to find out about Minnesota's soldiers at Gettysburg and other Civil War battles, the Emancipation Proclamation and the end of slavery, the Sibley Expedition of 1863, and much more. Demonstrations include cannon and musket firings, Civil War medicine, cooking and an 1860s fashion show.

What: Friends of the Upper Post WWII Tours: Biking
When: Sunday, Aug. 18
Time: 9. a.m.
Cost: FREE

During WWII, over 300,000 members of Minnesota’s Greatest Generation began their military careers at Fort Snelling. They were introduced to military life, were tested and assigned to units, and finally sent on to training bases around the country. Military police and railroad engineers, as well as translators of the Military Intelligence Service Language School received their specialized training at Fort Snelling.

Friends of Fort Snelling tours cover various aspects of Fort Snelling's 20th century history. Tours start at 9 a.m. in front of the HQ building, the main building with the clock tower on the corner of Taylor Ave. and Colville Ave.

What: Labor Day Weekend: Life in the 1800s from Cradle to Grave
When: Saturday, Aug. 31 through Monday, Sept. 2
Time: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Monday, noon to 5 p.m. Sunday
Cost: $11 adults, $9 seniors and college student, $6 children age 6-17; free for children age 5 and under and MHS members

cradle to graveVisit Historic Fort Snelling for a special Labor Day Weekend program that focuses on major life events for people in the early 1800s. Visit with costumed staff, explore the historic site and watch theatrical performances that highlight how birth, marriage and death were viewed.

About Historic Fort Snelling

Historic Fort Snelling is located near the airport at the intersections of Hwys. 5 and 55. Originally a frontier outpost, this fort was later used for military training from the Civil War through World War II. Overlooking the Mississippi and Minnesota rivers, the site is staffed with living-history interpreters who portray the soldiers, cooks, laundresses, storekeepers and craftspersons who inhabited the fort in the 1800s. The stone and wood-frame buildings have been restored to their original appearance. For more information, call 612-726-1171.

About the Minnesota Historical Society

This summer explore more than 500 museums statewide with the free Minnesota Museums app, brought to you by the Minnesota Association of Museums and the Minnesota Historical Society. Browse Minnesota museums by name, category or location; create an itinerary, check off museums you've visited and upload favorite museum photos; plus the app will also suggest museums based on geographic location. The Minnesota Museums app is made possible by the Legacy Amendment’s Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund through the vote of Minnesotans on Nov. 4, 2008.

The Society’s calendar of events is posted online at The website also has information about all of the Society’s programs, museums and historic sites.

The Minnesota Historical Society is a non-profit educational and cultural institution established in 1849. The Society collects, preserves and tells the story of Minnesota’s past through museum exhibits, libraries and collections, historic sites, educational programs and book publishing. Using the power of history to transform lives, the Society preserves our past, shares our state’s stories and connects people with history.

The Minnesota Historical Society is supported in part by its Premier Partners: Xcel Energy and Explore Minnesota Tourism.