100 Bloomington Historic Sites
by George E. Hopkins
Copyright September, 1968
1. Indian Mounds. The largest group of Indian Burial Mounds in Bloomington are in Mound Springs Park, located on the Minnesota River Bluffs, east of 12th Avenue at 102nd Street. Winding through this city park are several foot trails. The Indian mounds are near the edge of the Bluffs and from this side there is an unusually good view of the Minnesota River Valley.
2. Quinn Point. Peter Quinn came to Bloomington in 1843. He was the first white man to settle as a farmer in Bloomington. His home, a log cabin, was built on the Minnesota River Bluffs, about where Elliot Avenue, if extended, would intersect the River Bluffs. The site of his log cabin is now called Quinn Point.
Peter Quinn was appointed by the government in 1843 to teach the Indians how to farm. His fields were in Section 14, north of his cabin site.
3. Parker Picnic Grounds. Located on the Minnesota River Bluffs, east of Portland Avenue, this area was operated by the Parker family from the early 1930s until 1965, and since then the area has been a city park and picnic area.
4. An Indian Cemetery near the Gideon Pond House. It is recorded in the Gideon Pond letters, that from 1843 until the Oak Grove Cemetery was established in 1856, Gideon H. Pond, as missionary to the Indians, had buried a number of Indians in a burial ground on the Minnesota Riverbluffs.
Indian Graves found on the Wilson Pond farm, a few rods southeast of the Gideon Pond brick house, may be the site of the burials by Gideon Pond. This area of Indian Grave sites is being preserved by the Park Department of the City of Bloomington.
5. Gideon Pond House. Gideon H. Pond and his brother Samuel settled on the east shore of Lake Calhoun in 1834 and worked as missionaries to the Indians. In 1843 Gideon and Samuel moved to Bloomington, and their first log cabin, south of 104th Street near 4th Avenue, stood a short distance southeast of the present brick house. Gideon Pond built the brick house in 1856, using clay and sand from nearby deposits and baking the brick on the site. This was the first brick house in Bloomington. The walls of the house up to the 2nd floor are three bricks thick and above the 2nd floor the walls are two bricks thick.
Since the day the house was built, there have always been Pond family descendants living in the house. Gideon Pond's first log cabin also served as the Dakota Mission School Building.
6. Roberts Store. The Charlie Roberts grocery store was located on the east side of Lyndale Avenue between 94th and 95th Streets. The building stood a few feet north of the Dan Patch Railway Tracks and north of the Oxboro Heath Railway Station. The store was built about 1912 and was operated as a family grocery store until the great depression of the 1930s.
7. Curtis Grocery Store. Opened in the fall of 1910, the store was located in the northeast corner of the intersection of Lyndale Avenue and 95th Street. The building stood a few feet southeast of the Oxboro Heath Railway Station.
8. Oxboro Hall. Built soon after 1910 by the Men's Club of the Assumption Church, the hall was on the north side of 95th Street, east of Lyndale Avenue, on the same site as the present Fire Station. Although the building was privately owned, it was the center of many community activities.
9. Oxboro Heath Railway Station. The site of the depot and platform was on the south side of the Dan Patch Railway tracks and a few feet east of Lyndale Avenue.
10. Terrain Markings of an Indian Village Site. The site is still visible at the foot of the Minnesota River Bluffs near 2nd Avenue, if it was extended extended. There are at least eighteen tepee sites visible on the undisturbed virgin sod. This was a winter camping ground and the Indians were known to have camped there in the 1940s. An Indian trail, called "Travois Trail," leads from the camp site to the top of the Bluffs. On the slopes of the Bluffs in this area, the wild "Sage" grows. It is thought that sprigs and roots of the western sage, caught in the cracks of the travois poles, were brought in by the Indians on their return trips from the Black Hills, where they obtained lodge pole pine for their tepees.
11. George Sunde's Blacksmith and Machine Shop. Located at 9825 Lyndale Avenue South, the shop was opened in 1926 and is still available for blacksmith shop work. This is the only old-time blacksmith shop still operating in Bloomington.
12. Cates School - District 10. On April 5, 1867, the pioneer school board set aside $400.00 for a 24 x 34 foot school building. This school was originally located in Section 15, about midway between Lyndale Avenue and Nicollet Avenue on the north side of Old Shakopee Road. It was built in 1867 and burned down in 1873 or 1874.
The school site was then relocated in Section 16 at the northwest corner of Lyndale Avenue and Old Shakopee Road and opened for school in the fall of 1874 in a new building and continued until the Bloomington Consolidated School opened in the fall of 1918.
13. Chatelle Cabin, Blacksmith Shop, Barge Landing. Victor Chatelle, one of Bloomington 's earliest settlers, was appointed to do blacksmith work for the Indians in 1847. His blacksmith shop was on a Minnesota River Bluff point, a few feet southeast of the house located at 171 West Spring Valley Drive, and the site of the Chatelle cabin was in the front lawn of the house at 201 West Spring Valley Drive.
About two city blocks to the west, on a southerly extension of Hopkins Road, is the site of the steamboat landing road, a trail which wound down the river bluffs, to the steamboat landing on the river bank. This trail, the northerly extension which later became Lyndale Avenue, has been called the oldest County Road in Hennepin County. At the top of the bluffs, Victor Chatelle once platted a town site called "Chatelle," which was never developed.
The Chatelle Steamboat and Pole Barge Landing was a Port of Call for the paddle boats, pole barges and steamboats plying the Minnesota River from the 1850s to the 1890s.
