As the shadows lengthen, participants will be transported to a bygone era, where they will hear firsthand accounts of the once-thriving town of Traverse des Sioux, its citizens, and its pivotal role in shaping the region’s history. The tour provides an immersive experience that will take visitors through the streets of the old townsite, providing a unique perspective on life in Traverse des Sioux more than 160 years ago.
Tours begin at 6:00 p.m. and depart the History Center every 10 minutes, with the last departing at 7:50 p.m. Space is limited to 12 people per tour, so advanced ticket purchases are highly recommended. Tickets can be purchased online from September 15, 2023, on the Nicollet County Historical Society’s website (www.nchsmn.org). Walk-ups will be accommodated if space is available.
Tickets are priced at $10 per adult, $5 per child aged 10 and older, and $20 per household. Nicollet County and Minnesota Historical Societies members receive a 20% discount. The event is suitable for children aged 10 and above.
Traverse des Sioux holds a rich and complex history that has shaped the region for centuries. It was once a pivotal gathering spot for Native Americans, who used the shallow river crossing and nearby game-rich plains for hunting and trading. With the establishment of a Native American mission in 1843, the settlement expanded and flourished with French voyageur cabins, fur trading outfits, and Native American lodges. However, the signing of the 1851 Treaty of Traverse des Sioux led to the forced relocation of the Dakota people, and Traverse des Sioux became a town along the Minnesota River. The town briefly thrived during its heyday, sporting over 70 buildings. However, the establishment of nearby St. Peter as the county seat in 1856 led to the town’s rapid decline. Today, little trace remains of the once-bustling town.