Visit our History Center and receive a FREE tour of Richfield’s Oldest Home, the Riley Bartholomew House!
Riley Bartholomew came here from Ashtabula, Ohio in 1852 and claimed over 19 acres on the shore of Wood Lake. His wife Fanny and their six children followed him to the Territory of Minnesota in 1853. Elected Justice of the Peace in 1854, Riley began a life of service to his community. Riley helped found the first church and school in the township of Richfield. He also served in the Territorial Legislature for a term. He was a member of the Republican State Constitutional Convention and chaired the meeting that named Richfield and organized its municipal government on the day that Minnesota became a state (May 11, 1858). Riley also served in the State House of Representatives.
The Bartholomew family (eventually Keefe by marriage) lived on and farmed the property until 1962. The house was saved by a movement spearheaded by the Minnesota Valley Woman’s Club which formed the Richfield Historical Society in February 1967. The house was restored to a 19th-century farmhouse, as it is to this day.
The “B” House has witnessed Richfield change from an agricultural community, to a truck-farm town, to one of the earliest and fastest growing suburbs. Whether its 19th-century decorations delight or confuse you, you don’t want to miss this Richfield treasure.
Open from April-November.
Richfield Historical Society
6901 Lyndale Avenue S.
Richfield, MN 55423
Wednesdays and Saturdays 12 – 4 pm
Help Save The Bartholomew House!
Help Preserve Richfield History!
Earlier in the fall of 2022, we began to notice that there was cracking in the ceiling and door frames where the two-story section meets the main house. We were able to get a structural engineer out to inspect the house and he gave us his assessment. The main structural wall on the first floor has begun to shift under its own weight. While he found this to be concerning, he assured us that the house is not in any immediate danger of collapsing at this time. As the season has progressed, however, the damage has continued to worsen.
With your help, we have raised enough money to pay for the structural report that we need to have in order to apply for grants used to pay for repairs. The Minnesota Historical Society likes to see that there is community support for the projects being considered, and therefore your help is still needed. Your generosity in the past has helped us get this far, and together we can ensure the Bartholomew House stands for another 170 years.