Upper Post of Fort Snelling: Commandant’s Residence

  • May 4, 2014

Without a doubt, the post commandant’s residence was the grandest of all of the homes along Officer’s Row. The Second Empire style home was nearly 7,000 square feet in size, with six bedrooms and three bathrooms. The first floor featured a large dining room, library, and two sitting rooms. A large conservatory was also located on this floor at the side of the home. The second and third floors were less formal. The family’s bedrooms and a sitting room were located on the second floor. The third floor contained one or two bedrooms and storage space.

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In early 1911, Lieutenant Colonel Edward Hinkley Plummer, 28th Infantry, took over command of the post. He moved into the home with his wife, Georgia, and one of their daughters. New furniture was moved in for Plummer and his family including two bedroom sets, a sideboard, dining room table and six chairs, a divan, arm chairs, and bookcases, a desk, chair, and table for the library. Forty-six new window shades and thirty-six curtain rods were installed during this time. A refrigerator was also moved into the residence.

Unfortunately, all of the redecorating was for naught. On November 22, 1911, sparks from a stove started a fire. Even though the fire house wasn’t far from the home, the blaze spread quickly and by the time it was put out, only the four exterior walls were left standing. No one was injured in the blaze, but the home was a total loss (estimated at $10,000). The remaining walls were torn down and the debris was cleaned up, but the home was never rebuilt and the lot sat empty until this part of the fort was claimed for the airport expansion.

Plummer was promoted to Colonel in December 1911 and remained as the post commandant until he and his regiment were moved to Vera Cruz, Mexico, where they served during the occupation. He went on to climb the military ladder — retiring as Brigadier-General in 1918. Plummer died in Monterey, California at the age of 71.

Fast Facts:
Commonly Known As: Commandant’s Residence
Building Number: A12
Year built: 1879
Last year of occupancy: 1911
Square footage: 6,925
Floors: 3

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