Fort Snelling’s buildings were arranged around the parade ground in a roughly symmetrical pattern. Opposite the Colonel’s Quarters, and roughly the same size, was the Powder Magazine.
This massively constructed building held 1,000 pounds of gunpowder as well as fixed cartridges, small arms ammunition and musket flints. To limit the danger from sparks, it was lined with a wooden half wall and no nails are used in the flooring. A double roof helped keep the Magazine cool, and a double entrance and blast wall were built to provide more blast deflection, should the building’s contents explode.
With walls 6-feet thick, it is the only one of Historic Fort Snelling’s reconstructed buildings set on its original foundations.
Recreated powder barrels and ammunition crates fill the Magazine today. An inventory taken in the 1820s and discovered in the National Archives was used to accurately furnish the building.