Economic Engine

Economic Engine (HM1CTU)

Location: Fairfax, MN 55332 Nicollet County
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Country: United States of America
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N 44° 27.188', W 94° 44.099'

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With hundreds of men and some 175 horses, the garrison had a gargantuan appetite for wood, hay, grain, corn, and beef. Unable to meet the requirements of the post through any direct federal supply system, the War Department issued contracts to civilian suppliers offering the lowest bids. For years, this system made Fort Ridgely the best market in the Minnesota River valley for farmers and businessmen.

The post also provided much-appreciated services to the community. The army surgeons treated and sold medicines to area residents. Mail could be picked up or dropped off at the fort. Groceries and a variety of goods could be purchased at the sutler's store. Local farmers could use the post's slaughterhouse (located one mile from Ridgely) and buy lumber from the post's sawmill.

Getting Here

From 1853 to 1856, steamboats were the principal mode of transportation for military personnel and supplies going to and from Fort Ridgely. The presence of the post and increasing white settlement led Congress to improve and build new military roads in the territory. By 1858, land routes had mostly replaced the water routes to the fort.

Minnesota Historical Society
Fort Ridgely
Series This marker is part of the Minnesota: Fort Ridgely Interpretive Series series, and the Minnesota Historical Society series.
Historical Period19th Century
Historical PlacePark, Monument, Military Installation, Fort, Battlefield
Marker TypeOther
Marker ClassNeither
Marker StyleFree Standing
Placed ByMinnesota Historical Society
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014 at 9:02am PDT -07:00
Photo Credits: [1] MARTHA DECKER  [2] MARTHA DECKER  
Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)15T E 361961 N 4923667
Decimal Degrees44.45313333, -94.73498333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 44° 27.188', W 94° 44.099'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds44° 27' 11.2800" N, 94° 44' 5.9400" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)507
Can be seen from road?Yes
Is marker in the median?No
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling West
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 72404 Co Rd 30, Fairfax MN 55332, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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Maintenance Issues
  1. This marker could use another picture or two.