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Archive of: April, 2016

Depression-Era Skaters Bloomington, Circa 1930s

Children with skates, undated.

This lovely photo is a mystery. The year, location, and those pictured are unknown.

Play Ball! Cooksville, 1909

Baseball players, 1909.

McLean County’s smaller communities, including the Village of Cooksville, once fielded competitive baseball clubs that welcomed all comers. Costello & O’Malley’s (note the misspelling on the photo—Costello with an extra “T”) was a menswear store on the 300 block of Main Street in downtown Bloomington.

McDonald’s in Normal 806 S. Main St., 1961

First McDonald's in Normal, 1961.

The Twin Cities first McDonald’s restaurant opened in early 1959. The view here is looking southeast from the 800 block of South Main Street in Normal. The chain, which at this time boasted some 100 restaurants, had earlier opened drive-ins in Peoria and Decatur. Today, of course, McDonald's is one of the largest fast food restaurant chains in the world, with more than 36,000 “outlets” in 119 countries.

Mount Hope Ladies Aid Moore’s Mill Marker, August 1968

Moore's Mill Marker, 1960s.

The most famous gristmill in McLean County was the one operated by the Moore family of Mount Hope Township. Situated on the south bank of Sugar Creek about three miles west of the Village of McLean, Moore's Mill survived into the 20th century, becoming the last operational water-powered mill in the county. In 1964, the McLean County Historical Society dedicated a marker at the site of the mill.

Courthouse Square, Bloomington East Side / Main Street, Late 1970s

Courthouse square, 1970s.

This colorful view shows the 200 block of North Main Street in the late 1970s. All of these buildings are gone, including the Griesheim Building, seen on the left, the granddaddy of downtown office buildings. In late August 1984, it was lost in a spectacular blaze started by an arsonist.

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