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The BFD tried out its new two-way radio system in late August 1953. Seen here are Fireman Robert Colyer (left) driving the service truck as Capt. Ernest Lockenvitz contacts the station.
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.
Even the small Village of Downs had a post-World War II housing boom (relatively speaking). Note also that there was no Interstate 74 in 1953!
In 1947, Bloomington merchants staged a promotional drawing on the west steps of the McLean County Courthouse Square (now the Museum Square). Nine-year-old Donald Lake, whose family lived north of Lexington, won the top prize, a bay pony named “Flag.”
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.
Billed as “Illinois largest free fall festival,” the LeRoy Fall festival live entertainment in downtown LeRoy. This M41 Walker Bulldog light tank was part of the festivities, but we’re not sure if it was part of a parade or was used as a static display for Cold War-era military recruitment.
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!
Here’s a fascinating view of the Cedar Crest neighborhood in Normal from the Depression era.
Established in 1917, the Home Sweet Home City Rescue Mission (now known as Home Sweet Home Ministries) provides “food, shelter, and hope to the hungry, homeless, and hurting.”
The Pantagraph snapped this photo for a planned “campus fashion” feature for late September or early October 1941. The two Illinois State Normal University students are not identified
The American Gold Star Mothers organization consists of mothers who have lost a son or daughter to military service. This photograph is undated, though far left is Hazel Millard, founder and president of the Bloomington Gold Star Mothers chapter.
In 1948, Ralston-Purina Co. opened a soybean processing plant on Bloomington’s west side. Soybean oil from this plant was used in a variety of animal feeds.
The “new” Bloomington Federal Savings & Loan Association building under construction some three months before its grand opening in November 1957. Designed by visionary architect A. Richard Williams, additions to this bank building were made in the 1970s and 1980s.
Gathered here on the Illinois Wesleyan University quad in 1938 are students (left to right) Allan Goss of Lexington; Justus Olson of Foosland; Gertrude Ringler of Strawn; and William Ewalt of Ohio, IL.
Meadowbrook, a 167-lot development southeast of Lakeside Country Club, was well under construction in this summer 1954 photograph.
Seen here are IWU students entering and leaving Hedding Hall during the fall semester, 1938.
Twelve-year-old Darlene Bishop poses with her collection of 225 dolls in August 1938.
In mid-July 1957, some 700 State Farm employees settled into their new quarters at 2309 E. Oakland Ave. In 2016, State Farm still occupies this office building.
Sen. Estes Kefauver of Tennessee stopped in Bloomington to campaign for fellow Democrat and hometown favorite son Adlai E. Stevenson II, who was the party’s presidential nominee. Stevenson would lose to Republican Dwight D. Eisenhower in both 1952 and 1956.