14. The Hopkins Ferry. Built of timbers and planks in 1907 by Leigh and Joe Hopkins, the Hopkins Ferry was located about a city block down stream from the steamboat landing. This Ferry was used to transport teams, wagons and other farm equipment, loads of hay, logs and fire wood, and also cattle across the Minnesota River. It was hand operated by pulling on a heavy rope which was tied to trees at each side of the river. There was enough slack in the rope so that it lay on the bottom of the river when not in use. The Ferry was dismantled in 1921.
15. Steam Irrigating Plant. In 1912, Leigh Hopkins bought a used steam power pumping plant from the Twin City Street Railway Co. The steam plant consisted of an upright boiler, two large steam cylinders and two large water cylinders. Leigh hauled the steam plant from the Railway's St. Paul plant with a team and sleigh by disassembling the machinery and making several trips. The steam boiler was hauled by truck. Leigh reassembled the steam plant on the north bank of the Minnesota River bank near the site of the Hopkins Ferry Landing. From the steam plant, a six inch iron pipe was laid across the marsh and up the bluff slope to the black raspberry fields on the upland.
This pumping plant was used to pump river water to the black raspberry fields for irrigating until about World War I. The pumping capacity was 600 gallons per minute. The plant was dismantled during World War II and sold for scrap iron.
16. McLeod and Schwyzer Ferry. The "McLeod Ferry" was operated by the McLeod family and by neighbors at the Chatelle steamboat landing, between 1850 and 1890. At the same landing, the "Schwyzer Ferry" was operated across the Minnesota River from 1905 until about 1921, when the Lyndale Avenue bridge was opened. The last Schwyzer Ferry was a steel hull ferry and was powered by a one cylinder gasoline engine which turned a steel drum. A steel cable, anchored on both sides of the river, with a loop or two around the steel drum propelled the Ferry across the river. This Ferry was large enough to carry a team and loaded wagon with room to spare and was used to ferry farm equipment and farm produce across the river. It was operated by the Schwyzers for their own use.
17. Martin S. McLeod Home. Born in 1812, Martin arrived at Fort Snelling in 1837. Martin S. McLeod settled in Bloomington in 1849. His home was on the Minnesota River Bluffs on the west side of the Steamboat Landing Road and east of the present Lyndale Avenue. Today the Archer-Daniels-Midland office and Research Building stands on the McLeod site.
Martin S. McLeod was one of Bloomington 's most prominent and influential citizens. He served with the territorial legislature and helped organize and served on the first township government in Bloomington. Several descendants still live in Bloomington.
18. Lyndale Airport. The Lyndale Airport site was on the west side of Lyndale Avenue at 100th Street. The land was leased by Harry Jaunty in 1931 for a flying field and covered an area 20 rods wide north and south, by 80 rods long east and west.
Harry Jaunty built a hangar near the northeast corner of the field, which was used by the Oxboro Flying Club. Among the pilots who used the Lyndale field and also the Nicollet Avenue and Cedar Avenue flying fields were: Wallace L. Neumann, Gilbert Enger, Ingvold J. (Slim) Enger, F.A. (Al) Schauss, Gerard M. Justen, Clarence J. Valerius, Naomi E. Hansen, George F. Cornelius, Sam Kelsey and William C. Weeks.
Wally Neumann was an instructor using a OX5 Waco 9, a biplane. From 1933 until about 1937, Dale and Wally Neumann ran the flying field and in 1937 or 1938 they moved to the Nicollet Avenue flying field. The hanger burned in 1935 and two airplanes were lost in the fire.
19. The Bloomington Cemetery. On December 27, 1856, Martin S. McLeod deeded to Gideon H. Pond, in trust for the First Presbyterian Church of Oak Grove, a three acre tract of land on the west side of Lyndale Avenue South at 104th Street, for a burial ground.
According to Mrs. Marie Pederson, Sexton, the first white burial was about 1850. One monument still standing if dated 1853. Apparently there were quite a number of Indian burials prior to 1850.
Walter Pederson was the Cemetery Sexton from 1911 until 1953 and his wife, Mrs. Marie Pederson, has faithfully and efficiently carried on the duties of the Sexton since 1953.
20. Little Susan. Dakota Indian Girl, who had been adopted by Mrs. A.M. Whalen, was murdered by a band of Chippewa Indians in 1852.
As the story is told, Little Susan was playing one day on the Indian Burial Mound, near the Ames cabin. Mrs. Whalen, with her baby and Little Susan, were visiting with Mrs. Orville Ames. Mrs. Ames became Mrs. John Brown years later. The Ames cabin was located a short distance southwest of the Indian Mounds. Little Susan observed the band of about 20 Chippewas riding nearby and she ran into the house. The Indians saw Little Susan and very soon they rode up to the house and walked in the cabin door, single file.
The first Indian told Mrs. Ames and Mrs. Whalen that they wanted to see the Indian girl and shake her hand. As each Indian shook her hand he passed her on to the next Indian until they had her out of the door. Then they shot her through the arm and breast and scalped her. The Indians then mounted their horses and rode away. Little Susan died very soon and her stone marker in the Bloomington Cemetery is a reminder of her tragic death, and of the savage ways of the Indians of the period.
21. Edgewood Railway Station. The location was on the south site of the Railway track near Humboldt Avenue. This site had a platform only.
22. Robert J. and Cora Kelley Home. Located at 10300 Humboldt Avenue, the Kelley home was an excellent example of the architecture of good houses of over a hundred years ago.
23. Kelley Picnic Grounds. The Kelley Picnic Grounds on Nine Mile Creek, were west of the Kelley home at 10300 Humboldt Avenue South . The picnic ground was operated by Robert J. Kelley in the 1920s and 1930s and was a very popular picnic area for many people in the Twin City area. Within the picnic area was the site of the McAfee Mill.
