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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

4-H Gathering Undated

These patient 4-H members are waiting for something to wrap up before they can enjoy their meal. Note the needlework in front of them and the quilts behind. This mystery photograph comes from the Museum’s extensive collection of McLean County Home Bureau photographs. The Home Bureau is now known as the McLean County Association for Home and Community Education.

We don’t know the who, what, where, or why of this photograph. If you can help us with identifications, we’d sure appreciate it!

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

St. Joseph’s Hospital, Bloomington Under Construction, circa 1967

This circa 1967 aerial looks northwest. That’s under-construction St. Joseph’s Hospital in the center, with the Route 66 “beltline” (now Veterans Parkway) in the foreground. To the right (or north) is Eastland Mall, which formally opened in February 1967. This east side St. Joe’s, which would open in March 1968, replaced the old west side hospital off Morris Ave.

Who remembers when the east side of Bloomington liked like this?

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Redd-Williams Legion Post McBarnes Building, January 1942

Seen here are Redd-Williams American Legion Post #163 members at the McBarnes Memorial Building on East Grove Street in Bloomington. For much of the 20th century the Twin Cities had segregated Legion posts.

If you can identify any of these unidentified gentlemen, please let us know.

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Written by Bill Kemp in

Local Guardsmen Head to Chicago June 1938

On June 20, 1938, about 40 members of Bloomington’s 2nd Battalion, 108th Quartermaster Regiment, headed to Chicago for the annual Illinois National Guard military show at Soldier Field. They’re seen here boarding a truck near the old armory (which was lost in a building collapse in 2011) in the warehouse district.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

300 Block North Main Street May 1937

This lovely Depression-era view of a bustling downtown Bloomington shows the east side of the 300 block of North Main Street, one block north of the Courthouse Square.

What catches your eye?

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Written by Bill Kemp in

University School of Beauty Culture September 1939

Margarette Scott’s beauty school was located on the 400 block of North Main Street in downtown Bloomington. “We get personality training too, because we’ve got to please our customers,” one of the students said at the time of this photograph. “Most of the girls are 18 to 25 years old and high school graduates … Nearly half the girls come from farm homes.”

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

What a long, strange trip it’s been … William and Beverly Meyers road trip Spring 1949

William Meyers and his wife Beverly (seen here) spent eight weeks traveling by U.S. Army surplus jeep from the Panama Canal Zone to Central Illinois—some 7,040 miles in all. Beverley’s parents lived in El Paso, Ill. During the epic journey the young couple had but one flat tire.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Illinois State Normal University Junior-Senior Prom, 1949

Several ISNU coeds show off their gowns for the June 10, 1949 junior-senior prom. Louise Claymore (left) is in a blue chiffon; Barbara Schonert (center) in blue satin; and Marilyn McCarthy in beige lace with a stole.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Normal grocery readies opening May 1949

Warren Craft (left) and two clerks, Don Bradbury and Catherine Chambers, prepare for the May 25, 1949 grand opening of Craft’s Food Store at 108 E. Beaufort St. in Uptown Normal.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Extra, extra, read all about it! Pantagraph’s graduation edition, May 1949

Danvers High School seniors are seen here pouring though The Daily Pantagraph’s 56-page graduation edition of May 18, 1949. The Pantagraph distributed complimentary copies to some 2,370 senior from 77 Central Illinois high schools.

These seniors delayed their “skip day” to Starved Rock State Park to get a look at the class photographs.

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