St. Paul Civil War Bus Tour and Independence Day Celebrations in July at Historic Fort Snelling

For immediate release

Release dated: 
June 11, 2014
Media contacts: 

Megan Lawson • Marketing and Communications • 651-259-3141 •

Tom Pfannenstiel • Historic Fort Snelling • 612-725-2430

Quick facts: 

Place: Historic Fort Snelling
Address: 200 Tower Avenue
Fort Snelling History Center, St. Paul MN 55111
Cost: Prices vary by program.
Phone: 612-726-1171

St. Paul Civil War Bus Tour and Independence Day Celebrations in July at Historic Fort Snelling

An Independence Day celebration and post-Civil War era Bus Tour are offered at Historic Fort Snelling in July. Families can spend July 4 learning what life was like in the early 1800s with cannon salutes, a "mock battle," historic games and more. Also offered in July, August and September is a unique bus tour that explores St. Paul and paints a picture of what life was like after the Civil War for Union veterans, recently freed slaves and European immigrants.

Event: Independence Day Celebration
Date: July 4
Time: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Fee: $11 adults, $9 seniors and college students, $6 children ages 6-17; free for children age 5 and under and MNHS members.

Independence Day Celebration

Celebrate our nation’s independence at Historic Fort Snelling with activities that showcase what life was like in the early 1800s. Hear the roar of cannon salutes, watch a War of 1812 "mock-battle" on the Parade Ground celebrating Colonel Snelling's victory at the Battle of Oak Woods, witness a military dress parade, hear patriotic and military fife and drum music and try your hand at historic games. As part of exploring the history of freedom in America, visitors can explore the history of slavery in Minnesota and the part Fort Snelling played in the great debate over freedom during the 1800s.

Event: St. Paul After the Civil War Bus Tour
Dates: July 26, Aug. 23 and Sept. 13
Time: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Fee: $45/$40 for MHS members.
Reservations: required, call 651-259-3015 or register online

When the Civil War ended, Union veterans, recently freed slaves and European immigrants arrived by the hundreds in St. Paul. Some were returning residents; others sought a new home. Join a three-hour tour on an air-conditioned mini-coach to hear their stories of arrival or homecoming and explore the St. Paul they helped to build, a city trying to move on after a devastating war.

The tour begins at Historic Fort Snelling, where most Minnesota soldiers were sent out and welcomed home. Travel through St. Paul’s oldest neighborhood, the West End, where Union veterans and immigrants settled alongside each other. Visit historic Oakland Cemetery and find out how Minnesotans honored their Civil War dead. Explore the grounds of the Old Soldier’s Home, built for Civil War veterans in 1883. The tour includes an 1870s-inspired catered box lunch. Food is included in the ticket price. The tour includes at least four blocks of moderately paced walking on uneven surfaces. Please call ahead to make arrangements for guests with limited mobility.

About Historic Fort Snelling

Historic Fort Snelling is located near the airport at the intersections of Hwys. 5 and 55. Originally a frontier outpost, this fort was later used for military training from the Civil War through World War II. Overlooking the Mississippi and Minnesota rivers, the site is staffed with living-history interpreters who portray the soldiers, cooks, laundresses, storekeepers and craftspersons who inhabited the fort in the 1800s. The stone and wood-frame buildings have been restored to their original appearance. For more information, call 612-726-1171.

The Society’s calendar of events is posted online at The website also has information about all of the Society’s programs, museums and historic sites.

The Minnesota Historical Society is a non-profit educational and cultural institution established in 1849. The Society collects, preserves and tells the story of Minnesota’s past through museum exhibits, libraries and collections, historic sites, educational programs and book publishing. Using the power of history to transform lives, the Society preserves our past, shares our state’s stories and connects people with history.

The Minnesota Historical Society is supported in part by its Premier Partners: Xcel Energy and Explore Minnesota Tourism.