cultural territorial networks

archaeological heritage



The 1803 Louisiana Purchase transferred much of central North America to the U.S. from France. Fort Snelling was built in it at the confluence of the Minnesota and Mississippi Rivers to protect navigation from British advances out of Canada and to provide order as settlement began. Shortly after, Minneapolis was established on Mississippi. It became the location for the two largest grain mills in the world, earning Minneapolis the name of “The Mill City”.
Historic Fort Snelling has been reconstructed as a national historic monument. It is open daily to visitors during summer and autumn and features re-enactment of activities at the fort from the early 1900’s using actors in period dress. 
The Minneapolis Riverfront district has experienced rebirth converting historic industrial buildings, to house hotels, offices, shops and apartments. The Mill City Museum is built on the ruins of what was the largest grain mill in the world, and interprets the milling heritage. 
Nicollet Island exists in the middle of the Mississippi in the center of Minneapolis. It is part of the historical riverfront, where some of the earliest development occurred. It holds many historic buildings, adapted to modern uses and is owned by the Minneapolis Park Board.

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4.1 Historic fort snelling


Fort Snelling is located at the junction of the Minnesota River with the Mississippi River. The site was approved by the U. S Army in 1817 to secure navigation on two of the major transportation rivers in the U.S. and access to the Northwest Territories. It played a major role in relations between settlers and Native Americans.

Fort Snelling (originally Fort St. Anthony) was constructed from 1820 to 1825. It protected U.S. interests in the booming fur trade. It also maintained peace and deterred British advances via Canada. It also enforced boundaries between the American Indian nations and protected against emigrant incursions prior to land treaties.

The Fort is a national historic monument open to the public from late May through October. In offers interpretive displays, actors playing roles of the soldiers stationed there in the early 1800’s. It hosts walking tours, special events, interpretive re-enactments, classes in historical skills of the period and symposia.

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4.2 Minneapolis Riverfront District


The Minneapolis Riverfront is located in downtown Minneapolis. It is centered by St. Anthony Falls, the largest on the Mississippi River. The riverfront grew from a frontier town to a major industrial city in 35 years. Its former industrial sites are being turned to housing, institutional and other uses for the 21st Century.

In the 1820’s Fort Snelling opened the Mississippi River waterfront at St. Anthony Falls to settlement. The falls drew lumber and grain milling to the area. By 1880, the two largest flour mills in the world had located on the riverfront earning Minneapolis the title "Flour Milling Capital of the World."

The historic riverfront now includes the Mill City Museum that interprets the flour and lumber milling history of the riverfront. The internationally recognized Tyrone Guthrie Theatre produces plays on the south bank of the river. The Stone Arch railway bridge has been restored and converted to pedestrian and bike use.

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4.3 Nicollet Island, Minneapolis


Nicollet Island located in the middle of the Mississippi River just north of St. Anthony Falls and downtown Minneapolis, Minnesota. It is named for cartographer Joseph Nicollet. According to the United States Census Bureau the island has a land area of 48 acres (194,407 mq) and a population of 144 persons.

Nicollet Island was settled during the grain milling and lumber boom that occurred between 1830 and 1860. What is now Nicollet Island Inn was built in 1893 as the Island Sash and Door Co., and the current Nicollet Island Pavilion was also built in 1893 as the William Brothers Boiler Works. Much of the island is now owned by the Minneapolis Park Board.

Three multi-family residential buildings and 22 restored Victorian-era houses are located on the north end of the island on land leased from the Minneapolis Park Board.  The Hennepin Ave. Bridge crosses the Mississippi here connecting Northeast Minneapolis with downtown. Also there is DeLaSalle High School.

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