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Dakota County 
1357 Sibley Memorial Highway 
Mendota Heights, MN 55150

Historical Significance:

"The Sibley House Historic Site is the site of Henry Hastings Sibley's home, who was the regional manager of the American Fur Company and Minnesota's first governor. It is one of the 26 historical sites that are operated by the Minnesota Historical Society. Located in what is now the city of Mendota, the site consists of four limestone buildings and a large lawn area. Three of the buildings are open for touring, including a fur company cold store from 1843 and the 1840 home of fur trader and hotelier Jean-Baptiste Faribault.

The Sibley House, considered the oldest private residence in Minnesota, was built between 1835 and 1836 by a team of over 100 white and Dakota laborers, directed by John Mueller. It was made of limestone blocks cut from a nearby quarry. Sibley lived here as a bachelor for eight years, until his marriage to Sarah Jane Steele. After his marriage, Sibley turned the business office into a parlor, and an addition was built for a kitchen, dining room, two more rooms on the second floor, and an office on the east side. It was in this office that plans were drawn up for the Minnesota Territory, and it became the temporary territorial headquarters in May 1840, when Governor Alexander Ramsey was a guest of Sibley.[2]

When General Sibley moved to St. Paul in 1862, he sold his home to St. Peter's Catholic Parish. The Catholic Sisters used the home for a school and convent from 1867 to 1878, adding a belfry on the roof and remodeling the interior. For the next few decades, the house was leased to different parties, including the artist Burt Harwood, as a studio and art school during the summers of 1897-1899. The house was then used briefly as a storehouse, but was soon abandoned and became a lodging place for railroad transients. These new tenants tore up the floorboards and staircases for firewood, and the house fell into ruin.

On April 19, 1910, the house was rescued from ruin by a joint effort from the St. Paul chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR), Mrs. Lucy Shepard McCourt, and Archbishop John Ireland of St. Peter's Parish. The house was restored by DAR chapters throughout the state, and was opened to the public on June 14, 1910.

In May 1997 the DAR turned the ownership of the Sibley Historic Site to State of Minnesota and the management to the Minnesota Historical Society." (Wording from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sibley_House_Historic_Site)

 

Acknowledgements: "Sibley House was secured through the efforts of the St. Paul Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution and Mrs. Lucy Shepard McCourt, and through the generosity of Archbishop John Ireland from St. Peter's Parish. The historic old house was rescued from ruin on April 19, 1910. It was restored through the efforts of the DAR Chapters throughout the state and was opened to the public on June 14, 1910. In May of 1997, the Minnesota State Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution turned the ownership of the Sibley Historic Site to the state of Minnesota and the management to the Minnesota Historical Society. The houses stand today in the beauty of it's continued restoration, a reminder of the generous and elegant hospitality bestowed upon friend and stranger by General Sibley, a pioneer and leading citizen of early Minnesota." (Wording fromhttp://www.sibley-friends.org/sibleyhouse.htm)
Form Submitted By: Minnesota State Society, NSDAR 6/9/2013