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All about Bloomington, Minnesota
Bloomington is a suburban city located in Minneapolis’s Hennepin County on the north bank of the Minnesota River, above its confluence with the Mississippi River. Bloomington is the fourth largest city, in the U.S. state of Minnesota. Bloomington lies 10 miles (16 km) south of downtown Minneapolis. As of the 2020 census the city’s population was 89,987.
Bloomington was established as a post–World War II housing boom suburb connected to the urban street grid of Minneapolis and is serviced by two major freeways: Interstate 35W and Interstate 494. All large-scale commercial development is concentrated along the Interstate 494 corridor. Besides an extensive city park system, with over 1,000 square feet (93 m2) of parkland per capita, Bloomington is also home to Hyland Lake Park Reserve in the west and Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge in the southeast.
Bloomington has more jobs per capita than either Minneapolis or Saint Paul, due in part to the United States’ largest enclosed shopping center, Mall of America. The headquarters of Ceridian, Donaldson Company, HealthPartners, and Toro, and major operations of Pearson, General Dynamics, Seagate Technologies, and Express Scripts are also based in the city.
Early History of Bloomington
In 1839, with renewed conflict with the Ojibwa nation, Chief Cloud Man relocated his band of the Mdewakanton Sioux from Bde Maka Ska in Minneapolis to an area named Oak Grove in southern Bloomington, close to present-day Portland Avenue. In 1843, Peter and Louisa Quinn, the first European settlers to live in Bloomington, built a cabin along the Minnesota River in this area. The government had sent them to teach farming methods to the Native Americans. Gideon Hollister Pond, a missionary, who had been following and recording the Dakota language from Cloud Man’s band, relocated later that year, establishing Oak Grove Mission, his log cabin. Pond and his family held church services and taught the local Dakota school subjects and farming. Passage across the Minnesota River in Bloomington came in 1849 when William Chambers and Joseph Dean opened the Bloomington Ferry. The ferry remained operational until 1889, when the Bloomington Ferry Bridge was built.
Following the Treaty of Traverse des Sioux in 1851, the territory west of the Mississippi River, including Bloomington, was opened to settlers. A group of pioneers settled Bloomington, including the Goodrich, Whalon, and Ames families. They named the area Bloomington after the city they were from, Bloomington, Illinois, which means “flowering field.” Most early jobs were in farming, blacksmithing, and flour milling. The Oxborough family, who came from Canada, built a trading center on Lyndale Avenue and named it Oxboro Heath. Today, the Clover Shopping Center rests near the old trading center site and the nearby Oxboro Clinic is named after them. The Baliff family opened a grocery and general store at what is today Penn Avenue and Old Shakopee Road, and Hector Chadwick, after moving to the settlement, opened a blacksmith shop near the Bloomington Ferry. In 1855, the first public school for all children was opened in Miss Harrison’s house with the first school, Gibson House, built in 1859. On May 11, 1858, the day the state of Minnesota was admitted into the union and officially became a state, 25 residents incorporated the Town of Bloomington. By 1880, the population had grown to 820. In 1892 the first town hall was built at Penn and Old Shakopee Road. By then, the closest Dakota to Minneapolis lived at the residence of Gideon Pond.
As of the census of 2010, there were 82,893 people, 35,905 households, and 21,618 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,390.2 inhabitants per square mile (922.9/km2). There were 37,641 housing units at an average density of 1,085.4 per square mile (419.1/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 79.7% White, 7.2% African American, 0.4% Native American, 5.9% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 3.7% from other races, and 3.1% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 6.8% of the population. East Bloomington is notably more diverse than West Bloomington.
There were 35,905 households, of which 24.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.6% were married couples living together, 9.7% had a female householder with no husband present, 3.9% had a male householder with no wife present, and 39.8% were non-families. Of all households, 32.2% were made up of individuals, and 12.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.28 and the average family size was 2.89.
