The Village of Carlock, established in 1888, is seen here in an undated but circa 1930 aerial.
Several hundred folks sat in the shade of a box elder tree in 1954, for the dedication of Bloomington’s new public housing project. The housing project was named for Campbell Holton, who operated a wholesale grocery in Bloomington for nearly a half century.
This aerial view, taken on July 20, 1932, shows the near west side of Bloomington. The view is looking northeast.
Founded in October 1865 as South Hill Baptist Church, Mt Pisgah Baptist Church has played an important leadership role in the local African-American community for 150-plus years. Seen here is Mt. Pisgah’s previous home at 701 S. Lee St., which the church built and opened in 1915-1916.
Opened in 1922, the Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts was originally known as the Bloomington Consistory or the Scottish Rite Temple. Designed by Chicago architects Harris W. Huehl and R.G. Schmid, the auditorium was built to be the home of the American Passion Play.
From the end of the Civil War to the 1970s, Normal was home to a state children’s home known as the Illinois Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Children’s School (ISSCS). These kids attended University High at what was then called Illinois State Normal University. The drop-off / pickup stop for ISSCS students was School Street, just north of North Street, near the Fell Gates and today’s ISU Planetarium.
This undated aerial photograph, looking northwest, gives one a sense of the impressive size of the sprawling Chicago & Alton Railroad Shops on Bloomington’s west side. From the years after the Civil War to the Great Depression, the C&A was the largest employer in the Twin Cities. At this complex upwards of 2,000 or more men were involved in the maintenance and repair of steam locomotives and rolling stock.
Back during the early years of the Cold War the fuselage of a U.S. Air Force B-29 Superfortress was put on display on the McLean County Courthouse Square, presumably as part of a patriotic road show to celebrate America’s technological, industrial, and military might. Air Force personnel were on hand during the June 13, 1950 stop in Bloomington to explain the bomber’s workings and answer questions.
Who are the people who have made McLean County their home? Where did they come from and how did they get here? What did they experience after they arrived?
On Monday, January 18, 2016 the McLean County Museum of History unveiled the new exhibit, "Making A Home", that will help answer these questions. This exhibit is the first in a series of five galleries to open that will eventually make up the larger permanent exhibit "Challenges, Choices, and Change: The People of McLean County."
On Sunday, September 22, 1935, one person was killed just before 6:00 a.m. when a southbound Greyhound bus collided with a coupe on U.S. Route 66 several miles south of Lincoln.
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.
In June 1936, the Danvers Farmers Elevator Association announced plans to upgrade its facilities, a project that included replacement of the 1902 wood-sided elevator shown here, as well as construction of a new powerhouse, coal sheds, and other buildings.
Located at the northeast corner of East and Douglas streets on the north end of downtown, this station opened on April 1, 1939. The one-story tan brick structure, built in the Streamline Moderne-style popular at the time, included waiting rooms, ticket office, and restrooms. By 1956, the date of this photograph, the station served Greyhound Bus Lines, Illini Coach Co., Peoria Rockford Coach Line, and the local Yellow Cab Co. There was also a lunch counter restaurant to grab a bite to eat.
On January 14, 1960, Illinois State Normal University’s puppetry class staged its third annual pageant at Metcalf School. There was an afternoon performance for the university laboratory school’s lower grade children, and an evening one opened to the public. The program included “Little Red Riding Hood,” “Sleeping Beauty,” “Cinderella,” and other fairy tales
Some 140 patrol boys from nine Bloomington public schools gathered at Franklin School on January 8, 1946, for a joint meeting on traffic safety. Seen here is the gathering’s principal speaker, Capt. Emerson H. Westwick (left) of the Illinois State Highway Patrol, bantering with some of the local lads.
This aerial photograph, looking southwest, shows a section of the Briarwood neighborhood that straddles the Twin Cities of Bloomington and Normal. This photo was taken on February 8, 1934, by Pantagraph farm co-editor Frank Bill from “Scoop III,” a black-and-silver Stinson Jr. monoplane, the third of four planes owned by the newspaper.
New suburban-like developments sprouted up in the Twin Cities in the years after World War II to accommodate young couples and their Baby Boom children. Seen here are 1404 (left) and 1406 Maplewood Drive in Normal’s Maplewood subdivision.
Who says there aren’t hills in Central Illinois? These youngsters took advantage of the chilly, snowy weather over the 1946-1947 New Year’s holiday to go sledding down an icy stretch of South Lee Street in Bloomington.
Nancy Sue Hannah was the first Bloomington-Normal newborn of 1958, arriving 12 hours and 25 minutes into the new year. Also pictured here at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Bloomington are the parents Esther and Larry Hannah. Nancy Sue was the first child for the couple, who lived at 815 W. Jefferson St. in Bloomington.