24. Rene Baillif House and Baillif Sorghum Press and Boiler. The original Rene Baillif house still stands at 10624 Humboldt Avenue South and is now owned by Mr. and Mrs. B. T. Williams.
In 1884 on the west side of the house there was a sorghum press powered by a four-horse sweep or turntable. The sorghum juice was boiled in a large iron kettle which stood nearby and the boiling of the sorghum was usually supervised by Hank Palmer. The sweep, press and boiler were located about four rods west of the house.
Many farmers in this area hauled wagon loads of sorghum stocks to the press, to have the sorghum juice pressed out and boiled for sorghum syrup.
25. McAfee Mill. The site of the McAfee Mill and Dam was on Nine Mile Creek, west of 10300 Humboldt Avenue South. The Mill and Dam were built by William J. McAfee in 1877 and was operated by the McAfee family and later by several other families as a grist mill until about 1905. That year the Dam washed out for the last time. The Mill building was destroyed by fire in 1914.
The Evans family were one of the families who operated the Mill for a number of years. On the wall in the Mill a placard hung which said:
"To all you farmers please take heed
I want the cash when you want the feed.
I work for you cheap and hard all day,
And for every grist I want my pay."
By Grampa Evans (Edward K. Evans)
26. Harrison Picnic Grounds. On Nine Mile Creek, the Harrison Picnic Grounds were upstream from the Kelly Picnic Grounds and were west of the Clement A. Harrison home at 10120 Humboldt Avenue South.
The picnic grounds were owned and operated by Clement A. Harrison from the 1920s until the 1940s.
27. A Cumming Blacksmith Shop. In the 1870s, in that part of the township called Bloomington Village, near the intersection of Old Shakopee Road and Penn Avenue South, there was a blacksmith shop in a part of the building now known (1967) as the Village Body Shop. This shop was operated by A. Cumming until he sold the shop to Hector Chadwick in 1880.
28. Hector Chadwick's Blacksmith Shop in Bloomington Village. This was the second shop operated by Hector. In 1880 Hector Chadwick and his family moved from the top of the Bloomington Ferry Hill to the Bloomington Village and he bought the A. Cumming Blacksmith Shop. This shop was operated by Hector until 1919, when it was sold to Linus Heger. Hector then set up a shop to do his own blacksmith work in a small building behind the King Insurance Building.
29. Linus Heger's Blacksmith Shop. Remodeled in 1919, Heger operated the shop until 1938. The building is now the Village Body Shop, located at 2121 West Old Shakopee Road.
30. The Bloomington Telephone Exchanges. In the early 1900s there were two telephone companies in the Bloomington area. One, the Tri-State Company, had a switchboard in the Baillif Store at Penn Avenue and Old Shakopee Road, and the telephone service started about 1902 or 1903. Three of the telephone switchboard operators were Mrs. Dave Palmer, Susie Palmer, and Mrs. May.
The other company was the Shakopee Telephone Company, and the first switchboard was in the George Palmer home which was then located on East Old Shakopee Road about where the present Trail Nursery is located. This switchboard had only two or three telephone lines and was operated by the Palmer family whenever a call came in. This switchboard was moved to Bloomington in 1905, in a building owned by Will Chadwick and located (about) where the Cal Chadwick vegetable stand is now located. Before 1908 the switchboard was moved from its original site, to the south side of Old Shakopee Road just west of the present King Insurance Building. The exchange remained there until both the Shakopee Telephone Company and the Tri-State Company were taken over by the N.W. Bell System about World War I period.
On the Shakopee telephone exchange, the first switchboard operator after the move from George Palmer's house to Bloomington, was Mrs. John Brown, and following her was her sister Rose Huth.
When the switchboard was moved to the Grange building there were quite a number of operators, among them were: Mollie Eidsvold, Mrs. Tronto, Bonnie Cameron and her sister Doris Cameron, and Hazel Standish.
Many families in Bloomington had two telephones in their home, one telephone for each company, as the companies in their competitive efforts did not furnish connecting service. The early telephones were large wall hung phones and each subscriber had a call number such as one long ring and two short rings. To call the operator one turned a small crank on the side of the box containing the batteries and mechanism. All lines were party lines with sometimes a dozen or more subscribers on a line. When one telephone bell rang for a subscriber, all the subscribers' telephone bells would ring. If too many receivers were listening on the line at the same time the voices of the speakers became very faint, sometimes much to the disgust of the people trying to converse. Eavesdropping was one of the forms of the early news media.
31. The First Presbyterian Church of Oak Grove. Built in 1855 and 1856 in the Bloomington Cemetery, the church remained on this site until April 1864. It was decided then to move the church building to its present location at the northeast corner of the intersection of Penn Avenue South and Old Shakopee Road.
That April of 1864 the church building was moved on skids and pulled by four yoke of oxen and two teams of horses. The men with their oxen and horses had skidded the church building cross country to a point about half way to its new location when the building came off the skids, and the late afternoon light began to change to darkness. The men decided to leave the building there for the night and as they left, each driving his own oxen toward home, one man called to another and said, "Well thar she sits, en thar's whar she's gonna stay." However they finished the moving job soon thereafter.
The wooden cross in front of the present church was made from timbers taken from the Gideon Pond log cabin which stood southeast of the Gideon Pond brick house. The timbers and logs in the cabin had been used to build the barn and were preserved and available to construct the Cross in 1951.
32. The Bloomington Town Hall. The town hall is located at the southwest corner of the intersection of 102nd Street and Penn Avenue South.
The Town Hall was built in 1892 and the original site was a few feet north of the present site, within the street area of 102nd Street. Later the building was moved south to its present site. The Town Hall has been remodeled several times both inside and outside. At one time there was a bell tower and a bell on the roof.
