About 1779

Fur traders begin frequenting the Mendota area.


Mendota becomes one of the most important centers of Minnesota's fur trade.


Jean-Baptiste Faribault, who had begun participating in the fur trade at a very young age, arrives in Mendota.


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.


Faribault House is built. It begins use as a residence and inn.


Mendota ferry begins service and becomes an important link between the village and Fort Snelling. Fur traders and the military depend on its transportation.


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.


Minnesota becomes a US Territory. Sibley, Minnesota's most powerful fur trader, becomes the territory's first representative to Congress.


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.


Minnesota state elects its first governor: Henry H. Sibley.


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.


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.


No longer bustling with activity, Mendota becomes a relatively quiet village.


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.


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.


The DAR opens the Sibley House to the public.


Restoration of Faribault House begins.


Newly restored Faribault House opens to the public.