Construction began on a new Corn Belt Bank home office on September 13, 1960. The Bloomington bank was moving two blocks east from its longtime home on the Courthouse Square. This bank building opened in October 1961.
The Twin Cities first McDonald’s restaurant opened in early 1959. The view here is looking southeast from the 800 block of South Main Street in Normal. The chain, which at this time boasted some 100 restaurants, had earlier opened drive-ins in Peoria and Decatur. Today, of course, McDonald's is one of the largest fast food restaurant chains in the world, with more than 36,000 “outlets” in 119 countries.
The most famous gristmill in McLean County was the one operated by the Moore family of Mount Hope Township. Situated on the south bank of Sugar Creek about three miles west of the Village of McLean, Moore's Mill survived into the 20th century, becoming the last operational water-powered mill in the county. In 1964, the McLean County Historical Society dedicated a marker at the site of the mill.
he American Passion Play, staged right here in Bloomington, is the nation’s oldest such staging of the story of Christ. Seen here is five-year-old John Aldridge during a rehearsal. His parents Jack and Carol Aldridge were also Passion Play performers. And appearing in previous seasons were both his grandmother and great-grandfather.
For many years the biggest sporting event on the local calendar was the McLean County Basketball Tournament, which began way back in 1911. During the years before school consolidation, 20 or more McLean County high schools outside of Bloomington-Normal would battle it out for bragging rights as the county’s small school champion.There were 11 schools vying for the 1966 tourney title. On January 21, Octavia beat Lexington in the championship game before a packed Horton Field House crowd on the Illinois State University campus.
This photograph, taken from the roof of The Pantagraph building in March 1965, shows a row of four brick commercial buildings stretching west of the 1911 Peoples Bank building. This is the south side of the 200 block of W. Washington St. back in 1965.