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Archive of: Collection Highlights

Written by Bill Kemp in Museum News Collection Highlights

Questers help restore priceless 1873 ‘bird’s eye’ view of Bloomington

Museum staff recognized the local Jesse Fell chapter of Questers International. This group, dedicated to the study and preservation of historical objects, oversaw a $1,500 donation to pay for a professional restoration of the Museum’s rare 1873 “bird’s eye” view of Bloomington.

International Questers, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the study, conservation, and preservation of historical objects, donated $1,500 to the McLean County Museum of History for the restoration of a priceless 1873 "bird's eye" view of Bloomington. Half the donation came from Illinois State Questers and the other half from the local Jesse Fell Chapter, the latter raised by way of garage sales. This significant donation to the McLean County Museum of History was undertaken by the Jesse Fell Chapter to commemorate its 50th anniversary.

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Written by Emma Meyer in Collection Highlights

One Dress, Eleven Brides

Myrtle Abbott McCarty, married 30 November 1904

This beautiful wedding gown was recently donated to the museum. First worn in 1904, it was subsequently worn by 10 brides – all descendants of the original wearer, Miss Alice Myrtle Abbott.

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Written by Tod Eagleton in Collection Highlights

Halloween Traditions

These place cards were among many Halloween party favors found in 2009 residing in a wicker trunk in the attic of the Lewis Green Stevenson House at 1316 E. Washington Street in Bloomington.

Although there are several theories regarding the origin of Halloween, or All Hallows Eve, its roots can be traced back to the ancient Celts of Ireland and Northern England. The Celtic New Year begins on November 1st and the festival of Samhain (pronounced “sow-win”) is celebrated on October 31st to mark the end of harvest and the beginning of winter.

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Written by Beth Whisman in Museum News Exhibits Collection Highlights

The Tilbury Flash on display at Central Illinois Regional Airport

The Tilbury Flash is hanging above the passenger side waiting area of the CIRA terminal.

The McLean County Museum of History’s largest artifact, the Tilbury Flash racing plane, has officially arrived at the Central Illinois Regional Airport terminal.

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Written by Tod Eagleton in Collection Highlights

Collection Highlight: Ross Vinson, Funk Bro. Seed Company Photographer

Much of my time as Registrar at the McLean County Museum of History is spent looking through the lens of a camera, photographing the 20,000+ objects in our collection. Capturing the perfect image doesn’t always come easily and I’m always impressed by anyone with a good eye for photography. One such individual is Ross Vinson...

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Written by Bill Kemp in Collection Highlights

Slitherin’ no more Mystery Pic, 1958

This fascinating photograph is a mystery to Museum staff. The only thing we’re sure about is that it was taken on June 30, 1958.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Collection Highlights

Springtime in “BloNo’ Iris Walk, 1939

Although you wouldn’t know it from this past weekend’s weather, the end of May and the beginning of June mark the traditional start of the garden walk season in Bloomington-Normal.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Collection Highlights

Chenoa Airport, 1948

Here are two more photographs from the rural airport’s second annual air show, held August 29, 1948.

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Written by Tod Eagleton in Collection Highlights

Volunteers: Helping the Museum make history every day

Cane given to Isaiah Dillon.  The dates on the inscription, 1855 – 1905, correspond with Isaiah and Mary Fisher Dillon’s wedding anniversary.

The value of each object the Museum owns isn't measured in monetary terms but rather its provenance. Knowing who owned the object, when and where it was used, and for what purpose, helps us to preserve the history of McLean County.

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Written by Tod Eagleton in Collection Highlights

The Meyer Brewing Co.

Advertisement from the Bloomington City Directory, 1904

The McLean County Museum of History holds a small collection of artifacts used by the Meyer Brewing Company of Bloomington, IL, a local brewery that enjoyed much success prior to Prohibition.

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