Expanded Stories

Experience programs showcasing this unique place’s deep and diverse history.

Sharing a broader history

New tours, demonstrations, and activities expand interpretation at the historic site beyond the fort’s former focus on daily life in the 1820s.

Specific elements of what visitors can experience in 2019:

  • Costumed staff who demonstrate skills of the past.
  • Non-costumed staff who share and connect you with fascinating stories from the site's past.
  • Themed tours, including Landscape of Bdote, Women's Stories, and Remembering the US-Dakota War of 1862 (conversation-based tour).
  • Demonstrations of historical games such as baseball, in which visitors of all ages can participate.
  • Daily demonstrations of 19th-century military tactics, cooking, historic trades, and more!

A new era

The vision for Historic Fort Snelling is to inspire a better future by providing a place to learn, share, and connect with all the complex stories that shape our history in Minnesota and America. This includes expanding popular programs and partnering with community groups to develop new experiences that explore larger historic themes. As part of this work, MNHS is looking at whether the current name adequately reflects the expanded stories being shared here. Join a statewide conversation about the name of this important historic place.

A Dakota place

This is a place that has been a center for trade, travel, and life for thousands of years. The confluence of the Mississippi and Minnesota rivers is a sacred place to Dakota people, called Bdote, which continues to be home to the Indigenous people who were here long before the US Army first arrived. Native stories and Native perspectives are vital to understanding this place.

A soldier’s place

The stories of military service people, both past and present, and their role in shaping our history is a crucial component for understanding both the site’s history and our world today. We continue to grow our interpretation of military history, and guests can learn about soldiers at the fort throughout its history — from before the Civil War to today.

A place of community

Over the past 200 years, this place has been the site of a community of people that included traders, wives and children of soldiers, hired servants, enslaved and free African Americans, and immigrants who came to this area by the thousands as soldiers, workers, and settler-colonists.

We are committed to telling all of these compelling stories in old and new ways, inviting visitors to gather, reflect, and connect with the past as never before.