Review – MHS WL Battle Sign

Minnesota Historical Society
Wood Lake Battle Sign
http://www.usdakotawar.org/history/battle-wood-lake
Reviewed on May 29, 2017

Items of Interest

From the MHS Website: This sign replaced the old sign in 2012. Content on this sign was reviewed by an MHS historical marker committee, as well as by Dakota consultants and the MHS Indian Advisory Committee.

This review includes the text on the Minnesota Historical Society website and the text on the sign.

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Review – MHS FR – Site Sign

Minnesota Historical Society
Fort Ridgely Site Sign
http://www.usdakotawar.org/history/attack-fort-ridgely
Reviewed on May 29, 2017
Updated on June 12, 2017

Items of Interest

From the MHS Website: This sign replaced the old sign in 2012. Content on this sign was reviewed by an MHS historical marker committee, as well as by Dakota consultants and the MHS Indian Advisory Committee.

This review includes the text on the Minnesota Historical Society website and the text on the sign.

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Review – MHS Acton Sign

Minnesota Historical Society
The Acton Incident Sign
http://www.usdakotawar.org/history/acton-incident
Reviewed on May 29, 2017

Items of Interest

From the MHS Website: This sign replaced the old sign in 2012. Content on this sign was reviewed by an MHS historical marker committee, as well as by Dakota consultants and the MHS Indian Advisory Committee.

This review includes the text on the Minnesota Historical Society website and the text on the sign.

With 19 incorrect statements on this sign, this is one of the worst signs I have reviewed.

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Review – DNR Lake Shetek Signs

Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
Lake Shetek State Park Signs
Reviewed November 6, 2014

Items of Interest

 These signs are located throughout the park including the interpretive center which is a building separate from the park office. Stop in the park office to obtain the locations of these signs.

The signs provide maps, photos, information on the attack and information on the settlers before, during and after the attack.

A tall monument marks the mass-grave of the Shetek victims.

General Comments

  • Unbalanced – This is one of a few sites where more needs to be said about the Dakota involved:
    • The map in the interpretive center shows a site titled “Old Pawn” across the lake west of the Duley cabin site. Little is said of Old Pawn, a Dakota neighbor. Was this a Dakota village site? When the settlers were attacked, whose side was he on? What happened to him after the attack? Why isn’t his site shown on the maps on the trail signs?
    • Lean Bear and White Lodge are mentioned. Who were they? Where were their villages? What happened to White Lodge after the attack?
    • Who were the other Dakota involved in the attack?
    • During the attack, settlers gathered at the Wright cabin for defense. One sign says 8 Dakota joined them. One sign says several Dakota joined them. A sign in the interpretive center says that about 9 Dakota lived on the lake in the summer. Other signs do not mention these Dakota. Who were they?
    • The Slaughter Slough site has a memorial on the site. But no mention is made of this in the park.
  • Incorrect – Text on the signs describing the gathering at the Wright cabin for defense differs from sign to sign. There are 6 different versions of this event.
  • Incorrect – Text on the signs describing the events just prior to Slaughter Slough differs from sign to sign.
  • An attempt is made to explain why the Dakota attacked the whites. No mention is made that this was part of a larger series of attacks on the settlers across the frontier. Why did these Indians attack the settlers at this time?
  • Incorrect – The word “battle” is used twice. This was hardly a battle. It was a massacre.

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Review – MHS FR – Trail Signs

 Minnesota Historical Society
Fort Ridgely Trail Signs
Revised – October 20, 2014

 Items of Interest

When these signs were installed, it was rumored, that MHS intended to make this a self-guided tour and close the Fort Ridgely interpretive center. If not for the Friends of Fort Ridgely and later Nicollet County Historical Society, the Fort Ridgely interpretive center would have closed.

General Comments

  • U.S.-Dakota Conflict is used here while US-Dakota War is used in other exhibits.
  • The diagram of the Battles of Fort Ridgely is very incorrect.
  • Subjects that should be mentioned here, but are not:
    • Estimates of defenders, refugees and attackers
    • Specifications about the weapons especially the cannons
    • Lt. Sheehan’s forced-march back to Fort Ridgely
    • The return of the Renville Rangers to Fort Ridgely
    • Later in the 2nd battle, the Indians withdrew from the northeast and moved to the southwest to stage one final assault
    • Firing 2 red-hot cannonballs through the hallway of the commander and surgeon’s house into the barn to set it on fire
    • Battle of Birch Coulee

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Review – Milford Reservation Line Sign

Brown County Historical Society
Location: North side of Brown CR 29 just west of Milford Monument
Updated on June 10, 2014

 Items of Interest

Based on new research, the previous review of this sign has been deleted and this sign is being revisited.

This sign was written and erected by the Brown County Historical Society and funded by private individuals.

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