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Hinkle-Garton Farmstead, Bloomington

#32 of 33 in Things to do in Bloomington
Historic Site · Hidden Gem · Landmark
The original 40 acre-property was settled by John Henry Hinkle and Laura Rawlins Hinkle in 1886. They lived in a log home until the current Queen Anne style main house was constructed in 1892. Over time the property grew to 82 acres, and was a typical family farm of crops and animals. The outbuildings that survive are the 1920s dairy barn, early 1900s grain barn and blacksmith shed, and the early 1900s carriage house converted to a garage in the 1920s.

The Hinkle’s only child, Henry Ernest Hinkle, married Bertha Rogers. They had two surviving children, Daisy Estella and John Henry. The second house, built in the Free Classic style, was constructed for this second generation family around 1910. Henry continued the family farming business, but slowly converted much of the property to his horticulture business. Hinkle’s Dahlia Gardens grew to become Tenth Street Floral Gardens, with dahlias, peonies and gladiolus being featured.

From an early age, Daisy had a love of music and pursued it as a career. She studied at Indiana University and elsewhere, and then taught at various locations. When she accepted a position at Murray State College, she renewed her acquaintance with fellow IU music alum and Murray State instructor, Joseph N. Garton. They were married in 1939 and moved back to her family farmstead in 1941. Daisy then began teaching music in the local schools, traveling to a different school each day, and Joe commuted to Indianapolis to teach in the public school system. They also gave private music lessons in their home, and performed publicly themselves. Throughout it all the Gartons maintained many aspects of the farm Daisy loved, such as limited crops and animals. Over time the Gartons reduced the size of the property to the current 11.08 acres.

When Daisy passed away in 2003, she left the property in her trust to an organization that would preserve it and operate a museum within the main rooms of the first floor. Bloomington Restorations, Inc. accepted the challenge and received the property on December 1, 2004. The second floor of the main house contains BRI’s offices, while the rear former apartment is rented as office space. The second house remains a residential rental with two units.
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Hinkle-Garton Farmstead reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
6 reviews
  • It’s really a homestead that sweet Daisy left to IU. Still looks as it did many years ago inside and there’s a wonderful teaching vegetable garden beside it. IU has a greenhouse there and is growing.....  more »
  • I grew up in a queen anne a lot more authentic than this one. Inside the house be prepared for a lot of linoleum. But outside they have really worked on the sight. Lovely grove of sugar maples they...  more »
  • Liked it a lot, nice live music, very friendly docents, great history & work they are doing Open 1 time a month & free. Tapping maple trees soon. A must see.
  • We went for a maple syrup and tree tapping class. Very fun and educational!

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