MHS FR Problems – Jul 2017

Minnesota Historical Society
Fort Ridgely Historic Site
Maintenance Problems
Posted on July 27, 2017
Updated on July 29, 2017

Historic Fort Ridgely is the most important historic site in Minnesota. So how do the Minnesota Historical Society (MHS) and Nicollet County Historical Society (NCHS) care for this site?

These photos were taken on July 20, 2017. Conditions have worsened since May 2017, my last inspection of Historic Fort Ridgely. Many of these problems were first reported to MHS and NCHS in September 2016.

While I was inspecting the outside, new carpeting was being installed inside the commissary. Money can be found for new carpeting in a building that is open only 2 to 3 days a week from Memorial Day weekend to mid-October, but money cannot be found to fix these exterior problems. Does this make sense?


1. The entrance sign needs paint.
The hours of operation on the sign do not agree with the hours of operation on the MHS and NCHS websites. What is correct?
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2. Watch out for the pothole in the south entrance.
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3. The pea rock in the parking lot is shifting and settling.
Curbs are high enough to snag autos.
This unstable surface is difficult for some people to traverse.
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4. Someone used excessive Roundup along the curbs.
The dead area will soon be covered with weeds.
A mower and grass trimmer would do a neater job.
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5a. This old cover is still here.
Note all of the dead grass caused by too much Roundup.
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5b. This section of curb still needs to be replaced.
Note the excessive pea rock.
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6. Try pushing a wheelchair or walker across the entry.
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7- 11. Popping plastic was first reported in September 2016.
Here are 5 of the worst problems on the parade ground trail.
I suspect people are pulling on these.
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8. Popping plastic
Many round tops of the plastic base are uncovered.
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9. Popping plastic
Many round tops of the plastic base are uncovered.
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10. Popping plastic
Note the popping nail.
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11. Popping plastic
Many round tops of the plastic base are uncovered.
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12. Gophers are moving in.
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13. Weeds are taking over the trails.
Many round tops of the plastic base are uncovered.
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14. The “trail to nowhere” still goes nowhere. When the new trail system was installed, the trail signs were taken down and not secured. When the signs were replaced, the “Attack from the Southeast” sign, at the end of this trail, was missing.
Note the dead grass.
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15. Someone used Roundup under all of the signs. This looks terrible.
The dead area will soon be covered with weeds.
A mower and grass trimmer would do a neater job.
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16. More Roundup treated ground.
Note the gopher hole.
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17. Bird droppings are a problem.
The trail signs are not cleaned very often if at all.
Note the dead grass caused by excessive Roundup.
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My Opinion:

  • It is shameful how MHS and NCHS are maintaining Historic Fort Ridgely.
  • The loose pea rock in the parking lot and on the trails creates an unstable surface for people in wheelchairs and for people with walking difficulties.
  • Whoever is responsible for these problems should be held accountable.
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