Our family went to the Historic Fort Snelling recently on a hot summer day. It is an interesting piece of Minnesota and Minneapolis history. The fort was built over a period of years from 1820′s to it’s completion in 1825. The location was selected because it was on a bluff overlooking the junction of 2 major rivers, the Minnesota River and the Mississippi River.
In the early history of the fort, it was instrumental in the fur trading industry, due to the regions booming trade industry. It also was used to keep peace in the region.
The fort was used to train soldiers in the Civil War, and was the induction point for WWII soldiers.
In the 60′s Fort Snelling was saved from a freeway, dedicated as a National Landmark, and Ft. Snelling State Park was formed.
We saw demonstrations and talked with several of the people there. One of the fun demonstrations for the kids was the boot camp obstacle course. Our kids had to carry a pretend gun under barbed wire, then over a wooden wall, through tires, and then hit a couple of gunny sacks. From there, they had to find their way back to the beginning. They sure had fun doing that course.
The war-time cooking demonstration was very interesting. During the war (WWII), the US government instituted rationing of food. People were limited to what they could purchase for their families. The demonstrations included how to “stretch” meat further. They showed us how they could take ground beef, add some milk, bread crumbs, and egg, then form the beef in a t-bone shape, and serve it up to your family.
Another demonstration was a WWII weapons demo. They had various weapons from the era and demonstrated how each model was improved over the prior model. They demonstrated single shot rifles to ones that had 8-bullet clips. Here is a quick video of one of those weapons.