November 11th, 2006

Old Corps

"New" Fort Snelling

Fort Snelling was originally constructed at the juncture of the Minnesota and Mississippi Rivers (present-day Saint Paul, MN) to keep white settlers out of fur trade country, keep the peace between the Dakota and Ojibwe, and extend American influence past the Great Lakes. The original walled fort has been restored as a historic tourist site, but in the years after the Civil War, the post expanded beyond the old walls. There were several major building booms, in the 1870s, 1890s, and 1920s. Between the World Wars, the post was known as a "plum" assignment for the Army and had a popular polo grounds. It closed for good in 1946 as a permanent installation but some buildings were used for Reserve and Guard purposes and as adjunct clinics for the nearby VA Hospital up into the 1980s.

The later buildings are falling into disrepair. Much of the west end of the post has been taken out by Minneapolis/St Paul Int'l Airport,and no one has lived in some of these buildings since the early 1970s. I took a bunch of pix in the summer of 2005. Various schemes to use and renovate some of the old post buildings have come up, but none has come to fruition and I fear someday the bulldozers will do what time and Minnesota climate have not done. I'll stick a couple shots up here and try to get a few others out over the next few days/weeks.

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If you guys like this stuff, I have a number of other pix of buildings at Fort Snelling.