Public Input Process

Several people gathered around a table in conversation.

A statewide conversation

Thank you for participating in our public input process around the name of Historic Fort Snelling. Between August 21 and November 15, 2019, nearly 7,300 people — from across Minnesota and beyond — shared their thoughts on what the 23-acre historic site should be called. The survey is now closed.

The Minnesota Historical Society asked for input on the name of the site in light of ongoing revitalization efforts and the expanded stories of history being shared there. These include expanded stories of soldiers, veterans and their families, enslaved and free African Americans, Japanese Americans, and Native Americans who have lived in the area for 10,000 years.

The name of the restored 1820s fort structure — which sits on about 4 acres of the property — will remain Fort Snelling.

A task force, chaired by MNHS governing board past president Phyllis Goff, is analyzing survey responses alongside feedback from public meetings held across the state. In addition, the task force will incorporate other considerations into a report, including MNHS’s mission, vision and values; strategic priorities; the vision for the historic site’s revitalization; visitor survey data and input from stakeholder groups, and present their findings to the MNHS governing board. If the board recommends a name change, it will be submitted to the Minnesota State Legislature, which has final authority over name changes for properties in the state’s historic sites network.

A group of people gathered for a public meeting.

Public meetings held this fall fostered rich discussions and represented different perspectives on the issue.

23-acre historic site

Map of the 23-acre MNHS property, currently called Historic Fort Snelling. The map contains the 1820s fort structure in the context of the larger historic site.

The name of the restored 1820s fort structure—which sits on about 4 acres of the property—will remain Fort Snelling. 


Historic Fort Snelling Revitalization

The Historic Fort Snelling revitalization project is slated to break ground in early 2020. It includes removal of the current, failing visitor center; creation of a dynamic new visitor center with a 4,000-square-foot exhibit inside a rehabilitated 1904 cavalry barracks; landscaping that provides opportunities for outdoor learning, reflection and commemoration; and improved parking, wayfinding and access. 


Did you know?

Fort Snelling vs. Historic Fort Snelling

  1. Fort Snelling (the 1820s fort) sits on four acres and was initially named Fort St. Anthony. The name of the fort itself will not change; it will remain Fort Snelling.
  2. Historic Fort Snelling includes the fort and sits on 23 acres of land at the confluence of the Minnesota and Mississippi Rivers, known as Bdote in the Dakota language. The name Historic Fort Snelling was officially adopted in 1993.
  3. Historic Fort Snelling is being revitalized. Visitors now learn and experience stories of many who’ve crossed paths there:
    • Soldiers, veterans, and their families, from the 19th century to today
    • Enslaved and free African Americans
    • Japanese Americans during World War II
    • Native Americans who have lived in the area for 10,000 years
  4. A new visitor center and new landscaping with outdoor learning is coming in 2022.



Public Input Process
Minnesota Historical Society
345 West Kellogg Blvd.
St. Paul, MN 55102