Bloomington yesterday: From farm to water for your table

Normandale Boulevard is hardly the place you would expect to find a farmstead with a big red barn, tilled cropland and a working windmill. For a glimpse into former farm life, just step back to the early 20th century when Art and Clara Christenson had a place along Poplar Bridge Road. The farm changed hands in the early ’50s, when the Figi family took over the property.

Today, the windmill remains atop the slope near Nord Myr Marsh, and the City of Bloomington retains ownership. This is where the water treatment plant is located. While the old homestead is long gone, the timeworn windmill and prairie grass plantings stand tall against the modern facilities hinting at what used to be.