Skip to Content
200 North Main St | Bloomington, Illinois | 309-827-0428
/ Blog / Archive

Archive of: October, 2016

Happy Halloween!

Halloween card, undated.

O let us cast dull care away
Again be children for a day.

Jack Cruser ‘Ugliest’ Costume Winner, 1968

Young by with an ugly costume, 1968.

In 1968, the Normal Parks and Recreation Department and the Optimist and Rotary clubs sponsored a Halloween costume parade at ISU. Jack Cruser won the grand prize after taking first place in the “ugliest costume” category for those in the first grade or younger.

World War II Home Front Gas Rationing, July 1943

Gas rationing, 1943.

Ted Colteaux hands over his gasoline ration book to Lee Harris of Harris Super Service Station. During the summer of 1943, the federal government’s Office of Price Administration cracked down on abuses in the gasoline rationing program.

Halloween Party Mystery

Fraternal Halloween Party, 1918.

This photo is c.1918 and the room is in the Illinois House lobby. It is a Halloween party, though, with party hats decorated with pumpkins, black cats, and skulls.

Bird House Contest, 1930s Anchor Grade School

Elementary school children with homemade birdfeeders, 1930s.

This photograph comes from the Museum’s William Brigham Collection.

Hougham’s Halloween Party? Village of McLean, ca. 1890

Old Halloween Party, 1890s.

Not much is known about this photo other than the handwritten caption indicating it was taken at Albert and Betty (or Bettie) Hougham’s home in McLean, about 1890.

Corn map of McLean County December 1909

Corn map at ​The Farmers’ and Teachers’ Institute, 1909.

The Farmers’ and Teachers’ Institute was held in mid-December 1909 at the “Normal University,” as ISU was most often called back then. A highlight of the corn exhibit room was a county map made of corn by nine boys from Price School.

Unitarian Church of Bloomington 209 N. East St., undated

Unitarian Church, undated.

Seen here is the old Unitarian Church in downtown Bloomington. This building was torn down in late 1959. Today, the downtown PNC Bank occupies this site.

Bloomington Boys Visit Wrigley Field September 13, 1947

Junior baseball player meets Chicago Cubs player, 1947.

Seen here is local boy Bob Lemme, Bloomington Junior Legion ballplayer, with Cubs right fielder Bill “Swish” Nicholson, one of his favorite players.

Aaron Copland at IWU February 1958

Aaron Copland appearing at IWU, 1958.

Composer Aaron Copland, one of the greatest American artists of the 20th century, was the featured guest for Illinois Wesleyan University's Seventh Annual Symposium of Contemporary American Music in 1958. He is is seen here listening to R. Dwight Drexler, professor of piano and theory, and his wife, Maxine.

Tilden-Hall’s Sad Demise February-March 1962

Destruction of Tilden-Hall Hotel, 1962.

Seen here is the removal of the neon sign of the Tilden-Hall Hotel, the six-story hotel located at the corner of Madison and Washington streets.

Tilden-Hall Hotel Downtown Bloomington, 1933

Old Tilden Hall Hotel, 1933.

the six-story Tilden Hall is seen here in September 1933. The hotel was built around 1900 and was first known as the Arnold (and then the Hills and then the Arlington).

Nation’s Best Corn Huskers November 1939

Corn husking national champs, 1939.

Local, state, and national corn husking contests were all the rage in the 1930s. Seen here are the winners of the 1939 national husking championship outside of Lawrence, Kansas.

Illinois Terminal Railroad September 1950. Pt. 2

John W Bryan running a train, 1950.

Seen here is motorman John W. Bryan riding the Bloomington-to-Peoria Illinois Terminal light rail “interurban” sometime in September 1950.

Susan Emrath Computer Pioneer, 1968

Susan Emrath sitting in front of an old computer, 1968.

Susan Emrath, a recent Illinois State University graduate, worked as a systems engineer for IBM. Emrath, 22 years old at the time, was the youngest in IBM’s eight-member account/marketing team and is seen here at a State Farm office with an IBM System/360 mainframe computer.

Illinois Terminal Railroad September 1950

Man sitting in a train car, 1950.

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.

National Bank of Bloomington Main and Washington, 1930s

National Bank building, 1930s.

The green arrow points to the old YMCA building across East Street. The red arrow indicates the 1910 Majestic Theatre, and the blue arrow Liberty State Bank, one of only two Bloomington banks to collapse during the Great Depression.

Questers help restore priceless 1873 ‘bird’s eye’ view of Bloomington

Museum staff recognized the local Jesse Fell chapter of Questers International. This group, dedicated to the study and preservation of historical objects, oversaw a $1,500 donation to pay for a professional restoration of the Museum’s rare 1873 “bird’s eye” view of Bloomington.

International Questers, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the study, conservation, and preservation of historical objects, donated $1,500 to the McLean County Museum of History for the restoration of a priceless 1873 "bird's eye" view of Bloomington. Half the donation came from Illinois State Questers and the other half from the local Jesse Fell Chapter, the latter raised by way of garage sales. This significant donation to the McLean County Museum of History was undertaken by the Jesse Fell Chapter to commemorate its 50th anniversary.

Winning Pumpkins Normal Parks & Rec, 1963

Normal Parks & Rec winning pumpkins, 1963.

Gordon Jaeger, Town of Normal parks and recreation director, is shown here in late October 1963 posing with the eight winners in Normal’s pumpkin carving contest.

Beich Bowlers, 1942

Women's Bowling club, 1942.

Not much is known about this photograph. We do know that at least four of the five women shown here were working at Paul F. Beich Co., the local candy maker, at the time.

Page 1 of 2

Filter archive

Archive by Date