Important Historical Sites In The State Of Minnesota

The state of Minnesota offers some of the best scenery and attractions in the entire United States. Often the state goes unnoticed or under appreciated, but the residents who live there know exactly how much of a treasure the area really is. One of the state's biggest resources is the large amount of historical sites located there.

Visiting the historical sites of another state or area is a great way for travelers to learn not only a little bit more about an unfamiliar region, but also learn a little bit more about themselves and how their home area fits into the big picture of the world.   Many times local historical sites offer some of the most unique and intriguing vacation experiences that can be had during a trip.  Here is a look at ten of the most interesting historical sites in the state of Minnesota.


Burntside Lodge
One of the more unique vacations in Minnesota can be had at Burntside Lodge, an operational resort that has been on the National Register of Historic Places since 1988.  There are twenty-three cabins that make up Burntside Lodge, and many of them and the other surrounding buildings were constructed during the 1920s using the local timber supply.  Most of the structures are immaculately preserved to what they looked like during the resorts glory days.  The lodge sits outside of the community of Ely on the shores of Burntside Lake.

Central Presbyterian Church
Located in St. Paul, the Central Presbyterian church building that remains in use today was build in 1889.  A classic example of Richardsonian Romanesque architecture, the church features amazingly detailed arched entrances as well as a number of hand carved floral motifs.  The facade of the church is made up almost entirely of locally mined Lake Superior brownstone.

Fort Ridgely
An important American outpost during the mid-to-late 1800s, Fort Ridgely played a central role in the Dakota War of 1862, but the American Army would abandon it altogether a few years later.  Its foundations are still visible and are located inside Fort Ridgely State Park which has some vintage 1930s buildings on its property as well.  The Minnesota Historical Society operates a museum on the grounds.

Charles A. Lindbergh State Park
Just outside Little Falls sits Minnesota's Charles A. Lindbergh State Park.  The actual park grounds were long ago the family farm owned by the famous aviator's father and where the boy spent part of his childhood.  The Minnesota Historical Society operates both a museum within the park as well as cares for the restored home on the site that was originally built in 1906.  There is also a fully equipped campground within the park's boundaries.

Basilica of Saint Mary
This co-cathedral of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis was built in 1907 and was the first basilica established in the United States.  This is routinely cited by many as one of the best examples of Beaux-Arts architecture in all of America.  The church building is used by many community groups during the year and provides a wonderful backdrop to many religious and non-religious events.

Walnut Street Historic District
Located in the city of Chaska, the Walnut Street Historic District is significant for two entirely unrelated reasons.  The buildings and homes in this area are wonderful examples of early 20th century neighborhood architecture and most of them are still in largely the same condition and design as when they were built decades ago.  Also located in this are are a number of burial mounds that date back to the area's prehistory.

Hermann Heights Monument
One of the most recognizable, and noticeable, signs of Minnesota's German ancestry is the Hermann Heights Monument in the community of New Ulm.  The statue commemorates the victory of the German people over the Roman Empire at the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest.  The statue depicts Arminius, known by many as Hermann the Cheruscan, who is an ancient folk hero to the German people.  It is the third largest copper statue in the entire United States, the first largest being New York City's famous Statue of Liberty.

Blue Earth County Courthouse
Located in Mankato, the country seat of Blue Earth County, the Blue Earth County Courthouse was built in 1886 and continues to serve the county as the official home to the county's offices.  The courthouse's copper dome is topped with a statue of Lady Justice and the stone used to build it was provided by a local quarry.

Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox
Possibly one of the most famous landmarks in Minnesota, the statues of Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox stand sit along the roadside in the community of Bemidji and were built for the purpose of trying to attract travelers when the popularity of automobile vacations increased during the late 1930s.  The Bemidji area has long ties to both the timber and tourist industries and these statues seem to encapsulate both in one attraction.   The Paul Bunyan figure stands roughly eighteen feet tall and Babe the Blue Ox measures approximately twenty-three feet long.

Windego Park Auditorium/Open Air Theater
Built in 1914, and on the National Register of Historic Places since 1980, the Windego Park Auditorium/Open Air Theater is one of the more impressive amphitheaters in existence.  The park is located in the community of Anoka and is used for a wide variety of outdoor performances, everything from concerts and plays to other local celebrations.  The structure was actually long forgotten and left to decay until the late 1970s when a movement to preserve it was undertaken.

Travel to Minnesota
Visit Minnesota with Southwest, one of the low price leaders in airfare. Use any available southwest promotional code discounts for added savings. While Minnesota is known for many things, everything from the Land of 10,000 Lakes to the home of the popular Twin Cities area, the state also has a fascinating and long history.     The history of the state has been preserved in the many historical sites located and cared for there, of which the sites listed above are just a small sample.  Visiting Minnesota's historical sites is a great way to get a true feel for the state and the changes that have taken place there.  It is impossible to separate a city or region from the impact that its history has had on it.  With that in mind, visiting the many historical sites of Minnesota is a great way to learn more about this fascinating region of the country.


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Last updated by admin on 9/8/2009
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