|Site 49:Beaver Falls County Park|
Located on Renville Co. 15.
Between 1860 and 1900, the present location of the county park was the county seat of Renville County. Beaver Falls once had a hotel, flour mill, blacksmith shop, merchandise store, bank, school, saloon, implement and hardware store, lumber sawmill and brewery.
Come and visit Renville County's best-kept secret!
Enjoy the steep-wooded bluffs and observe first-hand the many historic sites along the Minnesota River Valley Scenic Byway as you make your way through Renville County along the Minnesota River.
Experience the natural beauty of Renville County by visiting our more than 1,300 acres of parkland featuring primitive stands of trees, wildflowers and native prairies, wildlife, and the uniqueness of bedrock outcroppings located along the banks of the Minnesota River.
Admission for general park use is free. Fees are charged for camping and shelter reservations.
|Site 50:Morton Monuments |
On the east end of Morton.
On a hill overlooking tbe beautiful Minnesota River Valley and the city of Morton, stand two 52-foot tall granite monuments. These monuments are known as the Birch Coulee and Loyal Indian Monuments. The Birch Coulee Monument was erected in 1894 for the soldiers who fought at the Battle of Birch Coulee on September 2, 1862. The Loyal Indian Monument was erected in 1899 to honor 6 Dakota who saved lives of whites during the U.S.-Dakota Conflict of 1862.
||Site 51:Renville County Historical Museum|
Located east of the city park in Morton.
The museum complex consists of six buildings. The main museum houses history and artifacts of early Native Americans, military, town and county history, our research center and gift shop. One of our two schoolhouses depicts a one-room rural schoolhouse complete with children's toys and an old wood stove. The other schoolhouse serves as our pottery and dish building which showcases Depression glass and Red Wing Pottery. Our machine shed features pioneer tools and machinery. Our log cabin, built in 1869, illustrates pioneer life of some of the first settlers. Our church, St. John's Episcopal, houses two different organs. It illustrates the pioneer church on the prairie.
|Site 52:Gilfillan Estate (Farmfest Site) |
8 miles SW of Redwood Falls on TH 67.
Charles Duncan Gilfillan was the founder of Gilfillan Estate. He was born in New York in 1831, one year after his parents immigrated to the United States from Scotland.
Although he was orphaned when he was only 11 years old, he received an education and became a teacher. Later, he studied law and in 1857 he and his brother, James, became law partners. Gilfillan was the prime mover in establishing a safe and sufficient water supply in St.Paul.
He married Emma G. Waage in 1859. Following her death four years later, he married her sister, Fanny S. They had four children.
In 1882, he sold his Ramsey County property and purchased 13,000 acres of land in Redwood County. On the site now known as Gilfillan, Charles built a beautiful home and offices, and later a grain elevator, stockyard, and tenant homes. He raised livestock for export to Great Britain.
In his later years, Charles became deeply interested in the events of the Sioux Uprising of 1862, served as chairman of the committee which erected a monument at Birch Coulee, and helped organize the Minnesota Valley Historical Society at Morton.
Charles Oswin Gilfillan, who was born in 1872, succeeded his father as owner of Gilfillan.
As a youth, he received much of his schooling abroad and wanted to be a doctor, but his father talked him into going to Agriculture School so he could take over the land. He did not move to Gilfillan immediately after his father's death, however, because he was managing the Gilfillan Block in St. Paul.
He built the Morgan Library as a memorial to his father, and gave 160 acres to help support and maintain the building.
The Gilfillan farm site was the scene of many great get togethers for Paxton Township neighbors.
The farm site was left to the Redwood County Historical Society to be kept in memory of the Gilfillan family. Its intended purpose is to preserve the history of the Gilfillan Estate and the surrounding area and to make this history available to the public. Located on the grounds is wonderful collection of antique farm machinery. The site is also the location of Farmfest, an agricultural extravaganza held each summer.
||Site 53:Lower Sioux Community|
4 miles SW of Morton, Redwood Co. 2.
The People of the Lower Sioux Indian Community are known as Dakota , and come from the Mdewakanton ("Dwellers by Mystic Lake") band. The Lower Sioux Indian Community (LSIC) is located on approximately 1750 acres held in trust status in southwestern Minnesota, bounded by Redwood County, MN and the Minnesota River. Of the tribal population, 50% live on the reservation with an approximately equal number residing within the 10-mile tribal service zone. Historic sites include St. Cornelia's Church and the Bishop Whipple School Trading Post.
Established by St. John's Episcopal Mission, St. Cornelia's Church served Christian members of the Dakota community living near the Lower Sioux Agency. Begun before the Dakota Conflict of 1862, the church remained unfinished until years later. After being forcibly resettled on reservations in other states, members of the Lower Sioux community gradually returned to Minnesota. The congregation dismantled the incomplete structure and moved the stones to St. Cornelia's present location in 1891, building this Gothic Revival church.
|Site 54:Lower Sioux Agency State Historic Site |
Located on Redwood Co. Hwy #2, south of Morton.
In 1853 the U.S. Government established the Agency to administer treaty obligations with the Dakota people living on reservations along the Minnesota River. Explore the history and culture of the Dakota, learn how government employees and missionaries sought to change their traditional way of life at the agency, and discover the roots of the U.S.-Dakota Conflict of 1862 in the visitor center exhibit. Outdoors, investigate the original 1861 agency warehouse and three miles of trails with interpretive signs telling more of the agency's story. Administered by the Minnesota Historical Society.
||Site 55:Fort Ridgely State Park and Historic Site
Located off Hwy #4, south of Fairfax.
