St. Peter's Church

St. Peter's Church (HMP85)

Location: Mendota Heights, MN 55120 Dakota County
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Country: United States of America
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N 44° 53.161', W 93° 10.088'

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Here at Mendota (where the rivers meet) missionaries ministered to both Indians and settlers, enduring the hardships of a sprawling wilderness that was the Minnesota country. In 1842, Father Lucien Galtier built a small, log chapel with only two windows, where the Catholics of St. Peter's Parish worshipped for nearly eleven years.

In 1844 Father Augustin Ravoux, who had already spent three years in the area, arrived at Mendota to assist Father Galtier. When Father Galtier left to serve another parish in the fall of that year, Father Ravoux assumed full responsibility for ministering to the thriving Mendota community, which was the American Fur Company's chief trading center with the Dakota (Sioux) Indians in Minnesota territory.

Father Ravoux had this church constructed in 1853. Built of limestone quarried nearby and roofed with hand-split pine shingles, the entire structure measures only 35 by 75 feet, and the rear portion was originally used as living quarters for the pastor.

The steeple has been twice replaced; the original cross that topped the spire now hangs over the inside door. While alterations have changed the interior, the exterior remains much as it was in 1853.

This church still serves St. Peter's Parish and is the oldest church in continuous use in Minnesota. From its vantage point, it commands a spectacular view of the Minnesota and Mississippi Rivers and of Historic Fort Snelling.

[seal of The Minnesota Historical Society]
Erected by the Minnesota Historical Society
HM NumberHMP85
Historical Period19th Century
Historical PlaceChurch/House of Worship
Marker TypeHistoric Building
Marker ClassHistorical Marker
Marker StyleFree Standing
Year Placed1973
Placed ByThe Minnesota Historical Society
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Monday, September 22nd, 2014 at 3:16pm PDT -07:00
Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)15T E 486722 N 4970302
Decimal Degrees44.88601667, -93.16813333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 44° 53.161', W 93° 10.088'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds44° 53' 9.6600" N, 93° 10' 5.2800" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)651, 612, 952
Can be seen from road?No
Is marker in the median?No
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 1405 Sibley Memorial Hwy, Mendota Heights MN 55120, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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