John H. Stevens House in Minnehaha Park
After serving in the U.S. Army in the Mexican War, John Stevens travelled to Minnesota in 1849. He met Henry Sibley in May and Sibley mentioned his brother-in-law Franklin Steele needed someone to manage his affairs while he was out west. Stevens was hired by Steele when he returned from the east and began working as his clerk. Steele was the sutler at Fort Snelling.
From Stevens’ autobiography:
On the morning of the 10th of June, 1849, Mr. Steele came into his counting-room, in the rear of the sutler’s store, and asked if I could spare the day to accompany him to the Falls of St. Anthony. He added that he had an object in view, which might possibly be of advantage to me. Having decided to go with him, I did not inquire, at the time, in relation to the proposed visit.
On the way up to the Falls with Mr. Steele he said that, from the best information he could get, the military reservation of Fort Snelling would soon be reduced in size; that many valuable claims could be secured on it, provided the Secretary of War would grant permission…
During the journey up to the Falls we completed our plans and marked out the claim that became my home for many years. I readily obtained permission from the Secretary of War to hold the claim, but was under bonds to maintain a free ferry for the crossing of goverment troops…There on the bank of the river, just above the rapids, I commenced building my humble house, to which, when finished, I brought my wife as a bride, and in it my first children were born, the eldest being the first-born child in Minneapolis proper.
The house was located near where the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis now stands. The house was moved to Minnehaha Park in 1896. The house is open Sundays and holidays from 12-4 pm from Memorial Day to mid-September. They do have fall programming as well, if you are interested in ghost hunting.