1851 on the River Program
A project of: Minnesota Historical and Cultural Grants Program
Wabasha Public Library
In a collaborative effort between the Wabasha Public Library and the Wabasha County Museum the history of the Wabasha area was interpreted in a weekend event focusing on the Treaty of Traverse des Sioux and its impact on the "Half-Breed Tract", a reservation of children of mixed Indian and European ancestry. The 1851 signing of the Treaty of Traverse des Sioux and the resulting settlement and tourism were analyzed through the perspectives of the native Dakota, the Euro-American tourist and the newly arrived settlers from 1851 to 1861.
The program events took place on the Mississippi river between Wabasha and Reads Landing and at the Wabasha County Museum. Paddleboats conducted hourly tours, participants were given biography cards of real people living in the area during the decade, professional history re-enactors told stories about these specific characters and a local history booklet was distributed. All activities served to bring attention to an important piece of local history.