Dr. John Bloomfield Home & Carriage House Museum
Built in 1894 the Dr. John Bloomfield Home & Carriage House Museum is located at 229 West Clinton Street in historic downtown Napoleon, Ohio. The Home, built by Dr. John & Susan Bloomfield is a Queen Anne Victorian era home and has lovingly been restored to its former glory by dedicated HCHS volunteers and community members.
The exterior of the home features three rising sun motifs. This rising or setting sun motif was common in many Federation-style homes from 1880-1915. Though the Bloomfield Home is not a true Federation home it is a combination of Federation and Queen Anne styles. There are two theories on rising sun OR setting sun motifs and what they represent. The first possible option is it represented new dawn and an optimistic future as the United States was beginning to grow rapidly during the 1870s-1900. Immigration, the Industrial Revolution, and booming downtowns and cities were moving towards their peek when Dr. Bloomfield built this home in 1894. The second suggestion is the setting suns represented the waning power of England or the British crown.
Each sun appears in the center of a gable. A gable is the part of a wall that encloses the end of a pitched roof. There are four gables on the front of the Bloomfield Home. Gables create a multitiered roofline and break up straight roof lines giving the appearance of a multi-floored castle-like home with many floors. In actuality, the Bloomfield Home is just two floors with an attic.
On the right side of the house is a tower. Not a turret. A turret is a small tower that projects vertically from the wall of a building such as a medieval castle. On the Bloomfield Home, the tower begins on the first floor and goes up through the second floor and is capped with a tent-shaped roof and finished off with slate shingles and a copper finial ornament.
Another unique and important detail is the variation of brick on just the front and sides of the house. Note a single stack of lighter sandstone tan wraps around the front of the home and tower breaking up the solid red brick of the home. This simple yet sleek band of varying colors provides contrasting details in the masonry work.
Lastly, Queen Anne homes are meant to be colorful.
Architectural details are highlighted on the Bloomfield Home with dark vivid colors and contrasting hues; oranges in the brick, reds, maroons, and tans are all dominant colors. The walls of a Queen Anne house maybe painted one color, while doors, window sashes, trim, and decorative shingles are painted in other colors; five separate colors can be painted on a single house. For the Bloomfield’s a rich mustard yellow coats all the wood trim on its exterior, with coordinating maroon on the peaks of the roof.
Inside the home the first and second floors boast their original hardwood floors, woodwork, and detailed doors, metal work, and one beautiful original stained glass window in the parlor. Pine, cherry, and oak are the most popular woods used throughout the house.
The first and second floor of the home are open for tours and special events. When you come to the Bloomfield’s, period furnishings from the mid 1800s through 1930s fill the home as well as artifacts and collections from Napoleon and Henry County history.
Some objects of interest include original photos of downtown Napoleon, furniture from the Rettig family dating to the 1860s, beautiful artwork from various local artists including Eldor Gathman. Larger collections include our textiles and clothing, fine china, silver, and military uniforms and personal affects.
DONATION OF THE BLOOMFIELD HOME & PROPERTY
The Dr. John Bloomfield Home & Carriage House Museum were donated to the HCHS by John “Ben” and Graceann Heller Reese in 2001. At the time of the donation the home had fallen into disrepair and had considerable water damage among many other issues. The HCHS agreed that it would restore the property to its original appearance both inside and out and that the home would serve and function as a home museum for Napoleon and Henry County, Ohio. Today the property is owned and maintained by the HCHS which is a 501c3 non-profit organization.
Located directly behind the main home is the Carriage House. This museum space was restored in 2009 and holds a large collection of Henry County artifacts. This museum space currently features our newest exhibit Prohibition the Experience!
Throughout the property various modern and Victorian era gardens can be viewed daily. Various roses, hydrangea bushes, ferns, and flower varieties will delight both your eyes and nose.
The Dr. John Bloomfield Home & Carriage House Museum is open FREE of charge to the public, the first Sunday of the month! May through October with special events scheduled through the year. Our Christmas Open House is a favorite! The home is also available for rentals including baby showers, bridal showers, teas, luncheons, and dinners. If you are looking for a beautiful and unique experience for your holiday party give us a try.
If you are planning a bridal or baby shower, a small wedding, birthday party, or special event and looking for a truly unique place consider the Dr. John Bloomfield Home & Carriage House Museum.
Our House Committee volunteers provide a variety of menu options, drink options, setup and more! Rental fees and information can be acquired by contacting the following information.
For more information about the Dr. John Bloomfield Home & Carriage House Museum, to schedule a tour please contact the HCHS at 419.351.9104 for more information. To book a dinner, tea, or special event please contact 419.599.0201.
Photo credits: Jim Rebar & Taylor Moyer