Guardians of the Past

Guardians of the Past (HM1EP4)

Location: New Ulm, MN 56073 Brown County
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Country: United States of America
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N 44° 18.777', W 94° 27.626'

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By the end of the fighting in New Ulm, the U.S.—Dakota War of 1862 had taken a heavy toll on the town. More than 50 settlers had been killed and 36 wounded, along with an unknown number of Dakota. In addition, at least 190 of the town's 258 buildings had been destroyed, most by fire.

Over time, some of the surviving buildings fell into disrepair, some were demolished to meet changing real estate needs, others suffered damage in natural disasters such as the tornado of 1881, and still others fell victim to subsequent fires. Today in New Ulm, only seven structures remain from the period before the war. Though a few are largely unchanged, others have been modified or disguised by modernization.

Forster Building
117 N. Broadway St.
During the war, this building served as a defensive outpost on New Ulm's western perimeter. It originally housed the post office and a potteryworks.

Kiesling House
220 N. Minnesota St.
Built in 1861 as a private home, the Kiesling House sits on its original site. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, it is the only wood-frame building remaining in New Ulm from the period of theU.S.—Dakota War.

Erd Building
108 N. Minnesota St.
Built in 1858 as a retail store, the Erd Building had county offices upstairs. During the U.S.—Dakota War of 1862, it was a refuge to women and children, who stood ready to destroy it by gunpowder in case of capture.

Weddendorf House
826 N. Minnesota St.
During the First Battle of New Ulm on August 19, 1862, this brick home on the northern edge of town served as a defensive outpost.

Schalk Building
822 N. State St.
Inside the walls of this modern home is the frame of the Schalk Building, constructed in 1858 as a general store. It originally stood at 3rd N. and Minnesota Streets, at the north end of the barricades erected during the 1862 war to defend the town.

Waraju Distillery
2nd N. and West Streets
All that remains of Henry Sublilia's distillery is the chimney. The brick complex was destroyed in the fightingof August 1862, although the foundations remained visible until the 1960s, when they were covered during park expansion.

August Schell Brewery
1860 Schell Road
According to Schell family lore, their brewery business, founded in 1860, was spared during the U.S.—Dakota War because of the family's kindness to the Dakota. The original August Schell home and brewery, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, are still in use today as offices for the larger brewery complex.

Photos from the collection of the Brown County Historical Society, New Ulm, except Weddendorf House, courtesy of Elroy Ubl, New Ulm

Struggles for a Home
The Minnesota River Valley has stories to tell...about the indigenous people struggling to keep their land and their way of life, and about immigrant families who began new lives here. Their stories came together, with tragic consequences for all, in what has become known as the U.S.-Dakota War of 1862 — a war that had repercussions for the whole country.

The Minnesota River Valley Scenic Byway

logos of: Scenic Byway Minnesota River Valley; Minnesota Historical & Cultural Grants; Clean Water Land & Legacy Amendment

This project has been made possible by the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund through the vote of Minnesotans on November 4, 2008. Administered by the Minnesota Historical Society.
HM NumberHM1EP4
Year Placed2012
Placed ByThe Minnesota River Valley National Scenic Byway
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Thursday, October 23rd, 2014 at 12:47am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)15T E 383527 N 4907669
Decimal Degrees44.31295000, -94.46043333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 44° 18.777', W 94° 27.626'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds44° 18' 46.62" N, 94° 27' 37.56" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)507
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 12 N Broadway St, New Ulm MN 56073, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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