About Pond-Dakota Mission Park
Pond-Dakota Mission Park covers forty acres of prairie and partially wooded land on the bluff overlooking the Minnesota River. It lies between Nicollet and Portland Avenues, on 104th Street in Bloomington, Minnesota. The park is managed by the City of Bloomington. Learn more.
In 1843, Samuel and Gideon Pond established the Oak Grove Mission on the site to be near Chief Cloudman’s village in the valley below. Gideon Pond and Eli Pettijohn built a double log house for the Pond families which also served as a school and chapel. It’s exact location on the site is unknown. Samuel Pond and his family lived on the site until 1847 when they moved to Prairieville (now Shakopee) to establish a mission station at the request of Dakota Chief Shakpe.
In 1851, the Dakota ceded most of their land to the U.S. government and began to move west to the land reserved for them along the Minnesota River. See map. Soon after the treaty was signed, Gideon Pond filed a claim for 160 acres of land including the Oak Grove Mission site under the provisions of the Pre-emption Act of 1841 (.pdf download).
One of the main attractions of this beautiful park is the historic 1856 Gideon and Agnes Pond House which was restored in 1995 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The City of Bloomington entered into an agreement for acquisition of the site in 1975 with a lifetime tenure provision for Gideon’s granddaughter, Belle Pond St. Martin and her husband, Edgar.
Interpretive signs are located throughout the park. They highlight the following:
- history of the area
- history of the local Dakota
- brothers Gideon and Samuel Pond, Christian missionaries who came from Connecticut to Minnesota
- construction of the Gideon and Agnes Pond house
Oak Grove Presbyterian Church was founded in the log house in 1855.
Get Directions to Pond-Dakota Mission Park
401 East 104th Street, Bloomington, Minnesota 55420. Open sunrise until 10:00 p.m., year round. Located between Nicollet and Portland Avenues.
Amenities and Cost
Cost: FREE parking and park access