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At the Museum

Upcoming Events

2020 Events  

This year's events will be added as the information becomes available.  

Questions? Call 952-881-4114.

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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