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E. St. Julien Cox House | Harkin Store | Mayo House | Traverse des Sioux | Fort Ridgely


Treaty Site History Center

1851 North Minnesota Avenue
Just north of St. Peter on U.S. Hwy. 169
St. Peter, MN 56082
(507) 934-2160 * Fax (507) 934-0172

museum@nchsmn.org

Hours:

  • Monday - Saturday: 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
  • Sunday: 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM
  • Archive Hours: Tuesday - Friday: 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
  • Check the "programs events" page for holiday and seasonal programming.

Treaty Site History Center

Admission:

  • $5.00 for Adults
  • $4.00 for Seniors
  • $3.00 for 6-17 years old
  • Free for 5 years old and under, and members of Nicollet County and Minnesota Historical Societies
  • $7.00 for combination pass to the Treaty Site History Center and the Cox House
  • $4.00 for Education Groups
  • $4.00 for Adult Group Tours
  • Free for chaperones
  • Free for Nicollet County Schools
  • Hours and fees subject to change

The Treaty Site History Center is the headquarters of the Nicollet County Historical Society. You can stroll through a restored prairie (Traverse des Sioux Historic Site) adjacent to the Treaty Site History Center. Located inside the Treaty Site, you can take in absorbing exhibits that change periodically through out the year. While you are at the Treaty Site, you can learn about the 1851 Treaty that altered the future and the territory soon to become Minnesota in a semi-permant exhibit. Also, come and enjoy some of the many programs that the Nicollet County Historical Society has all year round, from the annual meeting to the "Shadows at the Crossing."

E. St. Julien Cox House

500 North Washington Avenue at Skaro Street
St. Peter, MN 56082
(507) 934-4309 * (507) 934-2160

cox@nchsmn.org (Please include Cox House in subject of email)

Hours:

  • Group tours of 10+ available by appointment. The Cox House is available year-round for a variety of programs and facility rentals. Please call (507) 934-2160 for more information.
  • Check the "programs events" page for holiday and seasonal programming.

E. St. Julien Cox House

Admission:

  • $6.00 for Adults
  • $1.00 for children age 6-17. Free for age 5 and under.

The E. St. Julien Cox House was the home of one of the earliest settlers of St. Peter. Eugene Cox was an attorney, St. Peterís first Mayor, and a representative to the State House and Senate. The Home, built in 1871, is one of the few fully restored Italianate homes in Minnesota. When you visit the Cox House, you will chat with costumed guides as you tour through this old home. Also, be sure to come and enjoy some of the many programs that the Cox House has to offer all year round.

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Harkin Store

PO Box 112
9 miles northwest of New Ulm on Cty. Hwy. 21
New Ulm, MN 56073
(507) 354-8666 * (507) 934-2160

harkin@nchsmn.org

Hours:

  • May, September, First 3 Weekends in October: Saturday and Sunday 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
  • Memorial Day - Labor Day: Tuesday through Sunday 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM and Monday holidays 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
  • Check the "programs events" page for holiday and seasonal programming.

Harkin Store

Admission:

  • $5.00 for Adults 18-64 years of age
  • $3.00 for Seniors 65 years of age or older
  • $3.00 for Children 6-17 years of age
  • Free for 5 years old and under, and members of Nicollet County and Minnesota Historical Societies
  • $5.00 for Adult Group Tours
  • $3.00 for Educational Groups
  • Free for Chaperones
  • Free for Nicollet County Schools
  • Different fees may apply for special events

Savor the smells and sights of an 1870s general store as you sample the wares or try a game of checkers and sit by the stove. Chat with the costumed staff, or sit on the porch and envision a steamboat plying the river below.
When the railroad passed by the small town of West Newton, the store was forced to close with much of the unsold inventory still on the shelves, where it remains today. Managed for the Minnesota Historical Society by the Nicollet County Historical Society.

