Interesting historical facts from Fort Ridgely:
- The camp was occupied by mostly men. There were four families living in two of the houses in the fort. There were four or five women and a few children. The women did mostly "womanly" duties around the fort but also stepped up during the wartime and manufactured bullets and helped the Dr. across camp defend and protect his building. I wonder just how much corruption there was with so few females at camp, let alone available women!
- The actual footprint of the camp was much smaller than I imagined it would be (I must just be used to the massive forts in Puerto Rico!). Granted you can only see foundation rubble today, it still doesn't look like much total acreage and really small buildings. The bluff views over the Minnesota River were beautiful.
- During the video viewing in the main building, there was a less than 5 second blip about the hangings in Mankato. It was really awkward because it wasn't part of the original video and seemed to be shoved in there as an after-fact to make someone happy. I asked one of the tour guides why that was and she said they didn't go into detail on the hangings because it wasn't politically correct. Well...it did happen, it is a fact, and it was the largest hanging in US History, so stop pussy footing around and be honest about it! It was very interesting to see how the other sites along our museum tour route spent more time talking about the hangings than the Fort did!
- Fort Ridgely is also a Minnesota State Park (another tick mark in our booklet/bucket list of MN State Parks to visit)! There is a private cemetery and a golf course there, for your enjoyment as well.