by Todd Hintz
It has been an exciting couple of months at Fort Snelling. The state park was flooded out for much of June; now that the water has receded it’s time to clean up all the mud left behind. The Veteran’s Administration had their ground breaking to restore five of their upper post buildings into apartments for veterans (see article in the newsletter).
On other fronts, unfortunately the DNR and Historical Society didn’t get the funds they were looking for in the bonding bill. The DNR was looking for $4 million to redo Taylor Avenue, one of the main streets through the upper post. The street and the utilities under it are badly in need of repairs. In order for any meaningful development to take place in the area the water, sewer, gas, and other lines need to be redone first. It won’t do to fix up the buildings if you can’t turn the lights on and run the tap!
MHS requested $500,000 to start design work for their area of Fort Snelling, with an eye towards putting a new visitors center into one of the cavalry barracks. Unfortunately their line got zeroed out in the bill.
We’ll take another run at the next bonding bill and lend our voices to the cause. With the two hundredth anniversary of the fort coming up in just six years, it’s not too early to get to work on sprucing the place up and restoring it to the life and vitality it once knew.
On other fronts, the clock from the headquarters building is restored and on display in the fort’s visitors center. The circa 1882 clockworks are a sight to behold and well worth a trip to the fort to check it out (see newsletter article).
Friends of Fort Snelling had a presence at Lakewood Cemetery Memorial Day program getting our name out to over 1500 people. Susanne Adler, along with board member Stephen Osman and seven other volunteers, gave tours of WWI veterans to about 150 people and staffed an information booth fielding WWI questions. As well as coordinating the WWI tour event, Susanne (and Friends of Fort Snelling) was featured in the program reading a poem by one of the Minnesotans highlighted on the tour. In gratitude, Lakewood Cemetery made a donation of $500 to Friends of Fort Snelling.