Post by ● Sep 9, 2016

City of Mendota Heights: A Brief History

Tagged: Mendota Heights Minnesota, , , , , ,

The first settlers to the Mendota Heights area were French and British fur traders. In 1699, French explorer Pierre Charles Le Sueur sailed through the Mendota Heights’ bluffs on the Mississippi River looking for copper. In the 1700’s, the confluence of the Mississippi and Minnesota rivers became a popular destination for French and British fur traders and was named Mendota from the Dakota word meaning “meeting place of rivers”.

In 1805, Lieutenant Pike was sent to find the origin of the Mississippi river. While traveling to find the river’s source, Pike bought 155,000 acres of land from Native American chiefs, including over half of Mendota Heights. A few years later, construction on the future Fort Snelling began. By the 1920’s, a ferry connected Fort Snelling and the nearby settlement of Mendota. Mendota was established and grew primarily because of the American Fur Company post that operated in the area.

With the arrival of Henry Sibley in 1834, the post and city began to thrive. Sibley built a warehouse and home, and later became a delegate for the Wisconsin Territory. When he returned to Mendota, Minnesota had become a territory and Sibley proposed St. Paul as the capitol.

Mendota again grew with the signing of the Treaty of Mendota in 1851. The northeast side of Pilot Knob was the meeting place of the treaty, which opened up all the land west of Mississippi for white settlement. In 1853, the church of St. Peter was built in Mendota Heights and is presently the oldest operating church in the state. Later in 1858, the village of Mendota became a part of the Mendota Township. The Mendota Bridge was constructed in 1926 and was the longest poured concrete bridge in the world at that time. Eventually, in 1956, Mendota Township was incorporated as the Village of Mendota Heights.  

If you have any questions regarding the city of Mendota Heights, 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.