Passport: Fort Snelling

Posted at: 07/25/2013 5:51 PM
Updated at: 07/25/2013 6:18 PM
By: Steph Crock

(ABC 6 News) -- On Thursday's ABC 6 News passport, we take you to Historic Fort Snelling in St. Paul. A starting place, to understand Minnesota and our country today.

It's a time you usually only read about in text books, but right here at Historic Fort Snelling, you live it.

Not only by touring through buildings that have stood here since the early 1800's, but at this former military post, you'll discover what life was like decades ago.

"American Indian history, Europeans arriving for the fur trade, and later the US Government and the Army here, and everyone’s history somehow connects to this spot," said spokesperson Matt Cassady.

You get to meet those characters who tell the story, as if it were they're own. "Wish the kids would have come. You know, to step back in history and have people dressed up and approach you just as they would if they were living here and working here," said visitor Dave Larson.

For example, you can take a walk in a soldiers shoes. "They would have 12 men assigned here, sleeping two in each bed here," said one of the actors out there. "This is a replica of an 1816 harper ferry musket,” he said showing the gun.

However, men weren't the only one’s put to work at Fort Snelling back then, so were women. They had to do things like laundry. There are actresses who play those roles too.

After years of research, historians have gathered this information and much, much more about Fort Snelling, now, these folks present it to the public in a way that's not only entertaining... "It's a fantastic tour, a fantastic place to be," said Larson.

It’s almost entirely hands on. "We have all kinds of hands on interactive activities to try and show the importance of history and make it fun for kids to learn it," said Cassady.

That way, the kids can enjoy learning. "Kids, the next generation, that's who needs to get interested in history, to understand their past, to see the why the world is the way it is today," said Cassady.

Plus, adults can play along. "I marched with the infantry out on the field after they did their demonstration," said Larson.

There’s something everyone can take home from their tour at Historic Fort Snelling. "It's pretty cool. I'd come here again," said one of the kids visiting. "I would highly recommend it. It’s an amazing, fun, historical lesson that everybody would enjoy,"  said Larson.

To visit Historic Fort Snelling, its $11 dollars for adults, $9 for seniors and college students, and $6 for kids. They're open every day of the week, except Mondays. For more information, head to this website http://www.historicfortsnelling.org.