As you can read in Alexander Faribault’s Story, Alexander built this house in 1853. It is one of the oldest frame houses still standing in the state. Its construction made it sturdy and spacious, and it was also very stylish. Alexander shared his house with the community. Sometimes church services were held there, and it served as a post office and polling place (a place where people could vote).
There are several interesting stories about the house. One is that Alexander had the lumber to build the house hauled from St. Paul. When the load proved to be too heavy to haul all at once, some of the lumber was left by the side of the trail. Unfortunately, a prairie fire swept through the area before it could be retrieved, and that portion of the lumber burned.
Alexander moved to a new home on the bluffs above the town in 1856, and the Faribault House deteriorated. In the 1950s, the Faribault House was restored with the help of students from Faribault High School and St. Olaf College. Although there have been many changes to the house inside and out, you can still tour the house and stand on the front porch, imagining what Alexander might have seen in 1853.
Alexander Faribault arranged for or donated land to be used as parks for the citizens of Faribault. Central Park was included on the original town plat, and served as the site of many community gatherings. “Faribault Park” was the original name for the small triangle of land near the Buckham Memorial library, on which the Price of Peace statue now stands.
Faribault Family Plot
|Alexander Faribault was very poor when he died in 1882. This family marker and a headstone were placed here many years after his death.|
The Faribault family plot is the last resting place of possibly more than 50 individuals from the Faribault family, and may include other Dakota relatives and friends as well. In addition to Alexander, his wife, and children, some relatives originally interred near the Faribault House in Mendota may have been relocated to Calvary Cemetery when the railroad line was laid through Mendota (immediately behind the house) in 1865.
|Alexander Faribault's last resting place in Calvary Cemetery has a view of the bluffs that inspired him to settle in the area. This view also includes some of the other older grave markers at the cemetery. It is notable that Calvary Cemetery was way beyond the outskirts of town when Alexander was buried there, and yet today is bordered by cornfields.|
|This fountain, created by sculptor Ivan Whillock, features the figures of Alexander Faribault and a Dakota trading partner. It is located in Faribault close to the Straight River, and not far from the site of Alexander’s trading post and the Alexander Faribault House.|