The median age in the city was 42.7 years. 19.7% of residents were under the age of 18; 7.9% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 25.1% were from 25 to 44; 28.9% were from 45 to 64, and 18.4% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 48.4% male and 51.6% female.
Of the 19.7% of the population under 18, much of the young population is considerably more diverse than the mostly white adult population.
Sports & Recreation in Bloomington
Hyland Park includes both a ski area and Nordic ski jumps. The Nordic ski jumps are maintained by the Minneapolis Ski Club Minneapolis Ski Club and are some of the most urban ski jumps in the U.S. Several U.S. Olympic ski jumpers have come from this ski club. The Minneapolis Ski Club will be hosting the 2013 Junior National competition. The city also operates the Bloomington Ice Garden (BIG) which contains three ice rinks, one of which is Olympic-size and another has a capacity of 2,500 people. It also appeared in the film Miracle (2004 film) with the team practicing there prior to the Olympics. Additionally, during the winter the Parks and Recreation Department creates 10+ outdoor skating rinks.
Bloomington was the point of growth for Pickleball in Minnesota, beginning about 2005 when retirees brought the sport back from their southern-states retirement homes. From the Westwood Athletic Fields in southern Bloomington, other groups formed and grew to an active statewide player population in excess of 1,500. Bloomington is also the home of Pickleball Minnesota, the Pickleball website serving the state and the Upper Midwest.
Bloomington is home to 2 major sports complexes. Dred Scott Playfields, named after Dred Scott, is located on the far West side and contains a variety of recreational activities including baseball, softball, and football fields as well as sand volleyball, tennis, and basketball courts. Also located within the complex are an outdoor Batting Cage and a miniature golf course that are privately owned. Valley View Playfields on the East side of town contains softball and baseball fields, Bocce ball courts, and the Bloomington Family Aquatic Center. Bush Lake Beach (BLB) is a beach located on Bush Lake (Hennepin County, Minnesota) that is open seasonally in the summer to recreational swimmers.
Education in Bloomington
ISD 271 has served the K–12 educational needs of the city since the 1960s, with an operating fund revenue of $148.1 million in 2020. Fifteen public schools in Bloomington are operated by the district, governed by a seven-member elected school board, which appointed current Superintendent Dr. Eric Melbye in 2021. The previous superintendent, Les Fujitake, was Superintendent of Bloomington Public Schools from 2006 until 2020. The city’s first public charter school, Seven Hills Classical Academy, opened in 2006. As many families remain in or continue to move into the city, there has been support for levy increases. In 1999, they approved the then-largest school bond issue in Minnesota history, funding a $107 million school expansion and renovation project.
The district’s two high schools are John F. Kennedy High School in the east and Thomas Jefferson High School in the west. The determining boundary for high school attendance runs near the center of Bloomington on France and Xerxes Avenues, though both schools have open enrollment.
Bloomington’s third high school, Abraham Lincoln High School (originally Bloomington High School), was closed in 1982 and was sold to the Control Data Corporation in the mid-1980s. Bloomington Stadium, located next to the former high school, is still used by both Kennedy High School and Jefferson High School for home football, lacrosse and soccer games.
Tyler Mulcahey Peters
Senior Mortgage Advisor // NMLS #1243885
Licensed in MN & WI
Tyler Mulcahey Peters was born & raised in Minnesota. He grew up in southern Minnesota, attended Gustavus Adolphus College (go Gusties!), and has lived in Minneapolis since 2013. He and his husband, Andrew, purchased their first home together in 2017 and they currently live in the Hale neighborhood on the west side of Lake Nokomis with their two spoiled Chihuahuas, Bentley & Piper.
A mortgage and loan professional since 2013 and having helped over 1,000 individuals, couples, and families become homeowners, he has the knowledge and experience to help you through the loan process, find the terms that are right for your budget, and make sure all the legalities are competently handled so that the closing goes smooth and you can take possession of your new property on-time (and often-times, early).
In his free time, you’ll catch him eating out at one of his favorite local restaurants, traveling, attending a music festival, or spending time with his friends & family.