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On Saturday, Meghan and I took a short ride to the town of St. Peter, Mn and visited the Traverse des Sioux historical park, cameras in hand. The information center itself was closed (like *everything* these days...) but the short hiking trail with a few informational signs was open. Late summer flowers, and plentiful insects, were the main objects of interest.

Historical background: That area was a spot where fording the Minnesota River was easy due to the river being wide and low, with a mostly rock river bed. Walking across was easy, as was horse and cart traffic. The local Indian tribes, all sub-sets of the Sioux Nation (Dakota, Sisseton, Wahpeton, Medewhapheton (sic), etc.) had been using the area for un-told decades, or even centuries. The first European explorers in the area, mostly French trappers, gave the place it's name, meaning "Crossing of the Sioux". In the early 1850's a small settlement was established there, with a river landing, trading shop, church, and several other businesses. A decade later it became a focal point of the beginning of the Sioux Wars, where the Sioux Nation rose up violently in protest to the US Government's failure to provide food and lands to the Sioux tribes. The next few years saw much bloodshed on both sides (while the American Civil War was raging to the east.) The war with the Sioux claimed more than 500 settlers (mostly rural farmers) and Minnesotan soldiers, and at least that many Sioux, lives lost, The war culminated in the mass hanging of 38 captured Sioux tribesmen in Mankato (where I currently reside.) An act which is still the largest mass execution in US history. This execution was ordered by President Lincoln, who had to select the names of those who were to perish. He trimmed the number to 38 from the original (70-ish?) number of names given to him.

With that ghastly bit of history ... here's a few of my photos from that day.

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