Civil War Family Day and Architecture Tour at Minnesota State Capitol in December

For immediate release

Release dated: 
November 20, 2013
Media contacts: 

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

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

Brian Pease • Minnesota State Capitol • 651-296-1735 •

Quick facts: 

Place: Minnesota State Capitol
Address: 75 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., St. Paul MN 55155
Cost: Varies by program
Phone: 651-296-2881

Civil War Family Day and Architecture Tour at Minnesota State Capitol in December


Event: Civil War Family Day
Date: Friday, Dec. 27
Time: 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.smith
Cost: $5/$2 discount for MNHS members.

In 1861, the new state of Minnesota was the first to respond to President Lincoln's call for volunteer troops to defend the Union, sending 25,000 troops, or about half of the state's eligible male population. Minnesotans played a vital role in the Civil War, fighting in most of the war's battles including a dramatic charge at Gettysburg.

Visitors are encouraged to learn more about the Civil War experience of Minnesota's soldiers by participating in tours and activities during Civil War Family Day at the Minnesota State Capitol. Sample hardtack and try on a uniform frock coat and military equipment worn by Union soldiers. Learn about the battles and the soldiers who fought them while viewing four large Civil War paintings displayed in the the Governor's Reception Room. Larger-than-life statues of Minnesota's war heroes await in the Capitol rotunda and newly conserved Civil War flags will be on display. Visitors will also be able to test their skills in the Crack the Code scavenger hunt and make a medal to take home.

Event: Architecture Tour of the State Capitol
Date: Saturday, Dec. 28
Time: 11 a.m.
Cost: $9 adults, $8 seniors and college students, $6 children ages 6 to 17; $2 discount for MNHS members. dome
Reservations: Required; register online

The Minnesota State Capitol's grand and sophisticated design brought national notoriety to architect Cass Gilbert. Construction began in 1898 and Gilbert involved himself in all the details, including furnishings and landscaping, even after his move to New York City. Learn more about Gilbert and the features of the building that has been called an architectural masterpiece. The 90-minute tour includes stops in the legislative chambers and the rotunda. Take in a stunning view of St. Paul during a special rooftop visit and a close look at the Quadriga (the golden four-horse chariot) if weather permits. Visitors can also see a cut-away drawing of the unique dome system and photographs documenting the 1898-1905 construction of the building. Books on the life and career of Cass Gilbert will be available for purchase at the Information Desk.

About the Minnesota State Capitol

The Capitol is north of downtown St. Paul at 75 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., accessible from I-94 and I-35E. It is open for free guided tours year-round, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and 1 to 3 p.m. Sundays. The last tour leaves one hour before closing. Reservations are recommended for special events. Call 651-296-2881 for more information.

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.

About the Minnesota Historical Society

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.