This building was the headquarters and meeting place for the Town Board, the Village Council and for a time, for the City Council. The building was used for city offices until 1964.
Beginning in 1964 and up to the present, the Old Town Hall has been the headquarters and museum for the Bloomington Historical Society.
33. The Grange Hall. Originally called the "Oak Grove Hall", the hall was built in 1875 on a site just south of the present Old Town Hall. The building was the office and meeting place for the Grange and it was also used for Town Board meetings until 1892. For a time there were some high school classes taught in the Grange Hall.
The building was moved about 1916 or 1917 to the south side of the Old Shakopee Road and was located about where the present east driveway entrance to the City Municipal Building is situated. For many years, the remodeled building served as the Bloomington Telephone Exchange.
34. The Baillif Store. The site of the Baillif Store was in the northwest corner of the intersection of Penn Avenue South and Old Shakopee Road, just south of the original site of the Grange Hall. The Baillif Store was built in 1885 and served as a grocery and general merchandise store until the 1930s.
The Bloomington Fire Department destroyed the building by burning in 1965.
35. The Estate. The Wales Estate buildings were located on the Minnesota River Bluffs near Thomas Avenue. This estate was owned by Charles E. Wales, a wealthy lumberman and pioneer fuel dealer, who developed the estate in the 1890s.
The buildings included a very large mansion with a wine cellar and a tunnel below the house to the Club House. The Club House contained a ballroom and all the features necessary for lavish entertaining. Connected to the Club House was a huge swimming pool. There was also a large barn, a 16 stall carriage house and an observatory with a telescope for studying the stars. There is a story about the first Wales Mansion. After the architect's plans were approved and the contractor started the building, Mr. and Mrs. Wales left for Europe. When they returned, the mansion was finished but Charles didn't like it so he had it torn down and had another large mansion built. This last building was torn down in the 1930s.
Frederick B. Wells bought the estate about 1935 and built a very large house. Marvin Anderson bought the property in the 1950s. It is now the home of Mr. and Mrs. Marvin H. Anderson.
36. The Bloomington Railway Station. The site was on the southwest corner of the intersection of Penn Avenue South and the Dan Patch Railway. This station consisted of a platform and depot.
37. The McCutchan Store. uilt and operated by Wm. McCutchan about 1920, the store was located on the west side of Penn Avenue just north of the Dan Patch Railway. It was operated as a grocery store until the 1930s.
38. The Half Way House (Nine Mile Creek Hotel). This Hotel was built by Jean Pascal Baillif in 1854. It was located on the east side of Nine Mile Creek and on the north side of the St. Paul - Shakopee Trail. The stable for the horses was located on the south side of the St. Paul-Shakopee Trail, and also on the east side of the Creek.
The hotel was a stop for the stage coach, and was also a post office, and provided food and lodging for many travelers in the early days.
39. Joe Pepin's Blacksmith Shop. The shop was located about one-eight of a mile east of ___ Avenue on the south side of Old Shakopee Road. This shop operated in the 1890s.
40. The Palmer School - District 13. This school has also been known as the Baillif School, the Gibson School and the Miller School. The site was on the southeast corner of France Avenue and Old Shakopee Road. The school was built in 1859, and was the first public school house in Bloomington.
41. Bradbury Railway Station. The site was on the north side of the M.N.& S. Railway tracks and about 300 feet east of France Avenue. There was no depot or platform.
42. Palmer Railway Station. The site was on the north side of the M.N.&S. Railway tracks about one-quarter of a mile west of France Avenue and this was a platform stop.
43. Bluff Park (Masonic Home) Railway Station. The site was on the southwest corner of Normandale Avenue and the M.N. & S. Railway. There was a platform and depot.
44. M. W. Savage Home. The M.W. Savage Home on the Minnesota River Bluffs was located east of Normandale Avenue and overlooked the Dan Patch Race Track and barns across the river near the town of Savage. This was a very large and beautiful house and was the summer home of the Savage family.
The site is now a part of the Masonic Home property.
45. The Valley View Railway Stop. The stop was located at the north end of the Savage Bridge over the Minnesota River. This was only a stop and had no platform or depot. For a few months in 1910 there was a railroad turntable nearby.
46. Eidsvold. Siprian O. Eidsvold and his family lived on the Minnesota River Bluffs about one-quarter mile west of the intersection of Auto Club Road and Normandale Avenue. He bought the house from Mr. Goodrich in 1884. Mr. Eidsvold served as the Savage Bridge Master for many years and it was he who opened the bridge for the steamboats plying the river.
Siprian Eidsvold also built and operated for his own use, a small ferry which he used to haul hay and firewood across the river before the Savage Bridge was built.
47. The Dan Patch Railway. The railway, also called "The Hy Line", by the railroad men, opened for operation on July 4, 1910, between Nicollet and 54th Street and Savage.
The northerly terminal was called the 54th Street Station and also the "Truax" Station and this was also the south terminal for the Nicollet Avenue streetcar line. The Streetcar line had a "Y" at the Truax Station, for turning around and the Dan Patch line had a "Y" near their shop at 60th Street. The Truax Station consisted of a depot and platform and for a time there was a lunch counter in the depot. Commuters transferred between the two railway systems at this point and from 1910 to about 1920 the passenger service was very good.
On December 1, 1910, the Dan Patch line began to operate to Northfield and later extended the "Main Line" from the Auto Club Station northward to the Minneapolis downtown station near 7th Street and 2nd Avenue North.
Passenger coaches were pulled by gasoline-electric motor cars. These motor cars were divided into engine compartment in the front, a baggage and mail compartment and third, a passenger compartment. As the Dan Patch motor cars, sometimes pulling passenger coaches, rolled through Bloomington the deep sounding, mellow resonance of their air horns echoed through the countryside and could be heard for miles.
