Commanding Officers' Quarters
Designed by Colonel Snelling and architecturally similar to Georgian houses of New York's Hudson Valley, this elegant quarters was the home of the post commanders and staff officers until 1946. The Commanding Officers' Quarters is probably the oldest standing residence in Minnesota, though it was restored and altered several times since the 1820s. A front porch was added by the 1840s and a Mansard-style roof in the 1870s. Finally, in 1903 like the Officers' Quarters, it was enlarged with a second story, arched porch, stucco and red slate roof of the Spanish-mission style.
The Commanding Officers' Quarters was the scene of receptions and grand balls, the home of large and vibrant families, and a welcome haven for travelers. Here regimental business was conducted in the basement headquarters, government policy for a vast region was administered and formal dinners were prepared in the spacious kitchen.
Archaeologists examined the commanding officers' quarters in 1975, prior to restoration. Under the basement floor, they found remnants of hand-made brick laid in a herringbone pattern and the cold storage pit which originally held foodstuffs. Behind a wall were the pintles for the fireplace crane. A piece of a cornerstone was also uncovered, which with the complete text found in an 1862 newspaper article, allowed an accurate replica to be made.
Using a property inventory made by Col. Snelling just prior to his 1827 departure from the post, the house has been furnished to represent the home of Snelling, his wife Abigail and their five children. Costumed tour guides welcome visitors as "guests from back East" and invite them to share the gracious hospitality of the Commanding Officers' Quarters.