Yielding to pressure from the U.S. government in 1851, the Eastern Dakota (Eastern Sioux) sold 35 million acres of their land across southern and western Minnesota. The Dakota moved onto a small reservation along the Minnesota River, stretching from just north of New Ulm to today's South Dakota border.
In 1853, the U.S. military started construction on Fort Ridgely, near the southern border of the new reservation and northwest of the German settlement of New Ulm. The fort was designed as a police station to keep peace as settlers poured into the former Dakota lands.
Nine years later, unkept promises by the U.S. government, nefarious practices by fur traders and crop failure all helped create tensions that erupted into the U.S.-Dakota war in August 1862. Dakota forces attacked the fort twice-on Aug. 20 and Aug. 22. The fort that had been a training base and staging ground for Civil War volunteers suddenly became one of the few military forts west of the Mississippi to withstand a direct assault. Fort Ridgely's 280 military and civilian defenders held out until Army reinforcements ended the siege.
This state park offers opportunities for camping, golfing, hiking, and picnicking.
The restored commissary building houses an AV program, exhibits and gift shop. The Minnesota Historical Society administers the historic site.
Contact State Park (507) 426-7840. Historic Site (507) 426-7888 or call (507) 697-6321 if no one can be reached at the Fort site number.
Department of Natural Resources. 507-426-7840
http://www.mnhs.org/ & http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/parks_and_recreation/state_parks/fort_ridgely/index.html
|Site 56:Little Rock Trading Post|
Four miles SE of Fort Ridgely.
Established in 1834 by Joseph LaFramboise, a licensed fur trader and interpreter, the post was an important center of civilization in those early days. LaFramboise, who interpreted at two treaties signed between the Dakota and the U.S. government, is buried at the Fort Ridgely Cemetery.
||Site 57:Depot Museum and Sleepy Eye's Monument|
1st Ave. N. and Oak St. NE, Sleepy Eye.
The community of Sleepy Eye, incorporated in 1872, was named after a Sisseton Dakota Chief, Ish Tak Ha Ba, which means Sleepy Eyes. He was given the name because of his drooping eyelids. He and his band lived on the north side of Sleepy Eye Lake, which is also named for the kind and friendly chief. In 1824 he and seven other Dakota and Ojibway leaders went to Washington DC to meet President James Monroe and sign treaties. He was also the most important Chief to sign the Treaty of Traverse des Sioux in 1851. He died in 1859 or 1860 in Roberts County, South Dakota and was buried there. In 1902 his remains were moved to Sleepy Eye and buried in a plot set aside for that purpose next to the newly built depot. The granite monument which marks his grave site was dedicated on October 17, 1902.
The Winona & St. Peter Railroad first reached Sleepy Eye in 1872. A plat map for the Village of Sleepy Eye Lake was filed on September, 18, 1887. The first depot burned down in January 1887.
A second depot was built by June 1887 and was used as a freight depot for many years. It still stands a block east of the Depot Museum. The present depot was built in 1902 of red-faced brick and stone trimming. It consisted of a baggage room, men's waiting room, family waiting room, and the east end lunch room. For 87 years the Chicago-North Western Railroad had passenger rail service at Sleepy Eye. The streamliner "Dakota 400" made its last stop in Sleepy Eye on October 25, 1959. After that, the depot served as a freight office.
In the early 1980s the C and NW Railroad offered to sell the depot and Sleepy Eye Depot Preservation Inc. was formed to purchase and renovate the depot. A fund drive was started and in 1984 the depot was purchased. Since that time many changes have taken place. The building was reroofed and the bricks were tuck pointed and cleaned. Inside, the woodwork was finished and insulation was inserted behind the wall panels. The floors were sanded and sealed, a new electrical system and gas furnace were installed and the bathroom area was renovated. All the windows were replaced with new energy efficient ones. A handicapped accessible ramp and landscaping enhanced the building.
On July 3, 1990 the Sleepy Eye Area Historical Society received the keys to the depot and opened a museum, which displays artifacts from the Sleepy Eye area. In 1992 the depot was named to the National Register of Historical Places.
|Site 58:Harkin Store
Eight miles NE of New Ulm on CSAH 21.
Harkins General Store was built in 1870 by Scottish immigrant, Alexander Harkin. At that time the town of West Newton was a more active town in the area. This was due to its location on the Minnesota River and the steamboat landing which served as a stopping point for much of the river traffic. Located in the town were a hotel, dance hall and brewery.
In the 1870's, the railroads began to replace riverboats and a line was run through nearby New Ulm. This had an adverse effect on the town but the store remained open and served as a hub for the farming community.
Eventually the town became less active and businesses began closing down. The owners of the Harkins store closed it down on Jan. 1, 1901. The building was reopened as a museum in 1938 as a museum with almost everything remaining where it had been in 1901.
At right Alexander Harkin welcomes visitors to the store and provides information about its history and it's importance to the people of Nicollet County.
The Harkins General Store offers a historic glimpse of how a general store would have appeared during the 1800's. For fans of the "Little House on the Prairie" books and television series it's a first hand view of what one would see if they visited the Owen's store in 1870's Walnut Grove, Minnesota. (For the TV series the name was changed to Olsen but in the book, "On the Banks of Plum Creek" the family's name was Owens.)
In its years of operation Harkins Store was a distributor of Uncle Sam's Harness Oil which was manufactured by the Emmert Propietary Company of Chicago. The company also made "Uncle Sam's Nerve and Bone Liniment" which came in small aqua bottles that had the "Emmert Proprietary Co. Chicago" embossed on them.
http://www.mnriv.com/harkin.html & http://www.mnhs.org