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At the Museum

Upcoming Events

October 17, 2015, 12-4 p.m.
Harvest Festival
& Farmer Gordon Fredrickson

Bloomington Old Town Hall | 10200 Penn Avenue South | Noon-4 p.m.Celebrate fall! Hands on fun!Farmer Gordon Fredrickson will tell us tales of growing up on a farm!

  • Decorate mini-jack pumpkins!
  • Face painting … candle making
  • Old fashioned games
  • Gunny sack races
  • Corn pickin’ contests
  • Pumpkin rolling
  • Come in your Halloween costume!

Join in the fall festivities! See you at Harvest Fest! Questions? Call 952-881-4327

November 1, 2015, 2 p.m.
Annual Meeting
& Tom Zahn: Bloomington Cemetery

Bloomington Old Town Hall | Penn & Old Shakopee Road.

Cultural historian Tom Zahn will present an overview of the historic 1856 Bloomington cemetery, listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Sunday, November 1, 2015 at 2:00 p.m.

The Annual Meeting of the Bloomington Historical Society will follow at 3:30 p.m.

November 8, 2015, 2 p.m.
Veterans' Day Program

The Bloomington Historical Society invites you to join us at the Bloomington Old Town Hall at 102nd & Penn Avenue on Sunday, November 8, 2015 ~ 2 p.m.

Join us for our remembrance in tribute to our veterans! Noted Minnesota folk singer Charlie Macquire will present his original song written for the Cargill shipyard workers during World War II

Enjoy your afternoon at the old town hall with Charlie Macguire!

Visit our history brick plaza - note the bricks in tribute to Bloomington’s veterans of each of the wars since the Civil War.

For further information, please call 952-881-4327

Bring your family and friends!

December 6, 2015, 2 p.m.
Holiday Event–Norwegian Music and Dancing

Featuring JARNBLOM, a group of four instrumentalists (Nyckleharpa, Cello, Violin, Harmonium) directed by Cheryl Paschke.


...Recent Events

April 19, 2015, 2 p.m.
Dugouts of Minnesota

Anne Merriman, Maritime Museum of Minnesota.

May 17, 2015, 2 p.m.
Laura Ingalls Wilder Program

Presented by Laura Ingalls Wilder Days, Village of Pepin, Wisconsin, the birth site of Laura Ingalls Wilder and the setting of the book Little House in the Big Woods.

May 25, 2015, 2 p.m.
Memorial Day Parade–Bloomington Cemetery

June 14, 2015, 12-4 p.m.
Flag Day at the Old Town Hall

Kiddie parade and patriotism!

June 21, 2015, 7 p.m.
John Philip Sousa and Bridgeman’s Ice Cream at the Pond House

Bring your lawn chairs or blankets. Enjoy an evening of music and ice cream!

July 9, 2015, 7 p.m.
Open Mike Poetry Night

Cosponsor: National League of American Pen Women.

July 19, 2015, 2 p.m.
Corey Schroeder Will Present His Capstone Project

About Clark Griffith and the Latino ball players on the Washington Senators baseball team, from 1911-1968. The Senators later became the Minnesota Twins.

August 9, 2015, 2 p.m.
Doug Ohman, Photographer – “Going To Work”

The New deal in Minnesota – Explore the back roads, state parks, urban settings with Doug Ohman as he discovers the legacy foot print that remains from the WPA, PWA, CCC and the VCC, President Roosevelt’s responses to the Great Depression.

September 19, 2015, 2 p.m.
Heritage Day Community Event–Parade, Entertainment, Games!

History tent, history stage, historic re-enactors, pumpkin painting, turf games.

September 27, 2015, 2 p.m.
Old Timers Day–Knights of Columbus Hall.

October 8, 2015, 7 p.m.
Open Mic Poetry Night

Cosponsor: National League of American Pen Women.


Be a Part of Bloomington Forever!

Bloomington's Old Town Hall History Plaza has a place for YOU!

close up of bricks

Sponsor an engraved History Brick on Old Town Hall History Plaza for your family, friends, business, school, sports team, special milestones in life, memorials, awards and other commemorations. Purchase a 3 line 4"X8" brick for $100 or a 6 line 8"X8" brick for $175. Write 18 characters per line, including spaces between lines.

Deadlines are September 14 or February 14 ongoing.

Visit the Old Town Hall History Center at the corner of Penn and Old Shakopee.

  • Include a visit in your itinerary of summer events for visiting guests, reunions, social gatherings.
  • Learn about Bloomington's ancient and recent history.
  • View our cultural collections of historic artifacts, photos and memorabilia of many generations.
  • Hours are Tuesday - Thursday and Saturday, noon to 4 p.m., Sundays, 1 - 5 p.m., closed Mondays and Fridays.

The Bloomington Historical Society is a 501©3 non-profit organization. All donations are tax deductible. Questions? Call 952-881-4327.

An Interesting Artifact

Dugout canoe

Dugout canoe antiquity ~ Circa 1600s

The Bloomington Historical Society-owned dugout canoe antiquity was found by George Hopkins, farmer-historian of Bloomington, on his property between 1966-1968. The canoe was partially buried in mud in the Minnesota River Valley approximately one-third of the way uphill of the lower bluff. Mr. Hopkins sought the opinion of fellow historian Stanley Danielson who realized the significance of finding the rare archaeological treasure. Otto Christianson of the City of Bloomington Parks and Recreation Division was contacted and Park Maintenance staff uncovered the dugout, Approximately 16 feet in length, the find was transported to the Bloomington Old Town Hall Museum, 10200 Penn Avenue South.

An evaluation was requested from the Minnesota Historical Society conservator, who advised that the dugout be soaked in an ethylene glycol product for an indefinite period so as to permeate the dugout for preservation purposes. Glycol was the recommended conservation product at that time. The canoe was on exhibit in the lower level of the the Museum until 2007 when it was removed during the restoration of the building to its 1892 appearance. At that time, to conserve and stabilize the dugout, the Bloomington Historical Society consulted Minnesota Historical Society experts and then enlisted the expertise of Terry Brown of Museum Professionals, Inc. of Loretto, Minnesota.

The dugout has been cleaned of all sand and dirt embedded deep in the recesses. An archival-approved product (b72) was applied that permeated the decayed cells of the dugout and provided strength to the ancient cottonwood. Mr. Brown will also build and install and archival artifact mount for the canoe. The padded steel mount will provide support and long-term exhibition. A maple surface platform on rollers will be used with the archival artifact mount; a graphic panel will provide historical information about the use of dugout canoes by the various indigenous peoples, and will include the processes used in the construction. Following completion of the project, the dugout canoe will be on exhibit at the restored 1892 Bloomington Old Town Hall. The time period for the dugout canoe was estimated by area historians to be circa 1600s, indicating usage by the ancient Iowa/Oneota tribes and later the Dakota peoples.

Birch bark canoes were not used in southern Minnesota at that time.

Sponsor a custom-designed exhibit case

The Bloomington Historical Society is refurbishing the Old Town Hall History Museum with custom-designed exhibit cases, pedestals and kiosks. These items are donor-sponsored. For further information or if you would like to contribute to this effort, please contact 952-881-4327.


Learn More About Bloomington

Old Town Hall


Read the short version of the town's history since 1600.

Bloomington History Timeline

A picture history that fuses our geological and cultural heritage.

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