Commercial air service to Bloomington began on Nov. 6, 1950 with Ozark’s first flight into Bloomington Municipal Airport. Local officials were guests on the inaugural flight.
The period from Wednesday through Sunday around Thanksgiving is usually the busiest travel time of the year in the U.S. Fortunately for folks flying in or out of Bloomington, local airport facilities have expanded dramatically since 1964!
Seen here is a weary, unnamed worker heading to Danvers on the Bloomington-to-Peoria Illinois Terminal Railroad “interurban”. The Illinois Terminal was a light rail network of electric-powered passenger cars connecting six Central Illinois cities.
This viaduct (or “subway,” as they were once called) was built to enable Bloomington & Normal Railway Co. streetcars to safely cross the Chicago & Alton Railroad mainline in Normal. This viaduct remains open today and is used by automobiles, bicyclists, and pedestrians.
This 1931 scene at that field shows a local delegation standing before one of Century Air Lines’ 10-passenger Stinson tri-motor “ships.” The occasion was the inauguration of air passenger service to this area.
In 1947, a group of young girls from the Lucy Orme Morgan Home in Bloomington, which took in neglected girls from families unwilling or unable to care for them, were guests at the home of Violet Whitmer. Activities included rides on a pony cart.
This scene shows four unidentified boys heading south on the 1600 block of Fell Ave. The white house is 1610 Fell Ave., and the house under the boys clasped hands is 1612 Fell Ave. No bike helmets in 1963!
An estimated 200 area residents were on hand at the Municipal Airport (now Central Illinois Regional Airport) to celebrate the start of scheduled commercial air service to Bloomington. Seen here are Bloomington Postmaster Carter Pietsch (right) and Otto Gerth handing sacks of mail to stewardess Mary Forgach.