Kiosk to be dedicated at Slaughter SloughCURRIE — In 1862, settlers fleeing for their lives were killed by Dakota warriors in a grassy field that came to be known as “Slaughter Slough.” On Friday, men and women, including descendants of the settlers, the Dakota and the Lakota, will gather at the slough to dedicate an informational kiosk that tells the story of the conflict that took place.
CURRIE — In 1862, settlers fleeing for their lives were killed by Dakota warriors in a grassy field that came to be known as “Slaughter Slough.” On Friday, men and women, including descendants of the settlers, the Dakota and the Lakota, will gather at the slough to dedicate an informational kiosk that tells the story of the conflict that took place.
The kiosk, made possible through a grant partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, consists of two panels with information about the people who settled around Lake Shetek, the Dakota who were angered by broken treaties and the Lakota Fool Soldiers who rescued women and children taken captive during the conflict.
“The purpose of this is to bring all parties together and give thought to parties that died from all sides,” said Barry Christenson, Wetland District Manager of the Windom Wetland Management District. It is about recognizing what happened in the past and moving on.”
Slaughter Slough is a waterfowl production area, Christenson said, but is also important in a historical respect.
“We manage our areas as wildlife habitats, but like all fed agencies we have a concurrent responsibility to protect and promote cultural areas as well,” he stated.
The dedication, which is open to the public, begins at 10:30 a.m. Friday and will include remarks by local historian Bill Bolin, Christenson, and several others. Richard Bryan will represent the Dakota; Karla Abbott will represent the Lakota; Larry Peterson is a relative of settler Charlie Hatch; and Paul Carpenter will represent the settlers and captives.
“There has been a long-standing interest by members of the local community and the Minnesota Historical Society to do something in recognition of the events of 1862,” Christenson said.
Letters from citizens to local representatives asking for a monument of some kind date back to the 1950s, he added.
In 2003, a monument was put out on the slough. On top of three stones representing the Dakotas, the Fool Soldiers and the settlers, a plaque tells the story of the tragedy.
“We want the public to remember what happened and learn from past events,” Christenson said. “There are a lot of people out there with an interest and ongoing concern for what happened in that particular place and time.”