Quite a number of Bloomington people worked for the Dan Patch line, among them were Ed Chadwick who was a Section Foreman at the the age of 17. Two of Ed's brothers, Lloyd Chadwick and Ernest Chadwick were motor car engineers. Ernest Chadwick was an engineer for 46 years and Lloyd was an engineer for 51 years.
After the ownership of the railway passed from M.W. Savage, it was reorganized and became known as the Minneapolis, Northfield and Southern Railway, or M.N. & S. Ry. It was nicknamed the "Mighty Nice and Speedy Too."
About 1918 and for the next two or three years, the M.N. & S. Ry. ran a White Truck with railroad flanged wheels and a bus body on the Dan Patch line hauling passengers from the Auto Club Station to the 54th Street Station. Engineers on this special passenger car were Harry Palmer and Harry Adams and conductors were Jack McDermott and Bill Meyers.
The first gasoline-electric motor cars, which were combination baggage and passenger cars, had names. They were "The Augerita," "The Marion," "The Rosemont," and the "Irene." The others were numbered No. 4 through No. 12.
Passenger service was discontinued April 30, 1942, however the M.N. & S. Ry. operates an active freight business using diesel locomotives to haul the freight trains. The Augerita was a smaller motor car than the others and after a year's service on the railway, it was found to be inadequate for railway service. It was sidetracked in Antlers Park and used to generate power for the park. It was not included in the Railway Numbering System for active motor cars.
48. Marshall Store. The Marshall Store site was on the north side of the Old Shakopee Road and on the east side and adjacent to the main line tracks of the M.N.& S. Ry.
49. Nesbitt Station. The Nesbitt Station site was on the southeast corner of Old Shakopee Road and the M.N.& S. Ry. main line. This was a platform stop and was across the street, to the south of the Marshall Store.
50. Minneapolis Automobile Club. The site of the Minneapolis Automobile Club was on the Minnesota Valley Bluffs on the south side of Auto Club Road, southwest of the Minnesota Valley Golf Club on what is now called Bluff Drive. The original Minneapolis Automobile Club was built in 1908 and burned to the ground in 1918. The new larger building was built on the same site soon after the old building burned.
The Club House building and the beautifully landscaped grounds on the edge of the Minnesota Valley Bluffs were an outstanding sight and the Club with its excellent chefs and service was a very popular place for diners. The facilities were not designed for winter use and eventually became uneconomical to operate as a seasonal business. In the mid-1950s the buildings were wrecked and the grounds developed into homesites.
51. Auto Club Railway Station. The Auto Club Railway Station was on the south side of the Auto Club Road and on the east side of the railway track. This station had a platform and depot. For a short time this was the south terminal and there was a turntable just south of the depot.
52. Largest Indian Mounds. The largest known Indian Mound in Bloomington is located on the south side of Auto Club Road, across the road from 6630 Auto Club Road. It was on this mound that Little Susan, Dakota Indian girl, was playing the day that she was murdered.
53. Bloomington Ferry Methodist Church. Built in 1890 in Shakopee, the church was moved in 1905, down river and cross country to its present site of the southeast corner of Old Shakopee Road and Louisianna Avenue.
54. Bloomington Ferry Hill School - District 14. Built in 1866, the school's site is the northwest corner of the intersection of Old Shakopee Road and Louisianna Avenue. The school house foundation still exists.
Mrs. Ray Margadan gave us a list of names of some of the teachers as she remembers them: Minerva Agnes (Mrs. Skaro), Miss Shaffer, Miss Abbie Goodrich, Miss Henneman, Miss Borgan, Ida Curl, Mr. E.B. Miller, Kate Shoemaker, Miss Drew, Mrs. Skaro, Miss Craig, Amy Locke (Mrs. Howard Chadwick), Olive Locke, Miss Vessey, Bertha Miller, Mrs. Norman Dean, Jean Hamilton, Margaret Skaro, Amy Souba, Elizabeth Pahoushek, and Olive Chadwick (Mrs. Ray Margadan).
Mrs. Bob Chadwick (Olive Chadwick's grandmother) furnished many of the teachers with board and room through the school year. The Chadwick farm was across the Shakopee Road, to the south, from the Bloomington Ferry Hill School building.
55. Auto Club Road. The Auto Club Road was originally called "Bluff Road".
56. Hector Chadwick Home. The site of Hector Chadwick's first home was near the northeast corner of the intersection of Auto Club Road and County Road 18. The remains of the "cellar" can still be seen. The Chadwicks lived there from about 1878 to 1880.
57. Hector Chadwick's first blacksmith shop. Located at the top of Ferry Hill on the northwest corner of the intersection of Auto Club Road and County Road 18, Hector operated this shop on or before 1878, the year the Chadwicks were married. In 1880 the Chadwicks moved to the Bloomington Village, near Penn Avenue and Old Shakopee Road, and Hector set up his second blacksmith shop on the south side of Old Shakopee Road.
His first shop at the top of Ferry Hill was operated by Henry Wigley until 1904.
58. Chambers House. The Chambers House was built by William Ahmbers in 1856, just east of the Bloomington Ferry Hotel. This house was built of brick ___ were made in the same brick molds that were used to make brick for the Gideon Pond house.
The Chambers house is the second oldest existing house in Bloomington and is the home of the Allen Stewart family.
59. The Bloomington Ferry Hotel. In 1855, just north of the Bloomington Ferry and the present Bloomington Ferry Bridge and on the east side of the road, Albee Smith built a hotel on land he had purchased from Joseph Dean. He also had a town site platted but never developed [it]. The hotel was destroyed by fire in 1905. The hotel also contained a Post Office and store and was located a few feet west of the present Chambers House.
