Fort Snelling is a former military fortification located at the confluence of the Minnesota and Mississippi Rivers in Hennepin County, Minnesota. 100,000 acres (400 km˛) of land in the area were purchased by Lt. Zebulon Pike in 1805, though it was more than a decade before significant settlement took place. The original installation was constructed between 1820 and 1825 as Fort St. Anthony. It received its current name upon its completion in honor of Colonel Josiah Snelling, who commanded the regiment that built it, and oversaw its construction. Snelling was considered to be a reasonable commander—when he was sober. He was susceptible to becoming angry when drunk, and he left the installation in 1827 after a controversy erupted. He died a year later.
The fort's doctor began taking weather observations in January 1820. Observations have been recorded continuously in the region ever since, giving the Twin Cities one of the most complete weather records in the country. Current observations are made at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, which is not far from the fort. Also, the federal government still owns some land near the airport where a National Guard base and a federal building are situated. This area is now served by the Hiawatha light-rail line.
The fort saw service through World War II, being de-commissioned on October 15, 1946, and parcelled out to various federal and military departments. In 1960, it was listed as a National Historic Landmark. In the decades since, the area of the original walled fort has been converted to an educational establishment operated by the Minnesota Historical Society, rebuilt to resemble its original appearance, and staffed during the summer with costumed personnel reenacting life at the early post.
A National Cemetery is located at Fort Snelling; many notable Minnesotans as well as deceased Minnesotan members of the United States Armed Forces are interred there.
The 2000 census listed Fort Snelling as an unorganized territory (a designation it has carried since it was founded) with a total population of 442.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the unorganized territory has a total area of 17.2 km˛ (6.7 mi˛). 16.5 km˛ (6.4 mi˛) of it is land and 0.8 km˛ (0.3 mi˛) of it is water. The total area is 4.65% water.
As of the census2 of 2000, there are 442 people, 0 households, and 0 families residing in the unorganized territory. The population density is 26.8/km˛ (69.5/mi˛). There are 0 housing units at an average density of 0.0/km˛ (0.0/mi˛). The racial makeup of the unorganized territory is 94.57% White, 3.62% Black or African American, 1.36% Native American, 0.00% Asian, 0.23% Pacific Islander, 0.23% from other races, and 0.00% from two or more races. 0.45% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There are 0 households out of which 0.0% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 0.0% are married couples living together, 0.0% have a female householder with no husband present, and 0.0% are non-families. 0.0% of all households are made up of individuals and 0.0% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 0.00 and the average family size is 0.00.
In the unorganized territory the population is spread out with 0.0% under the age of 18, 0.0% from 18 to 24, 4.5% from 25 to 44, 33.0% from 45 to 64, and 62.4% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 69 years. For every 100 females there are 4,811.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 4,811.1 males.
The median income for a household in the unorganized territory is $0, and the median income for a family is $0. Males have a median income of $43,558 versus $0 for females. The per capita income for the unorganized territory is $24,328. 0.0% of the population and 0.0% of families are below the poverty line.
- Historic Fort Snelling. (http://www.mnhs.org/places/sites/hfs/) Minnesota Historical Society.
- TimePieces Timeline: 1819 U.S. Outpost. (http://events.mnhs.org/Timepieces/EventDetail.cfm?EventID=460) Minnesota Historical Society.