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Native American presence in the Bloomington area reaches back to prehistoric times; recently uncovered burial mounds in Mounds Spring Park have revealed clues to their culture through artifacts such as tools, clothing and jewelry remnants. Not much else is known about this group, as by the time European explorers and fur traders reached this area in the 1700s, the Dakotas (or Sioux) and Ojibway had taken over and were vying for control of the region.
The history of Bloomington as an American town started relatively recently, with two separate duos settling the area in 1843. Two brothers, Gideon and Samuel Pond established the Oak Grove Mission to convert the natives to Christianity, though they did not have permission from the government to do so. In the same year, Peter and Louisa Quinn built a log cabin and settled in current-day Bloomington.Others soon followed them when the region was opened to further settlement in 1851. A small town was established, with a ferry service across the Minnesota River, a hotel called Half-way House, a general store and other small shops. The town of Bloomington officially became a city on May 11, 1858, the same day that Minnesota was granted statehood. Today, Bloomington is a commerce-based city, home to the largest shopping center in the United States.