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 it represents. 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 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, tans, are 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.
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.
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’s history.
Some objects of interest include original photos of downtown Napoleon, furniture from the Rettig family dating to the 1860s, and 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.
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 and 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. 592-8006 for more information. To book a dinner, tea, or special event please contact 419.599.0201.
Victorian Days 2002 Pictures
Victorian Days in 2002 featured the Reynolds-Rebar Home on Avon Placeand flower gardens of several other properties in Napoleon.
Open House Pictures
The first Christmas Open House was held on Sunday, December 15, 2002. For this event the Bloomfield Home was decorated much as it would have been in the late 1800s-early 1900s. Local harpist Jessica Knepley graced the home with her musical gift to the delight of the visitors.
Victorian Days 2003 at the Dr. John Bloomfield Home featured a unique Victorian Tea theme. Businesses and individuals were invited to participate by decorating a table in a theme of their choice. The results were spectacular and extremely creative.
The Open House in 2003 took place on Sunday, December 7th, and featured our new antique bookcase, Victrola, newly-purchased antique furniture, a digitally-enhanced picture of Dr. Bloomfield, and lots of borrowed furniture and Santa Clauses. Trees were set up in all the rooms on the first floor, including the kitchen, and refreshments were served to our many guests.
Recognizing that opening up their homes to strangers is not something that everyone likes to do, in 2004 the Historical Society asked nine home owners if they would allow their beautiful porches to be used for arts, crafts, demonstrations, and musical events. The answer from all them was a resounding ‘YES’.
Click HERE for more details on the program for pre-school children.
Photo credits: Jim Rebar & Taylor Moyer