Bloomington Historical Society banner

At the Museum

Upcoming Events—2016

October 8, 2016, Noon – 4 p.m.
Harvest Fest

  • Farmer Gordon Fredrickson (Tales of Growing up on a Farm) at 2 p.m.
  • Carver Creek Singers at 3 p.m.
  • Games and activities during the entire event. 

Harvest Fest poster

October 20, 2016, 7:00 p.m.
Open Mic Poetry Readings

A collaboration of the America Pen Women and the Bloomington Historical Society.

November 6, 2016, 2:00 p.m.
Craftsmanship of the early Viking period of Northern Europe;
BHS Annual Meeting

Viking Age Club will demonstrate the remarkable craftsmanship of the early Viking period of Northern Europe. Try hands-on Viking bead work and more!  Annual meeting will follow at 4 p.m.

December 4, 2016, 2:00 p.m.
Scandinavian Holiday Music & Dancing

Ross Sutter, along with Musicians Cheryl and Marya, will present Scandinavian Holiday Music & Dancing!  Enjoy the Holiday Festivities at the Bloomington Old Town Hall!


Previously in 2016

January 21, 2016 , 7:00 p.m.
Open Mic Poetry Readings

A  collaboration of the American Pen Women and the Bloomington Historical Society

February 14, 2016 , 2:00 p.m.
Valentine’s Day Love Poetry Readings

American Pen Women and the Bloomington Historical Society

March 20, 2016, 2:00 p.m.
St. Patrick’s Day Celebration

With the Carver Creek Bluegrass

April 10, 2016, 2:00 p.m.
Farming in Bloomington prior to Suburban Development

Gordon Fredrickson will lead this discussion.

April 21,2016, 7:00 p.m.
Open Mic Poetry Readings

A collaboration of the American Pen Women and the Bloomington Historical Society

May 22, 2016, 2:00 p.m.
"What's Under Water" in the Minnesota River?

A 58-mile survey of the Minnesota River from Fort Snelling to Hendeson. A collaboration of the Maritime Heritage Museum and the Bloomington Historical Society

June 14, 2016, 2:00 p.m.
Flag Day

Celebrate the American Flag…and the history of the Stars and Stripes! Don’t miss this patriotic event.

June 19, 2016, 7:00 p.m.
John Philip Sousa Music and Ice Cream at the Gideon Pond House

Enjoy John Philip Sousa music and ice cream at the Gideon Pond House lawn. Music -  Arts in the Parks; Bridgeman’s ice cream social -  Bloomington Historical Society.

July 21, 2016, 7:00 p.m.
Open Mic Poetry Readings

By the American Pen Women and the Bloomington Historical Society – A collaboration

July 31, 2016, 2:00 p.m.
The Restoration of Comanche

Terry Brown presents the story of the restoration of Comanche, a U.S. Cavalry horse, who was the sole survivor or the Battle of Bighorn led by General Custer.

August 21, 2016, 2:00 p.m.
Churches of Minnesota

Doug Ohman, noted Photographer of  Minnesota Historic Sites and Landscapes will present Churches of Minnesota.

September 17, 2016, Noon – 6:00
Heritage Day at Nativity

Historic Interpreters, pie eating contest, old fashioned games & more! - 99th and Lyndale – the Historical Society's events take place from noon to 6 p.m. 



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.

  Home     About BHS     Collections     Heritage     History     Links