60. Bloomington Ferry. The Bloomington Ferry was built by Joseph Dean and William Chambers in 1853 and ferry service was started across the Minnesota River in 1854. At this site there was also a levee for a steamboat landing. The Ferry service was operated by a number of people until the Bloomington Ferry Bridge was finished during the winter of 1891-1892.
61. Dean Cabin. Joseph Dean built a log cabin in 1852 on the west side of the Bloomington Ferry Road (Co.Road 18), at the foot of the bluffs, north of the river. William Chambers helped build the cabin. The cabin site and some foundation stones are still visible. The Bloomington Historical Society has a picture of the log cabin displayed in the museum.
62. The Ellingson-Tapping Private Cemetery. On a promontory of the Minnesota River Bluffs, just south of the Mendon Tapping home, lies a tiny cemetery only 20 by 30 feet square. Surrounded by an iron picket fence and Mulberry trees, this beautiful little cemetery is a family shrine. It contains four graves. The first to be buried was Mendon's grandmother, Emily Eillingson, February 12, 1895. The site of her final resting place was chosen by her family near her flower garden, on her beloved hills.
The others are Mendon's grandfather, Sever Ellingson, and his father and mother, Edward Tapping and Minne Tapping. Minne Tapping is the author of the book, "Eighty Years in a Gopher Hole," a fascinating story of local history, in the early days of Bloomington.
Mr. and Mrs. Tapping reside at 11050 South Old Shakopee Road, Bloomington, Minnesota.
63. Indian Mounds on the Tapping Farm - 11050 South Old Shakopee Road, Bloomington. In the front lawn at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Mendon Tapping, a short distance southeast and also northeast of their house, there are good examples of Indian mounds.
64. Indian Mounds. In the lawn at the home of Henry and Mable Johnson, a short distance north of the house, is a good example of an Indian Mound and about two hundred feet to the west is another large Indian mound. The address is 8401 West 108th Street, Bloomington.
65. Kelley Railway Stop. The Kelley Railway Stop was on the main line of the M.N. & S. Ry. (Dan Patch Ry.) and near the present Mount Normandale Ski Chalet. There was no depot or platform.
66. Hyland Lake Railway Stop. The Hyland Lake Railway Stop was a platform on the east side of the main line tracks near the southeast side of Hyland Lake.
67. Ray Cabin. The Ray Family log cabin was located on the southwesterly side of Hyland Lake and is remembered by old timers as having been in existence after 1900.
68. Stewart Cabin. The Stewart family log cabin was located on the southwest tip of Bush Lake and is remembered by old timers as having been in existence after 1900.
69. Bush Lake Railway Stop. The Bush Lake Railway Stop was on the main line of the M.N.& S. Railway at 96th Street. There was no depot or platform.
70. Brown's Cranberry Bogs West of Brown's Point. There are two bogs, one on each side of West Bush Lake Road. These cranberry bogs have supplied the Browns and their friends and neighbors with wild cranberries for their Thanksgiving dinner for many years.
71. Brown's Point. A sandy point running out into the west side of Bush Lake, Brown's Point was a favorite swimming area for many years. The point was named after Walt Brown, the owner for many years. Walt also maintained a picnic area near the beach. There is a deep drop-off near the point and several people have drowned in the deep water.
72. Landon's Point. North of Brown's Point on the west shore of Bush Lake, this point is a well-known fisherman's landmark.
73.Edmound's Railway Stop. Edmound's Railway Stop was near 88th Street and the main line of the M.N.& S. Railway. There was no depot or platform.
74. Bush Lake School - District No. 140. The school building is located on the north side of West 82nd Street, just east of Town Line Road (Co. Road 18). District No. 140 occupied parts of Bloomington, Eden Prairie and Edina and was not included in the 1918 Bloomington School consolidation.
The Bush Lake School was built in 1911 and opened for school in 1912. The land for the school was sold by Mrs. Mary Hearn. Carl A. Marth dug the basement with a team and slip and donated his work to the school district. After opening in 1912 with grades 1 through 8, the school continued until either 1943 or 1944 when part of the students went to Bloomington and others went to Cahill School.
The first teacher was Abbie Brown, the second Amy Bliss, followed by Helen Murray, Mrs. Olson, Miss Wentworth, Dorothy Thompson, Hattie Seston, Olive Chadwick (Mrs. Ray Margadan), and Marion Hassinger. School Board members were John Finch, Jim Dborak, Joe Viska, Carl A. Marth, Edmund Yapel and Mrs. Vivian Weaver. It is very possible that there were others both in the list of teachers and school board members.
Since the school was closed, it was sold and is now a private residence.
75. The Bush Lake Ski Slide Hill. Years ago, long before there was a ski slide on the hill, the hill was called Mt. Gilboa by the early settlers. Mt. Gilboa has been a favorite hill for hikers to climb since the days of the early settlers. Rising to a height of 950 feet above sea level, the view from the top is magnificent, giving a view of both Twin Cities and most of the suburbs and also far to the south into Dakota County. The top of Mt. Gilboa is approximately 120 feet above the water level in Bush Lake and approximately 100 feet above the nearby M.N. & S. Ry. tracks.
76. The Battle of Bottle Hill -- as told by Carl A. Marth.
"The Irish like to fight and in the thought of Jack Kierce, it was fitting and proper that as a good Irishman, he should announce that he could lick any man in the whole country. Perhaps Jack's feeling of superiority was enhanced by his position of authority as a Minneapolis cop who maintained peace and order around bridge square in the 1880s.
