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The Gideon Pond House          
Site Number(s):   21HE244  
County:   Hennepin, MN  
City Township:   Bloomington  
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The Gideon Pond House, which overlooks the valley of the Minnesota River in Bloomington, is on the site of a Dakota mission, first located there in 1843. After the removal of the Dakota to a reservation farther up the Minnesota Valley in 1852, missionary Gideon Pond bought the land and became a farmer. In 1856 he built the large brick house which still stands there, now owned and interpreted by the City of Bloomington.

Gideon Pond in 1870
Gideon Pond in 1870.


map showing Gideon Pond house

Archaeology was first done around the foundations of the house in 1981 in preparation for repair work on the building. In 1993 a more extensive study was made of the grounds around it, seeking to determine the location and structure of earlier mission buildings.


During this investigation, conducted for the city by the Institute for Minnesota Archaeology, surface features were mapped, a grid was laid out, and 192 shovel tests were made. The results were inconclusive, since most of the area had been disturbed by farming operations, construction, and gravel mining. A few scattered finds, however, indicated the presence of precontact Indian occupants, and interviews with family descendants turned up some previously unknown information about farm buildings on the site.

Screening soil for artifacts
Test pits at the Pond site were dug by a crew of volunteers, supervised by trained archaeologists. The holes were approximately 15 inches wide and excavated to levels considered culturally sterile. All soil was screened for small artifacts.



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Updated 29 Jun 1999