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W.W. Mayo House

118 N Main St
Le Sueur MN 56058
(507) 665-3250 * (507) 934-2160

mayohouse.bp@gmail.com

Hours:

  • May - October: Friday & Saturday 10 AM - 4 PM Sunday 12 - 4 PM

  • Closed July 4th
  • Check the "programs events" page for holiday and seasonal programming.

E. St. Julien Cox House

Admission:

  • $6.00 for Adults
  • $5.00 for Seniors (65+) and students w/ID and children ages 6-17
  • Free for children age 5 and under; and NCHS, MNHS and MHIS members.

Dr. William Worrall Mayo hand-built his Gothic-style, Le Sueur home in 1859 and set up his first medical practice in a small room upstairs. He and his family lived in the house at the time of the U.S. - Dakota War of 1862. In 1864, Dr. Mayo moved his family to Rochester, where he served as an examining surgeon for the Minnesota Civil War draft board. During the 1880s, Dr. Mayo's two sons William and Charles, joined his practice, and St. Mary's hospital was built with the Mayos as supervising physicians. Soon other non-family members joined the practice, introducing the concept of medical teamwork, and by the early 20th century, the hospital had become known as the "Mayo's Clinic."

In 1874 Carson Nesbit Cosgrove and his family moved into the Mayo House. Three generations of the Cosgrove family lived in the home through 1920. In 1903, Cosgrove conducted the organizational meeting and later served as the head of the Minnesota Valley Canning Company, which became the Green Giant Company in 1950. Seven children from the second and third generations of the family were born in the home including two Green Giant Company presidents.

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Traverse des Sioux

U.S. Hwy. 169
St. Peter, MN 56082
(507) 934-2160

Hours:

  • May through October
  • Dawn until dusk
  • Check the "programs events" page for holiday and seasonal programming.

Traverse des Sioux

Admission:

  • Free for trails
  • Different fees may apply for special events

The Dakota Indians called this place Oiyuwege, meaning "the place of crossing." French explorers called it Traverse des Sioux, or "crossing place of the Sioux."
For centuries, Traverse des Sioux has been a crossroads and meeting place for people of many cultures. First, the American Indians gathered here to hunt and traverse the river using the shallow crossing. During the 1800s, they were joined by Europeans who came here to trade furs and farm the fertile prairie.
In 1851, the U.S. government signed a treaty with the Sisseton and Wahpeton bands of the Dakota Indians. This treaty opened millions of acres to land-hungry settlers and speculators. The thriving town of Traverse des Sioux was soon established. It had five taverns, two hotels, several churches - some 70 buildings and a population of about 300. In 1856, nearby St. Peter was chosen as the county seat, and by 1869, nothing was left of the once-booming town of Traverse des Sioux.
On the self-guided tour, the trail signs introduce you a portion of the 10,000-year-old Minnesota River Valley. While enjoying a quiet walk through the site, learn more about Dakota Indian culture, the 1851 Treaty and its effects on people, transportation, the fur trade, and the town site of Traverse des Sioux

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Fort Ridgely

72404 County Road 30
Fairfax, MN 55332
(507) 934-2160

ridgely@nchsmn.org

Hours:

  • September and first three weekends in October: Saturday - Sunday 10 AM - 5 PM and Monday holidays 10 AM - 5 PM.
  • Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day: Friday - Sunday 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM. Open Monday holidays
  • Check the "programs events" page for holiday and seasonal programming.

Fort Ridgely

Admission:

  • $5.00 for Adults 18-64 years of age
  • $3.00 for Seniors 65 years of age or older
  • $3.00 for Children 6-17 years of age
  • Free for 5 years old and under, and members of Nicollet County and Minnesota Historical Societies
  • $4.00 for Adult Group Tours
  • $4.00 for Educational Groups
  • Free for Chaperones
  • Free for Nicollet County Schools
  • Different fees may apply for special events

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.

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  NCHS
1851 North Minnesota Ave., St. Peter, MN 56082
Tel 507.934.2160 | Fax 507.934.0172
museum@nchsmn.org
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