Jack was a huge, muscular, bull of a man, who feared no man, nor any mob. He was from a family of four boys and two girls. His father, Patrick Kierce, owned the farm, which included Bottle Hill. This hill is now the site of Mr. and Mrs. Olav Wallo's home, north of Mt. Gilboa, the Bush Lake Ski Slide Hill.
In the 1880s, on the top of Bottle Hill was a dished out natural amphitheater about eighty or a hundred feet in diameter. In rainy weather this natural basin holds a small pond of water.
Charlie Thiele was also a huge, muscular man, a Dutchman who worked as a hired man for the Marth family. Charlie was also a man about town, who often played cards at the Cahill Store in his leisure time. When Jack Kierce boasted that he could lick any man in the country, Charlie thought that Jack was taking in too much territory so he challenged the Minneapolis cop.
The date for the fight was set for a Sunday afternoon in the 1880s and the place was the top of Bottle Hill. This was to be a bare knuckle fight to the finish. Great preparations were made. Hay was hauled to the top of the Hill and placed on the sides of the amphitheater for seats for the spectators. On the day of this exciting event men came on horseback, in buggies and carriages, in wagons and on foot, from Minneapolis, Shakopee, Hamilton and all around the area. The horses were tied to trees at the foot of the Hill and the crowd of men gathered at the top of Bottle Hill.
The two principals were stripped to the waist and their bulging muscles and fierce miens were a sight to behold. The fight started and the two giants tried to batter each other out of the amphitheater. This fight was not governed by the Marquess and Queensberry rules of three minute rounds but would go on until one or the other was battered into unconsciousness. The fight, for a time, surged back and forth, first one gaining the advantage and then the other, but gradually Charlie, the Dutchman, began to keep the advantage and the fight developed into a terrible beating for Jack.
When the situation began to look desperate for Jack, Patrick, his father, leaped into the arena with a pitchfork and stopped the fight with the threat of impaling Charlie or anyone else who interfered.
Thus ended the Battle of Bottle Hill."
77. Harrington Heights Railway Station. The Harrington Heights Railway Station was located at 84th Street, and the main line of the M.N. & S. Railway. There was a platform at this stop.
78. Poplar Bridge School - District 12 (originally District No. 130). The site of the school building was on the north side of 90th Street (Lynn Road), on a small hill near the bridge over Nine Mile Creek. The school district was organized in 1895.
79. Bloomington First Public School in the Harrison Home. Joseph Harrison, with his family, came to Bloomington in 1854 from Wolf Island, Canada. He built a house on the west bank of a small lake, which is now Bryant Park. The site of the house was approximately the 8500 Block and Emerson Avenue. Records indicate that one of the 10 daughters taught school in her father's house in 1855 and this was the first public school in Bloomington which was not affiliated with the religious mission schools.
There is a story about Joseph Harrison shooting a bear near the area of 34th Avenue South and Old Shakopee Road. This bear had been killing cattle and was a nuisance to the neighborhood. Joseph Harrison butchered the bear and took the meat home to his family; however, the odor was so strong and the meat so tough that the family refused to eat it.
80. Joe Swanson's Blacksmith Shop. Located on the south side of 95th Street and east of Lyndale Avenue, the shop was across the street and southwest of the former Oxboro Hall and the present City Fire Station.
This shop was operated by Joe Swanson from about 1916 to 1922. Prior to the above dates the Swanson shop had been located on the east side of Lyndale at about 96th Street where Joe had started as a blacksmith in 1914.
81. Charlie Scott's Race Track. Charlie Scott's house, now known as the Friendshuh House, is located on the west side of Lyndale Avenue just south of 94th Street. In 1895 Charlie Scott developed a half-mile oval track about 30 rods west of his house and barn. He used this track as an exercise and training track for his many trotters and pacers.
82. Kell School - District 11. The school was built in 1869 on the southeast corner of Lyndale Avenue and 86th Street. Records indicate that a school of some sort [existed] in this district as far back as 1856 when Fanny Hopkins was the first teacher, and the record may be referring to the school in the Harrison home.
83. Wilson Railway Station. The Wilson Railway Station was on the southwest corner of 78th Street and the Dan Patch line and there was a platform but no depot.
To the north in Richfield was the Irwin Station at 72nd Street which had a platform, the Goodspeed Station at 66th Street with a platform, the Bachman Station at 62nd Street with a platform, and the northern terminal at 54th Street known as the Truax Station which had a platform and depot.
84. Lynn Road Railway Station. The Lynn Road Railway Station was a platform and depot on the northeast corner of 90th Street and the Dan Patch Line.
85. Nicollet Airport. The Nicollet Airport was located on the east side of Nicollet Avenue at approximately 93rd Street. This flying field was opened about 1938 and was closed before World War II. It was operated by Dale and Wally Neumann.
86. Kimball School - District 88. The old school building is located on the southwest corner of the intersection of Cedar Avenue and 86th Street.
87. Cedar Airport. The Cedar Airport was located on the west side of Cedar Avenue at approximately 88th Street. This flying field was a civilian pilot training center prior to World War II. There were a number of flying clubs and private flying services who operated from this field. The airplane hanger which was located near the northeast corner of the airport is still there (1968).
The airport was closed to flying during World War II and did not reopen after the war.
88. Elmer Scott's Garage. Elmer Scott's Garage was the first automobile agency in Bloomington. Elmer started his garage in 1913 and obtained a Ford franchise in November 1913. Elmer Scott operated the garage and Ford Agency continuously until he retired in 1961.
89. Jerry J. Scott's Grocery Store. The store was first located on the southwest corner of the intersection of Old Shakopee Road and Cedar Avenue, and was at this site from 1903 to 1909. The building was then moved to the northeast corner of Old Shakopee Road and Cedar Avenue and operated as a grocery there until 1923. Grocery deliveries were made on Fridays, in a grocery wagon in the summer and in a bobsleigh in the winter times.
