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Gideon and Agnes Pond House

Gideon Pond House 1878
Agnes Pond and two of her sons, ca. 1878.

Gideon Pond House 1907
1852 Preemption house shown with later addition as connected to 1856 brick house, ca. 1907.

Photos courtesy Minnesota Historical Society.

Welcome to the 19th century dwelling of Gideon and Agnes Hopkins Pond, missionaries to the Dakota Indians, farmers and ministers to the community of Bloomington, Minnesota, during the mid- to late-1800s.

Following a move from the Lake Calhoun area in 1843, Gideon Pond and Eli Pettijohn built a two-story log mission house near this site. Nine years later in 1852, Pond built a wood frame “preemption” house to lay claim to the ownership of the land. In 1856 Pond and some hired help constructed the Federal-style brick house you will see if you visit the site today. Attached to the wooden preemption house, it was constructed from a supply of approximately 60,000 bricks made of clay dug out of the river bottoms. Shortly thereafter, the log mission house was dismantled and the timbers were used to construct a split-level barn.

Preserving history

In 1910 the preemption house was dismantled and a two-story addition was constructed in its place. For over 140 years, the Pond House was home to four generations of Pond descendants. The City of Bloomington purchased the property in 1975 and undertook stabilization work in the 1980s. In 1995 a full restoration of the brick house was done during which the two-story addition was replaced by a replica of the original preemption house.

This house has been maintained as a museum by the City of Bloomington since the completion of the restoration work in 1995. The Gideon and Agnes Pond House is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.


Three periods of the Gideon and Agnes Pond residence

three stages of houre

1852 Preemption house 1856 Brick house with
attached preemption house
1910 Two-story addition replaced preemption house

From river-bottom clay to bluff-top house: 
The 1850s brick-making process

Five stages of making bricks.

1.
Digging clay in river bottom.

2.
Mixing clay with sand and water.

3.
Forming and drying bricks.

4.
Firing bricks in kiln.

5.
Transporting finished bricks to bluff-top building site.

For more information, contact:

Mark Morrison, Recreation Supervisor
PH: 952-563-8693, TTY: 952-563-8740, FAX: 952-563-8715
Email: artsintheparks@BloomingtonMN.gov

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