Post by ● Aug 8, 2016

City of Mendota: A Brief History

Tagged: Mendota Minnesota, , , ,

The City of Mendota prides itself on its rich heritage. The town was one of the very first settlements in the state of Minnesota, with its establishment dating back to around the same time as Fort Snelling across the river.

The first inhabitants in the Mendota area were the Dakota Indigenous people. The name Mendota comes from the Dakota word mdo-te, meaning “meeting of the waters”. The tribe believed the area that’s in modern day Mendota to be the center of the earth and made the tall hill overlooking the Mississippi and Minnesota rivers their burial place.

In 1805, Lieutenant Pike was sent by President Jefferson to explore the upper Mississippi and purchase a site for a fort. Pike chose the confluence of the Mississippi and Minnesota rivers as the location for the fort and the present day city of Mendota was part of the purchase from the Dakota. The area served as an assembly area for materials as Fort Snelling was constructed. Mendota’s first real residents arrived in 1825 when the American Fur Company opened a post on the assembly site. A stone warehouse and home were built in 1834 when Henry Sibley arrived to take over management of the post. Sibley later became the first governor of Minnesota in 1858.

In 1842, one the state’s first churches was built by Father Ravoux on top of the burial bluff. In accordance with the town site act of 1848, Mendota was incorporated as a town and later, in 1887, was established as a village. It wasn’t until 1974 that Mendota was officially established as the City of Mendota.

If you have any questions regarding the city of Mendota, Minnesota, or if you would like to sell or buy a house in the area, please feel free to visit or call 1-800-909-1953.