200 North Main Street | Bloomington, Illinois | 309-827-0428

#1940s

Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Jesse Fell House March 1947

Jesse Fell House, 1947.

Jesse Fell built this house in 1856-1857, nearly a decade before the establishment of the town itself. It was later moved to 502 S. Fell Ave., and then torn down in mid-August 1980.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Trotter Fountain March 1957

Women standing in front of the Trotter Fountain, 1947.

The Trotter Fountain might be the most significant work of public art in the Twin Cities. The fountain stands near the corner of East and Washington streets in Withers Park, just south of the PNC bank building.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Armistice Day 1945 parade Downtown Bloomington

Armistice Day parade, 1945.

This photograph offers a partial view of the 200 block of North Main Street, looking southeast. The Unity Building, one of the great office buildings, was lost in a fire in 1988.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

George Stewart World War I veteran

World War I veteran, 1940s.

This photograph shows George Stewart, a local (and well-decorated) World War I veteran. Though hard to believe, at one time Bloomington had separate Legion posts for black and white veterans.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Armistice Day, 1945 Courthouse Square, Bloomington

Armistice Day salute, 1945.

Veterans Day was first known as “Armistice Day.” Seen here is the 1945 Armistice Day ceremony a little more than two months after the end of World War II.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Bloomington Author Wilson Tucker Book Signing, October 1947

Books signing, 1947.

Arthur Wilson “Bob” Tucker signing copies of his latest mystery novel, “To Keep or Kill,” at W.B. Read & Co., 210 N. Center St. in downtown Bloomington. Tucker enjoyed a second career as a mystery and science fiction writer, until he passed away in 2006.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

World War II Home Front Gas Rationing, July 1943

Gas rationing, 1943.

Ted Colteaux hands over his gasoline ration book to Lee Harris of Harris Super Service Station. During the summer of 1943, the federal government’s Office of Price Administration cracked down on abuses in the gasoline rationing program.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Bloomington Boys Visit Wrigley Field September 13, 1947

Junior baseball player meets Chicago Cubs player, 1947.

Seen here is local boy Bob Lemme, Bloomington Junior Legion ballplayer, with Cubs right fielder Bill “Swish” Nicholson, one of his favorite players.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Beich Bowlers, 1942

Women's Bowling club, 1942.

Not much is known about this photograph. We do know that at least four of the five women shown here were working at Paul F. Beich Co., the local candy maker, at the time.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Navajo Tap Room and Coffee Shop Illinois Hotel, Bloomington, circa 1943

Illinois Hotel's tap room and coffee shop, 1943.

The Illinois Hotel survives today as the Illinois House, where this tap room and coffee shop was one of several businesses on the hotel’s street level.

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