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#Towns -- Normal

Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

North Gate Subdivision Northeast Normal, July 1964

During the summer of 1964, ranch and split-level homes were popping up in the North Gate subdivision in northeast Normal, adjacent to the Illinois Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Children’s School (ISSCS). North Gate was north of Lincoln, bounded by Beech on the east, and Walnut on the west. This view is looking southwest at Bright Drive, with Beech St.in the foreground. It looks like the photographer was standing at the entrance of the ISSCS administration building. Thanks to Daniel McClure for finding the exact location this picture was taken!

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

On Parade Elementary Rhythm Band, July 1951

On Tuesday we posted another photograph featuring this neighborhood music class. These children, who were between the ages of thee and six, were led by music teacher Kay Baylor. Presumably, that’s Ms. Baylor with the accordion. We don’t know where this photograph was taken, but we do know Baylor taught out of her home at 407 S. Linden St., Normal. If you can identify this location, let us know!

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

ISNU Tour of Europe June 1951

A group from Illinois State Normal University readies for their two-month tour of the British Isles and the European continent. They were led by Dr. Arthur W. Watterson (far right), who was just named acting head of the Department of Geology and Geography. Watterson Towers is the namesake of Dr. Watterson.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

“A-One, and a-Two, and a-Three …” Elementary Rhythm Band, July 1951

Tammi Orendorff conducts Kay Baylor’s elementary rhythm band during the summer of 1951. Baylor, who taught piano and music theory from her home, 407 S. Linden St., Normal, organized this “rhythm band” for local children between the ages of three and six. Instruments included castanets, cymbals, bells, rhythm sticks, gongs, and triangles.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Defense Work at Firestone May 1968

a woman is pictured standing in the middle of a gigantic approx 12 foot diameter firestone tire.

Janet Froemming, receptionist at the Firestone Tire & Rubber Co. (now Bridgestone Tires) plant in Normal, gets a close look at a tire produced for the U.S. Army’s latest generation amphibious vehicle known as the LARC (Lighter, Amphibious Resupply, Cargo). These LARC tires were first shipped to the Army Depot in Polk, CA on May 29, 1968.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Normal grocery readies opening May 1949

Warren Craft (left) and two clerks, Don Bradbury and Catherine Chambers, prepare for the May 25, 1949 grand opening of Craft’s Food Store at 108 E. Beaufort St. in Uptown Normal.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Eugene Field School Reading Class, October 1949

Eugene Field teacher Kathryn Carnahan leads a crowded classroom of 40 first graders in this October 1949 scene. Opened in 1936, Eugene Field in Normal closed as an elementary school in 2005, and today the 81-year-old building serves as the Vocational Training Center for McLean County Unit District No. 5.

Who’s a Eugene Field alum or had children that attended this neighborhood school?

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Normal Fire Department New pumper, May 1968

Fire Inspector Charles Smalley (left) and Fire Chief Victor “Spud” Sylvester, Jr. take a close look at the controls of Normal’s new 1,000-gallon-per-minute pumper truck. It cost $23,000 at the time, which would be more than $162,000 in today’s dollars, adjusted for inflation.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Robert Underwood, casting ballot April 9, 1945

Seen here is 30-year-old judicial candidate Robert C. Underwood (left) at an unidentified Town of Normal polling station, casting his ballot in the spring 1945 election. Underwood, in his first bid for elective office, would defeat sitting County Judge Dewey Montgomery by a nearly two-to-one margin.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos