The history of Bloomington, MN is as rich and interesting as the community itself. According to the city’s historical society the area was first established in 1818 by settlers from Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia and the Carolinas. They were so impressed with all the lush, green life that surrounded them that they dubbed the area Blooming Grove. The settlement was later incorporated as a city in 1831 and boasted a population of 150. The population continued to grow from Minnesota’s 1858 admission to statehood, through WWI and into the 1950s.
After WWII, the development of low-cost housing, the completion of Interstates 35W and 494 and the relocation of many large businesses to the Bloomington area sparked major growth and expansion. In the 1960s, another boost came from the Minnesota Twins and Vikings who both played their home games in Bloomington’s Metropolitan Stadium. Sporting events brought traffic and revenue to the city, until the teams were relocated to the Metrodome in 1982. The old “Met Stadium” was transformed into an even bigger draw – the Mall of America®. Today, Mall of America and the hospitality industry are the largest private employers in Bloomington.
Since its founding Bloomington has thrived, emerging as a dynamic urban township that rivals nearby Minneapolis and St. Paul as a major Twin Cities retail and hospitality center. The city has grown leaps and bounds from where Bloomington, Minnesota’s history began and now has a population of over 64,000.
As its past attests, Bloomington, Minnesota’s history of continual development has helped to foster this beautiful city into the thriving hospitality hub it is today.
Bloomington is an area of irregular limestone terrain characterized by sinks, ravines, fissures, underground streams, sinking streams, springs and caves. It is in the rolling hills of southern Indiana, resting on the intersection of the Norman Uplands and the Mitchell Plain. The city’s relatively varied topography is a sharp contrast to the flatter terrain more typical of central to northern portions of Indiana.
The Bloomington and Monroe County region is home to major employers representing a diverse collection of fields, including education, the life sciences, advanced manufacturing and technology.
Bloomington is a regional economic center anchored by Indiana University and home to a diverse business community involved in pharmaceuticals, medical devices, technology, health care, and the arts. Bloomington’s concentration of employment in the life sciences is six times greater than the U.S. average, and employment in the technology sector has grown by over 80 percent in recent years. Companies based in Bloomington include Cook Group, Author Solutions, OneWorld Enterprises, BloomingFoods and Singota Solutions.
Bloomington has been recognized by Inc. Magazine as one of “America’s Best Cities for Doing Business” and as one of Entrepreneur Magazine’s Top 50 “Hottest Small Cities for Entrepreneurs.” Additionally, Forbes Magazine ranked Bloomington No. 3 in its “Best Places for Business Careers” feature.
Kenny Aronoff, drummer
David Baker, symphonic jazz composer
Dee Bradley Baker, voice actor
Arija Bareikis, actress
Paul Baribeau, folk punk singer and musician
Joshua Bell, violinist
Abraham Benrubi, actor
Kent Benson, basketball player
Diane Bish, organist, concert and recording artist, composer and conductor
Lil Bub, famous cat, internet sensation
Joseph O. Butcher, Major General in the Marine Corps
Austin Lucas, singer-songwriter
Meg Cabot, author
Hoagy Carmichael, singer-songwriter
Calbert Cheaney, basketball player, assistant coach for the College Park Skyhawks
Terri Conn, actress
William Cook, founder of Cook Inc.
James Counsilman, US Olympic swimming coach
John Merle Coulter, former president of Indiana University
Grey Damon, actor