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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Readying for college Fall of 1949

Bill and Edmunds Rolley enjoy an apparently carefree day in the Twin Cities before heading off to Northwestern University in Evanston, where Bill would be a sophomore and Edmunds a freshman. That’s Connie Carter in between the Rolley boys. Connie was off to Mount Mary University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Whites-only beach Miller Park, Bloomington, July 1940

From the 1910s into the 1950s, there were racially segregated beaches at Miller Park. The much larger and much nicer beach shown here was set aside for white residents. The black beach was located in the lagoon-like part of the lake beyond the arched stone bridge seen in the distance. African Americans were also denied access to the spacious bathhouse next to the “white” beach.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Mackinaw River catch, July 1940 Boolman residence, Bloomington

Chester Boolman, 820 W. Washington St., shows his 21-month-old son Melvin a 15-pound catfish he caught below the Kappa Bridge on the Mackinaw River. This photograph was probably taken July 1 or 2, 1940.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Irvin Theater, Bloomington Circa 1958

The Irvin was the Twin City’s premier movie house for much of the 20th century. Located on the 200 block of East Jefferson Street, it opened in 1915, closed in 1982, and was torn down in 1987.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Memorial Day 1936 Downtown Bloomington

The McLean County Legion Drum Corps, debuting their new uniforms, march south down Main Street on Saturday, May 30, 1936, during Bloomington’s annual Memorial Day parade.

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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

The Shattertones June 1966

Timothy P. Irvin (left, kneeling in front of the guitar) formed The Shattertons in 1960 as a high school freshman. Six years later the band was performing local gigs.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Backstage, Majestic Theatre Bloomington, undated

This undated photo shows Bill Dorothy (left) and James “Pop” Tucker working the backstage area of the Majestic Theatre. Located at the corner of East and Washington streets, the Majestic opened in 1910 as a vaudeville house. It was torn in 1956.

This photograph was taken by Karl Blakney, a longtime local theater projectionist who was also an amateur photographer. The Museum holds a collection of Blakney’s photographs.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Long way up … and down! WJBC radio tower, 1949

Robert Bible (left) and Wilson Hall of the International Derrick and Equipment Co. of Columbus, Ohio, work on the installation of WJBC’s new radio tower. This 400-foot steel tower was adjacent to the station’s under-construction office and studio building off Route 66 (now Veterans Parkway) on the southwest edge of Bloomington.

Sixty-eight years later WJBC is still located at this site.

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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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