200 North Main Street | Bloomington, Illinois | 309-827-0428
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September 2017

September 4th, 2017 / 9:00 AM

Museum Closed in Observance of Labor Day

Have a safe and enjoyable holiday.

September 14th, 2017 / 12:32 PM

Lunch and Learn - Small Business: The Catalyst of McLean County with Karen Bussone

September 14

Small Business: The Catalyst of McLean County with Karen Bussone, Director,Small Business Development Center Illinois Wesleyan University

Karen Bussone, new director of the Small Business Development Center at Illinois Wesleyan will explore the role and importance of small business in McLean county.

The Small Business Development Center (SBDC) provides free assistance to small businesses and aspiring entrepreneurs in McLean County Karen has been a Visiting Professor for Illinois Wesleyan University the past ten years, where she developed team-based collaborative classrooms while teaching courses across various disciplines including marketing, management, entrepreneurship, and financial management.

Bring your brown bag lunch to the Museum’s series, featuring engaging and enlightening topics for discussion. Join us the second Thursday of every month from September through May for a new topic to explore and discuss. The programs are held in the Museum’s Governor Fifer Courtroom from 12:10-12:40 p.m. These programs are free and open to the public and sponsored by Illinois Wesleyan University and the McLean County Museum of History.

September 17th, 2017 / 12:00 PM

Albert Cashier Bus Trip to Chicago - Limited seating, tickets on sale!

The McLean County Museum of History is currently taking reservations for a special bus trip to see “The Civility of Albert Cashier”, a limited-run musical that focuses on the life of a Central Illinois Civil War soldier who defied contemporary gender roles. A matinee performance, the show will be held at 4 p.m. Sunday, September 17 at Stage 773 in Chicago. A limited number of scholarships for local high school students will be available thanks to the Prairie Pride Coalition.

Born Jennie Irene Hodgers, Albert D.J. Cashier (December 25, 1843 – October 10, 1915) was an Irish-born immigrant who moved to Illinois and lived under a male identity before enlisting in the 95th Illinois Infantry during the American Civil War. Cashier maintained his secret throughout the war and for most of his adult life until a doctor discovered Cashier’s biological gender following an injury. Cashier’s story became famous as one of a number of women soldiers who served as men during the Civil War, however Cashier did not dress in men’s clothing just to join the Army. His male identity was part of his life before and after the war, leading current scholars to reconsider the female narrative that has long framed his legacy. Despite a challenge to his Army pension and being forced to spend his final days dressed as a woman in a state asylum, Cashier was buried with full military honors in his Union uniform and a tombstone reflects his name as “Albert D.J. Cashier, Co G, 95 Ill.” Today, there is also a nearby second tombstone bearing his female birth name. Cashier’s small house is still located in the town of Saunemin in Livingstone County, and the Cashier story continues to capture the interests of historians, journalists, authors, and playwrights.

Reserve your spot for $65 – price includes round-trip bus transportation and show ticket. Bus leaves the Museum and Visitors Center on Sunday at 12 p.m. Call the Museum at (309) 827-0428 to make your reservation. During the ride to Chicago, Museum Librarian Bill Kemp will present his program, “From Jenny to Albert: Pvt. Cashier and the Civil War.”

“Of all the innumerable Civil War stories of life under arms (from boredom to bravery and humor to horror), one would be hard pressed to come up with a more intriguing yet ultimately more touching story than that of Albert D.J. Cashier of the 95th Illinois Infantry,” said Kemp.

Dave Bentlin of the Prairie Pride Coalition will offer commentary after the show and lead a discussion about current themes and issues reflected in the Cashier story. The PPC will also offer scholarship opportunities for local students to participate.

“In an effort to engage today’s LGBTQIA+ youth to learn more about their heritage, the Prairie Pride Coalition will offer a limited number of scholarships to members of the gay/straight alliances at local high schools to cover ticket and transportation costs,” Bentlin explained. For more information about the scholarships, please contact Dave Bentlin at davebent62@hotmail.com.

You can go to the Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/AlbertCashierTheMusuical to learn more about the musical.

The Museum would like to thank all of our sponsors and partners who are helping to reduce financial barriers to learning history and experiencing cultural opportunities:

September 30th, 2017 / 11:00 AM

Evergreen Cemetery Walk

Every year the Evergreen Cemetery Walk brings the voices of McLean County’s history to life. Costumed actors portray individuals representing all walks of life from the county’s past on the beautiful grounds of Evergreen Memorial Cemetery. This event serves over 3,500 people (mostly students) every year. To date, we have featured over 157 different individuals from all walks of life, whose stories illustrate the impact the people of McLean County have had on history – locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally. In addition, the impact of the Evergreen Cemetery Walk can be felt throughout the state and nation. This award-winning, nationally recognized interpretive program is often referred to as the “granddaddy” of all cemetery walks. Put on your walking shoes and bring your family to participate in this fascinating, outdoor theatrical program.

Evergreen Memorial Cemetery is one of the richest historical resources in our community. People from all walks of life are buried in this over 150 year old cemetery. Rich, poor, famous, infamous, loved or forgotten alike, they are all buried here. Evergreen provides an honorable resting place for all members of our community.

This annual event is a collaboration between the McLean County Museum of History, Illinois Voices Theatre and Evergreen Memorial Cemetery.