We are open to the public, and are requiring masks for all visitors over the age of 2. See Plan Your Visit page for additional information.
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.
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.
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.
This photograph comes from the Museum’s William Brigham Collection.
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.
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.
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.
Seen here is local boy Bob Lemme, Bloomington Junior Legion ballplayer, with Cubs right fielder Bill “Swish” Nicholson, one of his favorite players.
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.
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.
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).
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.
Seen here is motorman John W. Bryan riding the Bloomington-to-Peoria Illinois Terminal light rail “interurban” sometime in September 1950.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.