Timeline

About 1779
Fur traders begin frequenting the Mendota area.
1820s
Mendota becomes one of the most important centers of Minnesota's fur trade.
1826
Jean-Baptiste Faribault, who had begun participating in the fur trade at a very young age, arrives in Mendota.
1834
Henry H. Sibley arrives in the Mendota area as a young fur trader.
About 1836
Construction of the Sibley House is completed. Sibley, a bachelor, moves in.
1839–1840
Faribault House is built. It begins use as a residence and inn.
1840s
Mendota ferry begins service and becomes an important link between the village and Fort Snelling. Fur traders and the military depend on its transportation.
1847
After spending two decades in the Mendota fur trade — where he was respected by the Indians for his intelligence and fairness — Faribault leaves the area, shortly after his wife's death.
1849
Minnesota becomes a US Territory. Sibley, Minnesota's most powerful fur trader, becomes the territory's first representative to Congress.
1851
Two treaties are signed: one at Traverse des Sioux and one at Mendota. US officials (including Sibley) meet with hundreds of Dakota to negotiate the terms. The Dakota give up most of their remaining lands — about 35 million acres — and soon afterward, streams of white colonists begin coming to Minnesota.
1858
Minnesota state elects its first governor: Henry H. Sibley.
1850–1860
In the decade following the 1851 treaties, Minnesota's white population grows at an incredible rate — more than 3,500 percent — from 4,800 to 170,000.
1862
Sibley is named commander of volunteer forces in the US-Dakota War. The Sibley family moves to St. Paul, selling their Mendota home to St. Peter's church.
1860s and 70s
Nuns operate a school and convent in the Sibley House.
1880s
No longer bustling with activity, Mendota becomes a relatively quiet village.
1890s
During the summers, well-known artist Burt Harwood uses the Sibley House as an art studio and school.
Early 1900s
Deserted, the Sibley house falls into gradual decay.
1909
St. Peter's church donates the Sibley property to the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR). The DAR begins restoring the Sibley House as a historic site.
1910
The DAR opens the Sibley House to the public.
1934
Restoration of Faribault House begins.
1937
Newly restored Faribault House opens to the public.