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New visitor center and grounds debut over Memorial Day weekend at historic Fort Snelling

Visitor Center to now be open year-round.

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Historic Fort Snelling, Minnesota’s first National Historic Landmark, reopened to the public on Saturday, May 28, 2022, with a new visitor center and a site that now includes more historical perspectives.
Courtesy / Minnesota Historical Society via St. Paul Pioneer Press
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ST. PAUL -- The Minnesota Historical Society announced on Tuesday that it is “reintroducing” Historic Fort Snelling to the public over Memorial Day weekend.

A new visitor center — located inside newly rehabilitated 1904 cavalry barracks — will open to the public on May 28.

Over Memorial Day weekend, visitors can check out the new visitor center as well as the site’s expanded interpretive spaces, scenic walking paths and improved overlooks, Indigenous landscapes with native plantings and other changes. The site, which is a National Historic Landmark, also has improved accessibility, parking and a picnic spot.

Thanks to staff and historians, the public can now come to Fort Snelling and learn about the site’s role over time, from when it was the homeland of the Dakota to its role in World War II and beyond.

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Historic Fort Snelling is seen in an aerial photo taken May 5, 2016. After more than two years of rehabilitation and improvements, Minnesota's first National Historic Landmark will reopen to the public year-round on May 28, 2022.
John Autey / St. Paul Pioneer Press

The changes, made over more than two years, cost $34.5 million, with $19.5 million provided by the state of Minnesota and $15 million from private funding.

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Public programming during Memorial Day weekend includes live music, a Civil War cannon demonstration, an 1890s mechanized infantry bicycle demonstration and a World War I demonstration that shows how the game of baseball was used to train soldiers on the use of gas masks.

With its reintroduction, the visitor center and the site will now be open throughout the year, instead of just seasonally.

Memorial Day weekend at Fort Snelling

Location: Historic Fort Snelling is located at Minnesota Highways 5 and 55 overlooking the Mississippi and Minnesota rivers, 200 Tower Ave., St. Paul.

Hours/dates: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. from Saturday, May 28, through Monday, May 30; Summer hours: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesdays – Sundays; closed Labor Day

Admission: $12 for adults, $10 for seniors (65 and older), college students and active military; $8 for children ages 5 to 17

Parking: $6 ($4 for members of the Minnesota Historical Society)

Info: Mnhs.org/fortsnelling

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