The Friends Annual Meeting will take place April 5, 2014
at the Mendakota Country Club. Butch Thompson, reknowned Jazz musician, will be the guest speaker. He will discuss the history of jazz in Mendota. Click here
for more information on our Annual Meeting
. You can also print out a convenient RSVP if you wish to attend.
The Friends are pleased to annouce publication of "Dakota Child, Governor's Daughter" by Bruce A. Kohn. This intriguing story covers the life of Helen Hastings Sibley. From the book, "Helen Hasting Sibley bridged two cultures at a time of great transition. She bagan her life among her mother's Dakota people, then came of age in her father's society. Through the transitions in her life, Helen Sibley reflected profound changes in the life of her father,
Henry Hastings Sibley, the fur trader who became th first territorial congressman from and first state governor of Minnesota, and in the lives of the Dakota who once lived across southern Minnesota."
The 174 page paperback is available for purchase through the Friends of Sibley Historic Site (view order form here), at the Dupuis house gift shop and through various historical chapters. It can also be purchased through our Online Store through the link in the left column.
Recently, the Friends presented a check for $10,000 to the Minnesota Historical Society to keep the Sibley Site open for the entire 2012 fiscal year. Shown in the photo below are MHS staff: (LtoR) Peggy Ingison, Chief Financial Officer; Stephen Elliot, Director and Missy Thompson, Treasurer, with Bob Minish, Friend's President, presenting the donation forthe Friends organization.
The Sibley Historic Site was recently featured on KARE-11 TV during their Morning Show to promote the Archeology for Kids Day at the Site in July.
Watch the video on KARE11 Community News by clicking on the picture at left or the link here.
.................. Sibley House ........ in the News ..........
Sharon McDonnell recently wrote a nice article about Sibley House "The Mount Vernon of Minnesota", which was published in the DAR magazine, American Spirit (Jan/Feb 2012). She has graciously permitted the Friends to include this on our website. Click here (or the picture above) to read this excellent story on our Historic Home.
2009 Award of Merit Winner!
A previous undertaking of the Friends group was funding and publishing David Grabitske's biography of Sarah Sibley, entitled "Six Miles from St. Paul." From the book cover, "Six Miles. Not far today, but in Sarah Sibley's time six miles challenged all her training and abilities to maintain relationships with family, friends, God, and a rapidly homogenizing culture. Through it all, she demonstrated her deft skills in managing a demanding household and leading Minnesota's very first historic preservation effort. The wife of Minnesota's first governor lived in Mendota, longed for St. Paul, fully embraced life, and for ten years endured an infection that claimed her life. Both for ordinary and extraordinary accomplishments, Sarah Jane Sibley is worthy to be remembered." This 188 page paperback book is available for purchase through the Friends of the Sibley Historic Site (view order form here), at the Dupuis house gift shop and through various historical chapters.
You can also order a limited edition poster, "A Celebration in Mendota" by David P. Geister, part of which is depicted on the front cover of the book, "Six Miles from St. Paul." See the entire painting & order form by clicking here.
The Friends of the Sibley Historic Site funded the design work or the stairway replacement project at the Sibley House and MHS included the stairway project in a bid package for construction work at the Site in 2005. At left is a picture of the finished stairway.
The Friends’ project to reupholster a sofa at the Dupuis House has turned into a treasure trove for the MHS textile expert. In the process of dismantling the sofa, she later discovered six show covers. The bottom layer, the oldest one, is horsehair fabric, most likely dating the sofa to the 1830’s. The sofa project is just one of many ways in which our Friends organization has been able to assist the Sibley Historic Site. Our members have been very generous in their contributions. This generosity is exemplified by the growth of the endowment fund for the Site. The endowment fund started in 2001 and now stands at over $126,000. The Friends are participating in a Challenge Grant which will match funds of $100,000. We currently need to raise $80,000 to reach this full match amount. We strive to continue to build a source of independent financial support for the Sibley Historic Site and appreciate your help and contributions!
To find out more about the Sibley House Endowment Fund, please follow this link to the MHS website on Planned Giving.
History in the news . . . . .
Our Friends group was established to help preserve this part of Minnesota history and to help foster awareness of the Site. Related to this is helping promote public education in our Minnesota history. Recently, This American Life featured a story about the US-Dakota War of 1862 and its significance in U.S. history 150 years ago. Listen to this account by John Biewen about Mankato, the largest mass execution in U.S. history, what led to the war between the Dakota and the settlers, and about why this has not been talked about much since - until now. Click here to learn more #479: Little War on the Prairie
You can listen to the audio from that presentation and can download a copy via iTunes or Amazon.