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#1920s

Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Majestic Theatre, Bloomington May 1937

First opened in 1910, the Majestic Theatre was located at the corner of East and Washington streets in downtown Bloomington. This March 1937 scene shows folks lined up for a musical variety show presented by the employees of State Farm Insurance. The show was held May 26-28.

This old vaudeville house came down in 1956 to make way for the Bloomington Federal Savings and Loan Association building (today known as the Government Center).

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Better Babies Conference May 1929

The Pantagraph and Second Presbyterian Church, Bloomington, sponsored a three-day “Better Babies Conference,” May 7-9, 1929. Seen here are participants gathered around the registration table at Second Presbyterian. Seated is Nellie Motherway, president of the Holy Trinity School Parent Teacher Association.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Arrowsmith High School

Built in 1929, this building served as the Village of Arrowsmith’s high school until consolidation with neighboring Saybrook in 1952. The old high school was then used as the consolidated junior high before falling to the wrecking ball.

Today, Arrowsmith students attend Ridgeview High School in Colfax

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

C.W. Frey’s Showroom Downtown Bloomington, circa 1929-30

Old car show room, 1929.

Clarence W. Frey & Sons was a longtime auto dealership and service center. Seen here is a Frey showroom with circa 1929-1930 Studebakers.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Irving School, Bloomington Eighth Grade Graduates, 1925

Irving School in Bloomington, 1935.

Here’s the Irving School class of 1925. In 2016 Irving is still a public school on Bloomington’s west side (though the old building in the background was long replaced with a more modern structure).

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Eighth Grade Graduates Soldiers’ Orphans’ Home, 1928

Illinois Soldiers' and Sailors' Children's School eight grade graduates, 1928.

Twelve eighth grade graduates from the Illinois Soldiers’ Orphans’ Home (later renamed the Illinois Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Children’s School, or ISSCS) pose for this late spring 1928 photograph. Unfortunately, the only students positively identified are Richard Griffith (middle, back row) and Thelma Capshaw (second from left, front row).

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Knights of Columbus’ New Home 1206 N. Main St., Bloomington December 1927

New Knights of Columbus house, 1927.

In December 1927, the Knights of Columbus, a Catholic service and fraternal organization, converted the Snell residence into their new club quarters. The K of C remained there for about a decade.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

East Twin Grove Farmers’ Picnic July 28, 1922

Farmers' Picnic, 1922.

In late July 1922, the McLean County Farm Bureau and the McLean County Home Bureau held a picnic west of Bloomington for farmers and rural folk from six area townships. A crew from Homestead Films, Inc. of Chicago was also there to shoot scenes for a seven-reel silent picture to be called “The Yoke of Age.”

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Holiness Tabernacle Normal, 1929

Holiness Tabernacle, 1929.

The Central Illinois Holiness Association, an interdenominational camp meeting grounds, is situated east of Underwood Park off Jersey Avenue. The association dates to 1883 and was first located in Farmer City, DeWitt County. The association relocated to Normal in 1894 and this property was acquired in 1916.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Ensenberger’s, 1925 West Side of Square, Bloomington

Construction of Ensenberger's, 1925.

Back in the summer of 1925 iron workers were completing the steel frame for the new Ensenberger’s furniture store high rise. This seven-story beauty was designed by local architect Arthur L. Pillsbury. It opened in May 1926, but Pillsbury had been killed in an automobile accident the previous October.

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