Elmer Scott, one of Jerry Scott's sons, drove the delivery wagon and bobsleigh when he was a teenager, making grocery deliveries as far west as Bush Lake. One time while making deliveries the bobsleigh tipped over on the side of a snowbank and the kerosene spilled into the sugar.
Another time after making his last delivery out near Bush Lake, Elmer headed the team toward home, tied the lines on the bolster and was trotting behind the sleigh to get warm. The horses knowing they were going home began trotting faster and faster and Elmer, knowing he had to catch the sleigh before the team ran away, had to run as hard as he could to catch the sleigh. He made it.
90. The Original and Reduced Fort Snelling Military Reservation Boundaries through Bloomington. According to data obtained from old maps in the Hennepin County Surveyors Office, the original Fort Snelling Military Reservation crossed eastern Bloomington on a diagonal northwest-southeast line beginning on the north boundary of Bloomington near 78th Street and 2nd Avenue, thence running southeasterly to a point in the southwest quarter of Section 13, then due east to the Minnesota River.
In 1862 the Military Reservation Boundary was reduced. This new boundary line is a north-south line beginning at 24th Avenue and 78th Street and thence running due south through the center of Section 13 to the Minnesota River.
91. The Old Shakopee Road. First it was in Indian trail, leading from the junction of the Minnesota and Mississippi Rivers, on a winding course across Nine Mile Creek to a ford across the Minnesota River, then on to the Indian Village of Chief Shakopee. Later it was used by the first white men, the explorers, trappers and fur traders and by the cavalry and soldiers from Fort Snelling.
With the white men came wagons, Red River carts, freight wagons and early settlers' wagons. The wagons and stage coaches carved out wheel ruts along the route of the old Indian Trail.
After the original Government Land Survey in 1853, and the position of the section lines and other governmental land lines were established, the course of the Fort Snelling-Shakopee Road was altered along some portions of the Old Indian Trail, to correspond to the government land lines and to be more easily established as a public road.
Of the part of the Old Trail which passes through Bloomington, the major part of the road still follows the original location and route of the Indian Trail according to the Jewett maps of the original Government Land Survey.
92. Nine Mile Creek. Nine Mile Creek enters Bloomington near its northwest corner and then meandering along a southeasterly course, the creek flows into the Minnesota River. From Fort Snelling, it is approximately nine miles along the Old Fort Snelling-Shakopee Trail to the crossing over Nine Mile Creek. Originally this crossing was a ford across the creek. The creek, originating from a marshy area south of the City of Hopkins, flows through Edina before reaching Bloomington.
The Fort Snelling-Shakopee trail crossing at Nine Mile Creek was said to be the half-way point between Fort Snelling and Shakopee. When Jean Pascal Baillif built a hotel in 1854 near the creek on the north side of the trail, he called his hotel "The Half-Way House."
Along the creek there were many pools which were a delight to fishermen and others, especially small boys going swimming. The creek is fed by many springs along its course, and during the period of early settlers, its water was cool and clear and considered pure. As late as the 1920s the pools along the creek provided places for safe and enjoyable swimming.
93. The Minnesota River, Southerly Boundary of Bloomington. Known as the River Warren in geological history, 10,000 and more years ago, this mighty river flowing from Lake Agassiz, carved out the Minnesota River Valley and according to geologists, its channel was perhaps a hundred feet below the present channel and in places the water was two hundred feet deep.
Known to the Indians as Wattapaw Menesotor, and to the early French explorers as Riviere St. Pierre, and to American Fur Traders as the St. Peter River, it is now the Minnesota. It is an old river and now a small river, flowing serenely and slowly through its picturesque valley.
Before the white man, it is known that there have been at least three different nations of Indians who camped and hunted in the vicinity of the river in the Bloomington area. The first white men found a rather high concentration of Sioux living along the river valley. The Indians were gradually removed from the Bloomington and surrounding areas after the Treaty of 1851.
The Minnesota River, together with the Mississippi had a colorful steamboat period. The first steamboat to reach Fort Snelling was the "Virginia" on May 10, 1823.
The first steamboat exploratory trips up the Minnesota Riverwere in 1850 when the "Anthony Wayne" went upstream as far as the rapids at Carver. A month later the steamboat "Yankee" went up the Minnesota to Cotillion Prairie, just above Traverse de Sioux.
In 1851 another steamboat went to Traverse de Sioux and in 1852 four steamboats made thirteen round trips up to Minnesota. From 1853 to 1854 steamboats made trips up river frequently.
The rivermen were a colorful and adventurous group. Steamboats had expressive names, such as "Time and Tide," "Equator," "Wave," "Freighter," "Frank Steele," and the "Excelsior."
The bulk of the steamboat activity on the Minnesota River was from 1860 to 1890. There were 413 round trips by steamboat on the Minnesota River in one year. In addition there were many boats using the river without steampower. They were poled and rowed by sturdy rivermen and much freight and many passengers were transported up river to Mankato and other river towns by manpower. The downstream passage, made easy with the help of the river current, helped compensate for the grueling upstream trip.
During World War II Navy ocean tankers were built in a shipyard on the river bank near Savage and were launched sideways into the river. When the tankers were completed and outfitted they made the trip down the Minnesota and Mississippi Rivers, using their own power to the Gulf and then across the oceans, carrying aviation gasoline to the fleet in the Western Pacific area.
Since the years of World War II the towboat and barge traffic has increased each year. Today it is not unusual to see many towboats with trains of barges, each day and night going up and down the Minnesota River.