Historic sites in the Montevideo area

Chippewa City Historical Park  www.chippewacohistory.org

Step back in time at Chippewa City Historical Park, a 23-building museum owned and operated by the Chippewa County Historical Society. Featuring a pioneer church, school and historical homes: Chippewa City Historical Park gives a glimpse of a bygone era and a simpler time. Take a guided tour, or simply stroll in the beautiful park setting. Resource center, gift shop and many interactive demonstrations are scheduled throughout the year. For tour information, call the Chippewa County Historical Society at 320-269-7636.

Swensson Farm Museum  www.chippewacohistory.org

Just minutes outside of Montevideo, the Olaf Swensson Farm Museum consists of a 17 acre farmstead, complete with timber-frame barn, grist mill remains and hand cut granite monuments. The 22 room brick farm house rests on a foundation of local granite and is included on the National Register. Call 320-269-7636 for further information.

Fort Renville

Fort Renville is the site of a fur-trading post established by Joseph Renville and constructed in 1826. Just 1/2 mile north of the Lac Qui Parle Mission, Fort Renville is marked with an interpretive sign for visitors.

Lac Qui Parle Mission  www.chippewacohistory.org

This National Register of Historic Places site was originally built in 1835 by missionaries working among the Dakota and reconstructed by the WPA in 1942. Interpretive displays highlight the areas early trade history and the translation of the Bible into the Dakota language. Join us for Lac Qui Parle Mission Sunday, the second Sunday in July. For information call 320-269-7636.

Camp Release

Dedicated in 1894, Camp Release stands as a reminder of the US/Dakota Conflict of 1862, where 259 captives were released here in the fall of 1862, along with the surrender of about 1,200 Native Americans.

Jose Artigas Plaza

Shoppers and visitors are encouraged to stop and relax on the shaded park benches and enjoy Artigas Plaza, located in the center of downtown Montevideo. The Plaza was named in honor of Jose Artigas, hero of Uruguayan independence and features an 11 foot bronze statue presented by the people of Montevideo, Uruguay in 1949. Don't miss the many fine retail shops and unique restaurants throughout the downtown and Montevideo area.

Uruguayan Art in Montevideo

Historic, Depot Railroad Restoration

Visit the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroad Depot, originally built in the early 1900's, now being restored-by the Milwaukee Heritage Center to house a railroad museum. Stroll through the newly restored railroad yards, which include an engine shed, sand house and operational turntable. For tour information, call the Chippewa County Historical Society at 320-269-7636.

Historic Buildings

Catch a glimpse of Chippewa County history through our National Register buildings. JA Weaver House - Charles Budd House - Swensson Farm - Lac qui Parle Mission - Railroad Depot -Carnegie Library - Chippewa City Bank Building - Henry Gippe farmstead.

Fort Renville

As early as 1811 fur traders traveled and lived in the area, establishing posts to trade furs produced in the region. One of the most famous was Joseph Renville, the son of a French trader and a Dakota woman. In 1822, he established Fort Renville as a trading post at Lac qui Parle (Dakota for "lake that speaks".) It was one of the most influential centers of white presence in Southwestern Minnesota, and the only outpost between St. Peter and the British Posts of the Red River. The fort prospered until Renville's death in 1846. The site was excavated in 1940, and currently is marked with an interpretive sign.

For more information, please contact:

Montevideo Conventions and Visitors Bureau
c/o Montevideo Area Chamber of Commerce
301 N. 1st St. Suite 100
Montevideo, MN 56265